On behalf of the Dodger fandom I would like to welcome Freddie Freeman to the Dodger family. The beloved Atlanta Braves 1st base player had all eyes on him when a source reported that he took a six year, 162 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On Monday, the Braves traded for Matt Olsen, a first baseman that came from the Oakland A’s. After that deal went through, Dave Roberts, Dodger manager, knew that there was a good chance that he could get one of the best hitters in baseball right now on his team, Freddie Freeman. With this new addition to the team, The Dodgers are going to have a great lineup this upcoming season. “He has to be one of the top 3-4 hitters in the game,” said Clayton Kershaw, the historic Dodger pitcher that just got re-signed for another year. When asked how he feels about the new addition, third baseman Justin Turner said that “excited is an understatement”.
Max Muncy, a first base player who has been with the Dodgers since 2018 is recovering from an elbow injury that sadly cut his 2021 season short. Freeman on the Dodgers not only gives Muncy a chance to fully recover but also a chance for him to be the designated hitter. Roberts explained that with the designated hitter rule, fantastic clutch players like Muncy and Turner will have time to hit, while still taking advantage of Freeman's batting and skill at first base. Muncy is still recovering from his injury, and it is unknown if he will be back by opening day. Hopefully, with Freeman and other players on the field, the Dodgers will still be able to get the job done on offense.
Two years ago, before the historic 2020 season, the Dodgers signed the incredible right fielder Mookie Betts, a player that a lot of fans believed was the reason why LA won the 2020 Series. The Dodgers spoke of the amazing luck that the ownership and managers have had when picking players for the upcoming seasons. Austin Barnes, a long time Dodger minor and major league player said, “we always manage to get the person”. Players and fans believe that Freeman is going to be another huge win for the Dodgers’, just like Mookie Betts.
A thing that has been on a lot of fans' minds is the pitching and bullpen line up. The Dodgers have a history of scaring their fans with unreliable pitchers, and these past seasons have been no different. Many of the pitchers these past couple of seasons have either gotten injured, didn't get re-signed, or in another case, placed on administrative leave. Pitchers are a vital part of the lineup, but at the moment there are very few dependable ones. Kershaw was and still is a fantastic pitcher, but he’s getting older, and the Dodgers can’t rely on a pitcher who is still recovering from an injury. Walker Buehler is one of the most reliable pitchers that the Dodgers have. Julio Urias is another starting pitcher that got pulled up from the bullpen after throwing the strike that won us the 2020 World Series. Although the starting and bullpen pitchers are great, when the post season comes around pitchers are tired and the team has to start relying more heavily on offense, which is never a good thing. Roberts explained that with this fantastic lineup and great pitchers, there is more time for young pitchers to get ready to play later in the season. This will not only help the Dodgers excel on offense, but also defense.
Kershaw and Roberts spoke about the hard work it’s going to take to make it to the Series, even with their All-Star offense. The Dodgers have nine of the best players in the league, but will still have to work extremely hard to come out on top this season. It’s going to be an exciting ride that Dodger fans and players can't wait to enjoy.