We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013Â Dodgers Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesyÂ Mike PetrielloÂ from Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness.
1) Carl Crawford was a huge fantasy asset as recently as 2010 but since then has taken a nosedive in both the real and the fantasy world.Â With all that said, it’s sounding like he’ll be fully healthy and in the starting lineup on opening day.Â What should fantasy owners expect from Crawford in 2013?Â Will we see a return to glory or more of 2011 and 2012?
Is it a cop-out to say that the answer is probably “a happy medium”? Because that’s how I’m leaning. After the last two years, it’s unlikely to expect that we’re going to see the heights that he reached back in the day with Tampa, especially now that he’s into his 30s and coming off major surgery. That said, Boston never seemed to be a good fit from the start, and attempting to play through an injured wrist and elbow couldn’t have helped. Now that he’s supposedly healthy, away from the Boston microscope, and in a situation where he’s not expected to be “the man”, one hopes that we’ll see a rebound. If he can coax out a .280/.325/.420 line with 10 homers, 30 steals, and good defense, he’ll be a valuable piece — even if he’s not quite earning his contract.
2) Matt Kemp scares us.Â That first sentence was going to solely be about his injury but Google news searches lead me to links about a return to Rihanna and brings back painful 2010 memories.Â Are there any concerns that Kemp won’t be ready for opening day or healthy enough to produce for fantasy owners in 2013?
Kemp insists he’ll be ready for Opening Day, even if he’s limited in spring training. The problem is that his shoulder injury was a serious one, enough to require surgery, and we’ve seen shoulder injuries limit power in the next season. So while I’m confident that Kemp is going to be a whole lot better than the mess who struggled down the stretch after hurting himself slamming into the Colorado center field wall, it might take some time to get back to full strength. That alone could hurt his prospects, though I’ll be more than happy to scoop him up if anyone actually lets him out of the first round.
3) Adrian Gonzalez has seen his power decrease dramatically over the last two years, hitting only 18 HRs last year in 684 plate appearances with half his games played in what is considered to be a hitter’s ballpark.Â Is there any hope for fantasy owners that A-Gonz returns to form in terms of power and what are your expectations for him in 2013?
I have hope. I mean, after what it took to get him, I have to. No, I don’t expect him to be the MVP candidate that terrorized baseball in San Diego, but then again, he doesn’t really need to be. Part of the appeal of the trade, which often seems to be forgotten, is that James Loney is awful and there was absolutely nothing available on the free agent market this winter. Mike Napoli’s busted hip? Adam LaRoche? A return engagement with Loney? Meh. That doesn’t make Gonzalez better, per se, but it does explain further why it was so important to get him. I’ve got him for .300/.350/.450 with 25 homers and great defense, and I’ll be happy with that.
4) The Dodgers spent big money on Zack Greinke but that wasn’t the surprise move by the Dodgers this off-season.Â That award goes to signing Ryu Hyun-Jin to a 6 year, $36 million dollar contract which doesn’t include the $25.7 mill they paid just to negotiate with him.Â Many are projecting him as an overall SP3 at best.Â With all that aside, what is Ryu’s future role with the Dodgers considering they have plenty of starting arms at their disposal and what do you think he can provide fantasy owners in 2013?
Ryu’s a starter. No doubt. The Dodgers didn’t sign him to be a reliever, and they’re contractually prohibited from sending him to the minors. Though they do have a ton of starters, they’re all but certain to deal one or two before the season (likely Aaron Harang or Chris Capuano). As for what Ryu can bring, it’s anyone’s guess, though I’d note that “SP3 at best” isn’t a bad thing, and would make him valuable for that amount of money. From what we know, he has excellent control, so even if he doesn’t strike out a ton, his K/BB and WHIP should be decent.
5) What’s the most likely event to occur in 2013 for this Dodger team:
A) Dodgers make the World Series.
B) The awesomeness of this Dee Gordon image finally gets old.
C) Kenley Jansen will finish the year with the most saves for the Dodgers.
D) Chad Billingsley finally heals from injury but management questions whether or not he’s hungry enough to be a part of the starting rotation.Â He proceeds to eat Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano to retain the SP5 slot
E) The pressure is finally off Andre Ethier and he puts up another 30 HR season.
C, probably. That Dee Gordon image will never get old — hell, I think I might have made it in the first place — and while I like the Dodgers’ chances, I’ll never guarantee that any team will make the World Series. As for Billingsley, if cannibalizing teammates is what it takes to get that elbow injury to heal, I’m fine with that.