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National League West capsules
Question of the Day
Capsules of National League West teams, listed in order of finish last year:
2013: 92-70, first place (lost to Cardinals in NLCS).
Manager: Don Mattingly (fourth season).
He’s Outta Here: 2B Mark Ellis, 2B-OF Skip Schumaker, INF Nick Punto, RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Ricky Nolasco, RHP Ronald Belisario, 3B Jerry Hairston Jr., INF Michael Young, LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Carlos Marmol.
Projected Lineup: RF Yasiel Puig (.319, 19 HRs, 42 RBIs), LF Carl Crawford (.283, 6, 31), SS Hanley Ramirez (.345, 20, 57), 1B Adrian Gonzalez (.293, 22, 100), CF Andre Ethier (.272, 12, 52), 3B Juan Uribe (.278, 12, 50), C A.J. Ellis (.238, 10, 52), 2B Dee Gordon (.234, 1, 6).
Rotation: LH Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA, 232 Ks, won 2nd Cy Young Award), RH Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63, 148 Ks), LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00, 154 Ks), RH Dan Haren (10-14, 4.67, 151 Ks with Washington), LH Paul Maholm (10-11, 4.41, 105 Ks with Atlanta).
Key Relievers: RH Kenley Jansen (4-3, 1.88, 28/32 saves), RH Brian Wilson (2-1, 0.66), LH J.P. Howell (4-1, 2.03), RH Chris Perez (5-3, 4.33, 25/30 saves with Cleveland), LH Paco Rodriguez (3-4, 2.32, 2 saves), RH Jamey Wright (2-2, 3.09 with Tampa Bay).
Hot Spots: CF Matt Kemp continues his comeback from left ankle surgery last fall. He’s been playing in minor league games during camp and wasn’t in Australia with the rest of the team for its season-opening series against Arizona. Also not making the trip was Crawford, who stayed back for the birth of his child, as well as Greinke, Haren and injured RHP Josh Beckett. Greinke has been bothered by a right calf strain.
Outlook: Kershaw, coming off his second Cy Young Award at age 25, anchors one of the deepest rotations in baseball. He received a $215 million, seven-year contract during the offseason, making him baseball’s richest pitcher. The Dodgers bolstered the rotation with the addition of Haren, who got a $10 million, one-year deal. Beckett and RHP Chad Billingsley are trying to bounce back from surgeries. Puig, who struggled offensively in spring training, tries to follow up his stellar rookie season while facing questions about his maturity after an offseason arrest for speeding. Mattingly starts the season with a new three-year deal, shedding the lame-duck status that dogged him last year.
2013: 81-81, second place.
By Scott Pinsker
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