Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Early Dodgers' All-Star candidates

As June is about to approach, the All-Star Game chatter will start to pick up.  Here's an early look at who I believe has a realistic chance of representing the Dodgers in the Midsummer Classic for the National League.


Adrian Gonzalez, 1B.  He still has some work to do in holding off big sluggers like Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, and Lucas Duda.  But for now, there's no denying that at .344 with 17 doubles, 10 homers, and 35 RBIs, A-Gon is more than deserving of the start.  He's been the rock in the heart of the Dodgers' order.

Zack Greinke, SP.  It's been Greinke, and not Clayton Kershaw, who's been the Dodgers' go-to guy on the mound.  At 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, he's just behind A.J. Burnett for tops in the NL.  He has a massive contract, and is pitching like a guy who wants to opt out and get an even more bloated one.  Good for him.


Howie Kendrick, 2B.  He's been everything the Dodgers hoped he would be: a solid hitter right next to A-Gon, and terrific with the glove.  It won't be easy to make the squad, as there are three guys ahead of him with higher averages: Dee Gordon, DJ LeMahieu, and Kolten Wong.  Plus, Joe Panik, Brandon Phillips, and Daniel Murphy are lurking right behind.  It's actually a pretty deep position when you break it down.

Yasmani Grandal, C.  The numbers are certainly there: .291 AVG, .403 OBP, 4 HR, 17 RBI.  What's working against him is that in the NL, you'll always have to beat out Buster Posey and Yadier Molina.  Good luck with that!  So maybe he slides in as the third catcher, which is possible. 

Joc Pederson, CF.  It's been quite the start to the season for Mr. All or Nothing, as he is tied for third in NL outfielders with 12 home runs, and has third to himself with 54 strikeouts.  He's been a fun player to watch between the moonshots and the great glove in center, so he definitely has people's attention.  There's just so much talent in the outfield already, it's going to be difficult to find a spot.  But if he keeps putting up numbers and making highlight reels, he has a chance.

Kenley Jansen, RP.  This one won't be easy, only because he missed so much time with the foot injury.  But so far, he's been flawless with four saves, and is still striking out everyone left and right.  He'll need a huge month of June to get consideration, but if his ERA is still miniscule, he might slip in.

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