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Dodgers in the spring: A shortage of suspense

February 17, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford works on his swing during a spring training workout Saturday.
Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford works on his swing during a spring training… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Could it be? Really, could the most expensive baseball team in the history of all nine planets -- I am not giving up on Pluto -- actually lack interest this spring?

I’m starting to worry that the Dodgers this spring might actually be … boring?

Ugh, it’s only Day 2 of their first full-squad workouts and already there is a sense of hurry up and get this over with. Truth is, outside of health, there doesn’t figure to be many interesting developments this spring.

This team was built to contend and the ultimate questions about whether they can live up to the hype and expense won’t be answered until the season starts.

If everyone is as healthy as claimed, and the Dodgers insist on starting Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, then there are precious few decisions to be made over the next six weeks.

The daily lineup and rotation are set. The only slight questions are in the bullpen and a final backup spot.

Otherwise, it’s all about the injured proving they’ve recovered. If Chad Billingsley (elbow), Ted Lilly (shoulder), Carl Crawford (elbow), Jerry Hairston Jr. (hip) and Matt Kemp (shoulder) prove healthy and ready to go, there just doesn’t figure to be much suspense in Dodgers Land during spring training.

There will be interest in whether Hyun-Jin Ryu can step immediately into the rotation, but given that the Dodgers have invested nearly $62-million in the endeavor, he’d have to fail pretty miserably this spring to at least not be given an opportunity there to begin the season.

If everyone does prove healthy, the Dodgers will have three extra starting pitchers, and it’s safe to say not all three are headed to the bullpen. So there could/should be a late trade. Possibly for an outfielder, who ideally can back up first base.

Meanwhile, get ready for a lot of quotes from head trainer Sue Falsone. Updates on how Tim Federowicz is looking as the backup catcher. Lead-off role speculation. Watching Juan Uribe try to learn to play first!

Exciting position and rotation battles, rookies trying to make a splash, players coming out of nowhere, all figure to be left for other teams. The Dodgers could prove a tad dull this spring, which for a loaded roster, no doubt suits them just fine.


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