by Wes Williams
Dodger Blue Bloods
In the first series of the year in San Diego against the Padres, the Dodgers won the series three games to one. While it is only the first four games of the year, a few trends emerged, both good and bad, that should be noted.
Trend #1- Dee Gordon is a game changer
On opening day, Gordon might have made one of the best defensive plays fans will see all year. The awesomeness of the play could be heard through Vin Scully's excited voice and Magic Johnson's standing ovation. Gordon is a special player with the glove.
Offensively, he stole three bases and scored three runs in the first four game. His speed on the base paths sets the table for Kemp and Eithier to knock in runs and gives Mattingly the opportunity to play small ball. If Gordon gets on base, it is a foregone conclusion he will steal second. Ellis can bunt him to third and then Kemp or Ethier can get an easy sacrifice fly RBI.
Trend #2- AJ Ellis is underrated.
Nobody is surprised that AJ Ellis looked good defensively, but the fact he looked good offensively is reason for optimism.
Ellis hit a home run, drew four walks, and batted .333 in the opening series. He also did something that doesn't show up in the box score yet is so valuable; he took dozens of pitches. Taking pitches helps teammates see what pitches the opposing pitcher has and tires out the pitcher as well.
If Ellis can keep this up, the Dodgers can spend their money on more pressing issues like first and third base.
Trend #3- Matt Kemp looks like he can reach 50 home runs
Two home runs in the pitchers park known as Petco is impressive. Just imagine how he will do in Coors Field.
Trend #4- Andre Eithier's knee is fine
His slugging average of .733 tells the story. Eithier is driving the ball to the gaps and looks like the All Star he used to be.
Trend #5- James Loney and Juan Uribe will be replaced by the end of the year
With the new owners about to make the Dodgers Yankees West, Loney and Uribe are goners. Loney starts the season 0-12 and Uribe barely does better going 1-12. These guys should be working their tails off if they want to keep their jobs.
Anytime a team takes three of four games in a series on the road, the team should generally be pretty happy and the Dodgers should certainly be content despite the Padres essentially being a AAA team.