Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/6/12

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 CoffeyScott ElbertJavy 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.

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