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The Dodgers Roll The Dice April 2, 2014

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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The Dodgers are quickly overtaking the Giants on my “Favorite Teams Formerly of New York City” list. First of all, they grabbed Brian Wilson, and the audacity of using a World Series closer who saved 48 games in 2010 to set up a converted catcher rubbed me the right way. (Kenley Jansen is easily at the top of my “Favorite Converted Catchers” list.) Plus, watching Don Mattingly grow up and do less stupid stuff has been one of the best parts of Joe Torre‘s retirement.

The Dodgers have a couple of lotto tickets on the bench right now. Wilson, who sat out most of the last two seasons following his oblique injury, is a major risk as a power pitcher, but if he’s healthy again, the combination of a confident Wilson in the eighth and a Jansen whose ERA has dropped in each of the last two seasons could be the surprise bullpen of the year, especially if you consider Adrian Garcia’s argument at Lasorda’s Lair in favor of Paco Rodriguez as a potential set-up man.

But wait! There’s more!

Wilson isn’t the only player to make the squad after sitting out 2013. Chone Figgins was on the Marlins’ minor league squad last year but was released early in the season. The 5’8″ switch hitter came out of his involuntary retirement to sign as a bench option for the Dodgers, putting up a .340 OBP in spring training despite a .200 batting average. Figgins is continuing his trend into the regular season, since he’s appeared twice as a pinch hitter and walked each time (probably due to his minuscule strike zone). Figgins won’t start much this year, but if he can maintain his spring OBP into the regular season he’ll be a true asset for the club.



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