The Dodgers are currently 8.5 games back of first place in the NL West, and the only reason they are even that close is the result of a short list of achieving Major Leaguers. The Dodgers could blame just about anyone and everyone on the roster for their disappointing season, but who is the most disappointing Dodger in 2013 thus far?
Juan Uribe: Any list of underachieving Dodgers would be incomplete without the team’s perpetual scapegoat. But with a long list of deserving players, he hardly deserves to be on the list. He is far surpassing his own standards of ineptitude, and looking up at productivity. He scored 17 runs this year, which is 6th most on the team. And his .277 Avg. is 4th best on the team among players with more than 30 at bats. Crazy.
Andre Ethier: The every day right fielder has not played like an everyday player in the first year of a 5-year, $85 million contract extension. I hope Ethier is playing through an injury to explain both his lack of power and overall poor hitting. He is batting .235 with 5 HR and 17 RBIs. The good news is his numbers against left-handers, his normal achilles heel, are much improved. But he is hitting right-handed pitching a whole .100 less than previous seasons. He could be the most disappointing because he is actually playing, and not producing. The disappointing leader in the clubhouse for sure.
Luis Cruz: After having a stellar 2012, the expected everyday 3rd baseman cannot get a broken bat single. Cruz is batting .136 in 110 at bats. Just last week, Vin Scully couldn’t believe that be was batting 5th in the order with his numbers. If he didn’t have an unexpected, solid year in 2012 we’d be yelling “Whoooo” not “Cruuuuuz” when he was at the plate. He’s been terrible, but Ethier is more disappointing.
Brandon League: He signed a 3-year deal over the offseason to become the Dodgers’ closer, until he was ousted from the role recently. He blew 4 saves in 17 chances this far. But that’s not particular to him. Really it’s been the whole bullpen which is generally disappointing. Combined they have given up more leads than any team in the majors. The bullpen, particularly Brandon League and Ronald Belisario, is overwhelmingly disappointing.
Josh Beckett: When a World Series MVP and 2 time Champion has an ERA over 5.00, and is on the DL, it is pretty disappointing.
Hanley Ramirez: The Dominican shortstop and third baseman is really the lynchpin of the Dodgers’ offense, but due to injury he only has 21 at bats this season. The Dodgers without Hanley aren’t a puzzle with a missing piece; they are a suspension bridge missing a cable. It’s disappointing Ramirez isn’t playing, but he’s too far down my list to worry about his performance.
Don Mattingly: The manager unfairly or not gets the blame and credit for the team’s success. There is only blame to hand out currently. With a depleted roster you can’t ask the manager to make up the difference. The roster is expensive, but the hard luck Donnie B is not the team doctor. He can only keep trotting out Scott Van Slyke and Skip Schumacher.
Matt Kemp: To be the most disappointing Dodger, you have to be close to the best Dodger. Other than the ace lefty, Matt Kemp is the best Dodger. It’s easy to blame him for the Dodgers’ struggles. The person his struggles are most devastating to though is himself, which creates a terrible feedback loop of pressing and underperformance. Kemp has 2 home runs prior to hitting the DL. Kemp is the Dodgers leader and best offensive threat. He doesn’t have to be the Miguel Cabrera for the team to win, but he has to be better than Jerry Hairston Jr.
Matt Kemp is the most disappointing Dodger to me, but Andre Ethier and the bullpen come in close behind.
Who do you think is the most disappointing Dodger in 2013, LA Sports Hubsters?