Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The WBC and It’s Impact on the Dodger Roster

Dominican Republic, Dodger Player Involved: Hanley Ramirez
Games: March 7th vs. Venezuela at San Juan, in San Juan, Puerto Rico
              March 9th vs. Spain
              March 19th vs. Puerto Rico

Mexico, Players: Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz
Games: March 7th vs. Italy, at Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
             March 8th vs. U.S.              
             March 9th vs. Canada

Italy, Player: Nick Punto
Games: March 7h vs. Mexico, at Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ
              March 8th vs. Canada
              March 9th vs. U.S.

Venezuela, Player: Ronald Belisario
Games: March 7th vs. Dominican Republic, San Juan, Puerto Rico
              March 9th vs. Puerto Rico
              March 10th vs. Spain

If the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico or Italy finish in the top two in it’s pool, the next round of games take place in Miami at Marlins Park between the top two teams of each Pool.  These games will run from March 12th to the16th.  

The top two finishers at Miami advance to the finals in San Francisco’s AT&T Park to be played on March 17th, 18th and the final on the 19th.
(Getty Images)
Possible away time for those five will impact bubble roster players such as Dee Gordon, Alfredo Amezaga (who declined playing for Mexico in the WBC), and the entire relief staff.  Reports from Spring Training thus far are positive regarding Hanley Ramirez playing shortstop, but game action won’t start until Saturday.  This allows Ramirez to get in some exhibition game play at the position for about nine contests before departing for Puerto Rico, probably around March 3rd.

With Ramirez slated to play either third base, (since Adrian Beltre dropped out) or DHing, he could possibly be away from the shortstop position for a full two and a half weeks.  This will be ample time for Dee Gordon to slide in and prove that he can do the job.  

It’ll be a crucial time for Dee, who has yet to play solid defense for an extended period.  Clutch players take advantage of an opening, and if Gordon has any prayer at making the ball club, he MUST dominate play during that two week window.  Don Mattingly has already stated that Hanley will determine whether he is the starting shortstop, so he has to essentially play himself out of the position.  But  that possibility is real due to the fact that he won't be playing shortstop of a large time frame in the middle of Spring Training.  His absence does not really help his cause.  If Ramirez comes back from the WBC and starts kicking the ball around or throwing wildly, things could be very interesting.  I don't think the temperamental Ramirez will handle Dodger Stadium boos very well either.  This may be a recipe for disaster.  I hope I'm wrong.

With regard to non-roster invitee Alfredo Amezaga.  He has an outside shot at landing a utility infield spot with the departures of Punto, Ramirez and Cruz.  Amezaga is a crusty veteran and scrapper.  He recently starred for Mexico in the Caribbean Series, so his head is in the right place by foregoing the Mexico WBC roster in an effort to crack the Dodgers top 25.  He is my sleeper pick to make the team.

Alfredo Amezaga in 2010 photo at Taipei tour. (Getty Images)

The important thing for the Dodgers is that all these guys return from the WBC in healthy condition.  Year after year we see the casualties of injury during spring training that impact the Dodger roster.  It'll be downright miraculous if the injury bug doesn't bite somewhere during these next 4-5 weeks.  Colletti has plenty of players waiting in the wings to fill roles in that event.  With the WBC added to the mix, the door opens up an inch or two wider for them.


On my way to Camelback Ranch for four days.  Couldn't get away from work any longer.  I hope it's a lot warmer there!

1 comment:

  1. The WBC is a real concern for the Dodgers and other teams.

    Amezaga is a good choice for a sleeper. I picked up one of his cards hoping to get it signed. Kelvin De La Cruz is my sleeper pick although he won't make it to the Dodgers this year. His is a 24 year old lefty who ranked well up in the Indians system as early as two years ago.

    Off to Camelback tomorrow. Looking forward to meeting a real live San Franciscan. LOL