The Dodgers prepare for the drastic pivot into full swing as opening day quickly approaches. They hope to carry over momentum from their World Series victory well through the 2021 season and back to the World Series.
The MLB preseason is currently coming to a close and Dodgers baseball will have their opening day match-up on April 1 where they face-off against an inter-divisional rival, the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
Dodgers superstar Clayton Kershaw will make the 2021 opening day start after missing last year with an unexpected back injury. He will become the first Dodgers pitcher to start 9 opening days.
Joining Clayton Kershaw this year near the top of the Dodgers pitching rotation is offseason acquisition, Trevour Baur. The reigning National League CY Young award winner joined the Dodgers this offseason on a three-year deal worth $102 million.
In addition to adding Baur, the Dodgers managed to bring back Walker Buehler on a two-year deal after having a beyond productive 2020 season. Without any injuries the Dodgers pitching rotation will stand as Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Baur, Walker Buehler along with Julio Urias and David Price.
Their two significant offseason losses were Kike Hernandez and Joc Pederson who left Los Angeles after both playing five seasons of Dodger Baseball. They struggled to find the spotlight through the depth of the Dodgers roster and left in search of bigger roles elsewhere. This does not seem to be a major loss to the team considering they still have utility player Chris Taylor and a star-studded outfield consisting of all-stars Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock. The Dodgers also managed to keep the infield intact by resigning infielder Justin Turner for two more years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are entering the 2021 MLB season as the league favorites after winning the 2020 World Series and leading the league in runs scored. Zero teams in MLB baseball have repeated as league champions since the 2000 season. Players and coaches who still celebrate their World Series win well through the following season often render the team unfocused until it’s too late. However Covid-19 prevented the Dodgers from having a proper celebration which may prove advantageous going into the season.
“The expectation is to win a World Series and so we have to remember that it doesn’t matter that we won last year,” Kershaw said in a video conference with Los Angeles Times reporters on Sunday. “But at the same time remember that our team has a chance to be really special again. And we can’t take that for granted.”
The Dodgers are facing off against the Nationals on April, 9th for their much anticipated home opener. All returning players and coaches will receive their World Series rings.
The Dodgers front office are allowing a limited number of fans back into Dodgers Stadium for each home game this season beginning on opening day. It is unknown how the re-introduction of fans to stadiums will affect the Dodgers play and how the stadium plans to enforce COVID-19 guidelines.
The Dodgers organization is still ectatic over their 2020 World Series triumph. However the players and staff are refocusing on the season ahead in order to give them a real shot at two-peating. With the new addition of superstar pitcher Baur, the Dodgers have all of the weapons they need to stack up against any team in Major League Baseball.