Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14

Even Sandy Koufax said he thinks Clayton Kershaw (pictured) might be another Koufax. (LA Times)

Right before the 1999 NFL Playoffs, an Indianapolis Colts executive was asked how the team was able to turn from a division cellar-dweller in 1998 to the top of the AFC East.  “Stability,”  was the reply. He went on to say a large part of the team’s success was due to the fact the team broke training camp with no question marks or controversies over who would be playing.  Well, the Dodgers took one step towards pulling a Colts when manager Don Mattingly announced his 25 man roster for 2012.  The only controversy is whether or not this is a good team.

1B -  James Loney (2011 Numbers: .288, 12 HR, 65 RBI):  The Dodgers came up short in their bid for Prince Fielder. If Loney doesn’t continue his hot hitting from last year (.320 BA after All-Star break), the Josh Hamilton watch begins.

2B -  Mark Ellis (.248, 7, 41):  Remember when a friend would set you up on a blind date and you’d ask “How’s she look?” only to hear a reply of  “Well, she has a great personality?” The same is true in baseball-ask how a scout really feels about a player’s bat, and they answer with “his defense is great.”  Well, Ellis had just 3 errors in 123 games last season.  That’s personality for you.

SS – Dee Gordon (.304, 0, 11 in 56 games):  Dodgers are happy to have a speedy lead-off hitter. Then again, Tim McCarver always downplayed the value of a lead-off hitter since they’re only guaranteed to lead off once a game.

Juan Uribe won't be smiling in 2012 if he hits .204 again. (LA Times)

3B – Juan Uribe (.204, 4, 28):  I always worry when a good team decides to let one of their starters leave. To me, it means they did not consider him an integral part of future championship plans. The Giants won the 2010 World Series and let Uribe sign with the Dodgers in 2011.  Uribe played in only 77 games and was a waste of money.   Dang, right again.

Catcher – AJ Ellis. (.271, 2, 11 in 31 games): He gets his chance after pulling a Crash Davis – 8 years in the Dodgers farm system.  His Triple A lifetime batting average is .310.  Jeremy Lin II, anyone?

RF – Andre Ethier  (.292, 11 , 62): Fans hope his anger over not receiving a long term deal translates to him having a career year.

CF – Matt Kemp (.324, 39, 126): Too bad the urine stayed in the basement.  Then the question as to who the real MVP was could have been answered.

LF – Juan Rivera, Tony Gwynn Jr, Jerry Hairston Jr and Jerry Sands:  No controversy since no one is good enough to be an everyday, every inning guy. Some games,  you might see more left fielders than pitchers.

Pitching rotation – Clayton Kershaw (2011 Cy Young Award winner) , Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano. Harang and Capuano have been injured so much, you wonder if there is a bounty in baseball also.

Bullpen -  Todd Coffey,  Scott Elbert,  Javy Guerra, Matt Guerrier,  Kenley Jansen,  Mike MacDougal. One spot is open due to an injury to Blake Hawskworth.  With Elbert the only lefty in the pen right now, veteran Josh Grabow, also left handed,  will be given first dibs.

Other position players: Adam Kennedy (IF), Matt Treanor(C).  Old bodies that work cheap. Sounds like hookers at the Mustang Ranch.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

Report: Browns interested in drafting Marcus Mariota

Chargers keep playoff hopes alive with comeback win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Robin Lopez responds to Khloe Kardashian dating rumors

Report: Jermaine O'Neal 'intrigued' about joining Mavs

Report: Robert Griffin III likely to return to Redskins

Izzo criticizes coaches, players after embarrassing loss

Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

WATCH: South Alabama coach bloodied after kick to the face

Dan Mullen wears funny 'Christmas Vacation' sweater

WATCH: Redskins FB gets in Eagles fan's face after TD

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurysm

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

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.

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

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.