Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/18/14

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Frank McCourt leaves Los Angeles County Superior Court after day one of a non-jury divorce trial on August 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The trial, being presided over by Judge Scott M. Gordon in California Superior Court, is to decide whether Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team or his estranged wife and former Dodger CEO Jamie McCourt still has ownership stake in the team. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Dodgers fans must be ecstatic that 2011 is behind them. The McCourt divorce dragged the franchise down, and on top of that last season began with two Dodgers fans attacking a Giants fan. As the summer went on, Frank McCourt battled Commissioner Selig for control of the team. Now, the team is on the cusp of having a new owner. Even if the on-the-field product is a disaster this year, 2012 will be a win for Dodgers fans. That’s how horrible Frank McCourt’s tenure as owner has been.

Last year’s actual product wasn’t that bad. The Dodgers won 82 games, led by Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and the MVP-caliber season of Matt Kemp. With the impending sale, the Dodgers did not make any major moves this offseason, but they have some pieces to quickly turn the Dodgers into a competitive team in the NL West in the future.

The rotation will once again be anchored by Clayton Kershaw. He is one of the most exciting young arms in the game. He’s followed by Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley. Both pitchers had ERAs around 4.00 last year, but their peripheral stats show they were actually better than that. These three form a solid top of the rotation. The back of the rotation will be filled with Chris Capuono and newcomer Aaron Harang. Losing Hiroki Kuroda hurts the rotation a bit, but overall it’s still a strength of the team.

Offensively, the Dodgers were the definition of mediocre last year. They finished ninth in the NL in runs scored, eighth in OBP, and tenth in SLG%. If the Dodgers offense is going to improve, they need Andre Ethier to wipe away 2011. He struggled last year, with only a .421 SLG%. The Dodgers desires to be near the top of the NL West standings lie on Ethier’s ability to regain his power stroke. Additionally, youngsters Dee Gordon and A.J. Ellis need to continue to improve. Gordon, as a rookie, produced a .325 OBP and a .362 SLG%. He was rushed to the big leagues, so the fact that he didn’t drown is impressive. The Dodgers are hoping that his bat takes a step forward this year, and they’ll need him to further develop to help this team remain competitve.

2012 is a year of transition for the Dodgers. They’ll have a new owner in place shortly, and the MLB roster is filled with several placeholders (Juan Rivera, James Loney, Juan Uribe, etc.). They have no impact prospects knocking on the door, but they have a lot of intriguing potential impact guys in the lower levels. If I were a Dodgers fan, I’d wait patiently for the new owner to start dumping some money in this franchize. Theirs no reason the Dodgers can’t become competitive year in and year out sooner than later. But that won’t start this year. The D’backs are head and shoulders above the rest of NL West, but the Dodgers, Rockies, and Giants are all even in my eyes. I see the Dodgers finishing in third this season with a similar record as 2011.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.