It’s championship or bust for the loaded Dodgers | Features of KCRW
Temperatures are soaring in Southern California just in time for the Boys in Blue to do their job.
Major League Baseball’s season kicks off this week, and fans are hoping the Dodgers and Angels will make the playoffs in October.
The Dodgers are full of talent. So much so that manager Dave Roberts risked upping the ante on his players when he recently declared that the club would definitely win the World Series this year.
Was that admirable or just reckless?
“I think both of those adjectives work,” says Jorge Castillo, who covers the Dodgers for the LA Times. “On paper, the Dodgers are the best team in baseball. They have the most expensive payroll. They’ve got a bunch of stars everywhere…so it makes sense that they’re confident.
The Dodgers have lost some major contributors to their recent streak of success, including shortstop Corey Seager, outfielder AJ Pollack and closer Kenley Jansen.. But they also picked up a pair of perennial All-Stars in Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel.
“The Dodgers have a way of replenishing talent, whether it’s acquiring players from other teams or getting guys up in the minor leagues,” Castillo says.
He says the two big unknowns for the Dodgers this year are the depth of their starting pitch and whether left-handed slugger Cody Bellinger can bounce back from a miserable 2021 season.
“He struggled a lot in spring training, changing his batting position every time at bat, which is never a good sign,” Castillo said. “He’s a guy who was MVP a few years ago. He was rookie of the year when he first came on, but other than that he hasn’t been as good as you might think. wait there.
Even if Bellinger falters, Castillo says the Dodgers have a loaded roster that can pick up the slack and put them in the playoffs, and maybe bring another title to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers begin their road season Friday against the Colorado Rockies.