Dodgers Enter Playoffs With Major Outfield Questions

After Yasiel Puig burst into the majors, pundits across baseball land were debating how the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly would handle four every day outfielders once Matt Kemp returned to health. Well, that problem never became a reality, with Kemp being well enough to play only infrequently for the remainder of the season. Now, as the playoffs are about to begin, Kemp has been declared out for the duration, following an MRI this morning that showed significant damage to his ankle. But, making matters far worse is the fact that Andre Ethier is still questionable and likely out for at least the opening Division Series with Atlanta. Only the shadow knows if he will be available thereafter, if the Dodgers get by the Braves. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday, when it should be decided if he will be kept on the roster to pinch hit, or if he will miss the

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series entirely.

While it would seem that Skip Schumaker would most likely play center, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Puig move over to center so that maybe Scott van Slyke or Jerry Hairston, either with more power than Schumaker, could play right.

What the Dodgers do have going for them, after a bad September that brought back memories of April, May, and June, is the starting triumvirate of Clayton

Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, The Braves top three starters, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, and rookie Julio Teheran, are tough, but no team enters the playoffs with three starters who can each dominate as the three Dodgers have done throughout the entire season.

If the Dodgers’ are going anywhere in the playoffs, it will be have to be Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and pitching that gets them there.

In a couple of notes irrelevant to anything important, the Dodgers drew 3,743,527 to Dodgers’ Stadium this season, the best of any team in

baseball. They also sold out more games, 29, than in any season in 30 years. And they are the first team to ever have four pitchers (Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, and Kenley Jansen) to have over 100 strikeouts, a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ration, and ERAs under 3.00 in a season.

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