NL West Report: Giants are the champs, Dodgers are the story

Stephen Dunn

The Dodgers have spent an exorbitant amount of money during the last twelve months, but will it pay off?

It's Deja Vu all over again. Coming into the 2012 season the Los Angeles Dodgers were the big off news makers, the vogue NL West playoff pick from talking heads across the land, and the new celebrities of the league from their high profile owner to their new high priced players. We are all a year older, and a year wiser now. Well...maybe. The Dodgers come into 2013 as the big off season story again, and find themselves on the tips of the nations collective tongues. A $239 million roster will do that.

Year one of the Magic experiment ultimately ended without a playoff berth, which was either embarrassing for a a team that spent so much money, or to be expected for a team that only came together in the middle of the season and experienced some injuries. So it's take-two on the Dodgers experiment, re-locked and reloaded. Prospect Justin Sellers begins the season as the teams starting shortstop, Zack Grienke is ready to make an impact, and some expected rebound performances could prove the talking heads right this year.

Either way, this season should be much more of an indication that these guys are either a powerhouse to be reckoned with or they are the most expensive mediocre baseball team to not have Alex Rodriguez on the roster.

Arizona Diamondbacks (1-0, W 1, T-1st)


Final - 4.1.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis Cardinals 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 0 0 3 1 0 2 0 X 6 15 0
WP: Ian Kennedy (1 - 0)
LP: Adam Wainwright (0 - 1)

Complete Coverage >

You Should Know: The D'Backs have very quietly turned themselves into a solid OBP team. While no one player jumps out as being a prototypical "on base guy" (Paul Goldschmidt has the highest career OBP of any of their starters from yesterday's game at .354), shortstop Cliff Pennington is the only man they started yesterday who has a career OBP below league average, and even his career OBP of .312 is higher than the OBP of the average shortstop.

This Week: 2 more at home vs. Cardinals. 3 game road series @ Brewers

News: Arizona handed their first baseman Paul Goldschmidt a five year contract last Friday worth $32 million. The extension buys out all of Goldschmidt's arbitration years and also includes a club option of $14.5 million in 2018 for what would be his first free agent season. At just 25 years of age, Goldschmidt is already showing signs that he's capable of becoming the big bat in Arizona's lineup for years to come.

Quotable: Catcher Miguel Montero loves the chemistry he sees on his team.

"We've got a good solid lineup and bench players, more than that though, we've got good, solid players with good personalities and great attitudes. That's great -- veteran guys that have been around winning ball clubs and can bring a lot to the team."

Transactions: Signed Nick Evans as a free agent (3/28). Optioned LHP Joe Paterson and OF Tony Campana to Triple-A Reno. Reassigned RHP Nelson Figueroa and C Tuffy Gosewisch to their minor league camp (3/30). Optioned RHP Randall Delgado to Reno (PCL). Recalled OF Alfredo Marte from Reno. Selected the contract of INF Josh Wilson from Reno. (3/31).

Injuries: Adam Eaton has a sprained left elbow and could miss the first two months of the season. Meanwhile shortstop Didi Gregorius has been dealing with a nagging right elbow and is expected to hit in a simulated game today; however, Gregorius has still not been cleared to play defense. Outfielder Cody Ross starts the season on the 15-Day DL having missed the majority of spring training while recovering from a calf strain.


Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Wade Miley arm 03/30/2013

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Adam Eaton elbow 03/22/2013
Didi Gregorius elbow 03/30/2013
Willie Bloomquist oblique 03/27/2013
Cody Ross calf 03/22/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Daniel Hudson elbow 02/18/2013

Los Angeles Dodgers (1-0, W 1, T-1st)


Final - 4.1.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco Giants 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 X 4 7 0
WP: Clayton Kershaw (1 - 0)
LP: George Kontos (0 - 1)

Complete Coverage >


You Should Know: Matt Kemp is the player to watch for the Dodgers in April. He has a career 1.019 OPS during this month but just an .827 career OPS from May through September.

This Week: 2 more at home vs. Giants. 3 game home series vs. Pirates.

News: Clayton Kershaw is still really good. Yesterday, he not only threw an 87 pitch, complete game shutout against the Giants, but he also hit the game winning home run in what was a scoreless game during the 8th inning. A massive, massive contract is likely coming his way soon. Over the last four seasons, he's averaged over 200 innings pitched, has led the league in both ERA and WHIP in each of the last two, and he's still only 25 years old. The closer he gets to the end of his arbitration years (the end of the 2014 season) without a contract, the more money the Dodgers are likely to pay him - And considering that Justin Verlander just notched a deal that pays him $28 million each season from 2015 to 2019, I would not be surprised if Kershaw is making $30 million + a year by the second half of the decade.


