Dodger Stadium is fairly neutral across the board, in terms of batted-ball effects. Triples happen very rarely there, and homers happen less often than average.
LA is another NL squad that offers AL-caliber offensive volume and opportunity. The team has such depth of hitting talent that the top six spots in their order are goldmines for runs scored and RBI, if nothing else.
One notable park factor in Chavez Ravine is the much inflated strikeout percentage there. Los Angeles' young flame-throwing corps could not be better suited to that environment. A couple of them must overcome their control problems, however, in order to earn Joe Torre's patience. Since his days with the New York Yankees, Torre has consistently skippered teams ranking near the bottom of the league in pitches thrown per start.
That, in part, demonstrates Torre's penchant for using his bullpen entirely and creatively but often excessively. With 2008 the lone exception, Torre's teams have been at or very near the top of their league's leader board in reliever appearances for over a half decade. His philosophy is to gain the platoon advantage. That won't affect closer Jonathan Broxton unless health becomes a concern again.
The Dodgers' staff is good at missing bats, and many of them trend toward groundballs when batters do make contact. For those who hit it into the air, however, watch out. Kemp is a good center fielder but doesn't have the super-human chops to save the dozens of runs the team loses because of Manny Ramirez and Andre Ethier. Both are slow-footed left fielders by trade, with weak arms to boot.
The infield, however, is very good. Ronnie Belliard suffices at the keystone, and mandates to lose weight should help him. Utility man Jamey Carroll wouldn't hit enough to fit in with the Dodgers' offensive attack, but his defense around second base has tremendous value.
About Matt Trueblood
Matt is a journalism student at Loyola University Chicago. The guest contributor is a featured Chicago Cubs columnist on the Bleacher Report as well as a contributor to hotstove.com. Matt envisions himself as both a writer and analyst and strives to deliver pieces that are both well-researched and thought-provoking. He work first appeared on KFFL.com in February 2010.
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