Clayton Kershaw

#22 / Pitcher / Los Angeles Dodgers

6-3

215

L

L

Mar 19, 1988



W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Clayton Kershaw 1-0 0.00 0.44 7 0

Quotable: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sees some Sandy Koufax in Clayton Kershaw.

"I know (former Dodgers manager) Joe (Torre) made comparisons pretty early with Clayton and Sandy, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't flash in my mind in the sixth when he was rolling along."

Transactions: Optioned OF Yasiel Puig to Chattanooga (SL) and SS Dee Gordon to Albuquerque (PCL) (3/26). Sent RHP Kevin Gregg, INF Afredo Amezaga, OF Alex Castellanos, OF Elian Herrera, C Matt Wallach, RHP Stephen Fife, RHP Josh Wall and RHP Peter Moylan to minor league camp (3/31). Recalled INF Justin Sellers from Albuquerque (PCL) (4/1).

Injuries: Despite some elbow concerns during Spring Training, Zack Greinke is expected to make is Dodger debut on Friday. Hanley Ramirez, who injured his thumb during the final game of the World Baseball Classic needs surgery and could be out until around Memorial Day. Chad Billingsley is expected to make a start Thursday for the Single A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes as he continues his recovery from a finger injury.


Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Zack Greinke elbow 03/31/2013

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Scott Elbert elbow 03/22/2013
Hanley Ramirez thumb 03/22/2013
Chad Billingsley fingers 03/22/2013
Ted Lilly other-excused 03/28/2013

San Diego Padres (0-1, L 1, T-Last, 1 GB)

You Should Know: The Padres played the last 84 games of the 2012 season 12 games over .500 at 48-36. It's unlikely that they carry this type of success into 2013, but they may be a better baseball team than many fans give them credit for.

This Week: 2 more road games @ Mets. 3 game road series @ Rockies.

News: Both Andrew Cashner and Anthony Bass were gunning for the #5 slot in the Padres rotation. Neither earned the job, but instead of sending them to the minors the Padres have opted to use them both as long relievers out of the pen.

Quotable: Despite the San Diego staff not looking very competitive on paper, general manager Josh Byrnes likes the way his young arms are throwing right now.

"It's how our starting pitching is going to line up. The guys we have are throwing well,"

Transactions: Selected the contracts of INF Jeff Gyorko and INF Cody Ransom from Tucson (PCL) (3/31).

Injuries: Casey Kelly, the top prospect sent to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez to Boston trade in December of 2010, is gone for the season as he will undergo Tommy John Surgery. Star third baseman Chase Headley, who fractured the tip of his left thumb while sliding into second base during a spring training game, is expected back sometime in late April / early May. Infielder Logan Forsythe will be out for at least six weeks with plantar fascitis.


San Diego Padres Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Andrew Cashner thumb 03/29/2013

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chase Headley thumb 03/22/2013
Logan Forsythe foot 03/27/2013
James Darnell oblique 03/22/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cory Luebke elbow 03/22/2013
Joe Wieland elbow 02/28/2013
Casey Kelly elbow 03/31/2013

San Francisco Giants (0-1, L 1, T-Last, 1 GB)


Final - 4.1.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco Giants 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 X 4 7 0
WP: Clayton Kershaw (1 - 0)
LP: George Kontos (0 - 1)

Complete Coverage >


You Should Know: Yesterday's 4-0 loss to the Dodgers is the third time in the last seven years that the Giants have been shut out on Opening Day.

This Week: 2 more road games @ Dodgers. 3 game home series vs. Cardinals.

News: In a move that has become so familiar across the MLB landscape over the last couple of years, the Giants followed suit and locked up their star player through the prime of his career by signing Buster Posey to a nine year $167 million contract extension.

Quotable: Giants broadcaster Jon Miller had an interesting quip about the Dodgers enormous payroll.

"That makes them more Yankees-like. More Evil Empire-like."

Transactions: Signed general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy to three-year contracts. Agreed to terms with RHP Ramon Ramirez on a minor league contract and assigned him to Fresno (PCL) (3/28). Agreed to terms with C Buster Posey on a nine-year contract. Traded RHP Scott Proctor to Baltimore for cash considerations. (3/30). Purchased the contract of C Guillermo Quiroz. Reassigned OF Cole Gillespie to minor league camp. (3/31).

Injuries: There is little news involving the return time of Eric Surkamp, Brett Pill, and Tony Abreu (other than the fact that their DL stints are all retroactive to March 22), but the good news for San Francisco is that all of their really important roster pieces remain on the field.


San Francisco Giants Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Surkamp elbow 03/22/2013
Brett Pill knee 03/22/2013
Tony Abreu quadriceps 03/22/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Hector Sanchez shoulder 04/01/2013


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