2010 Los Angeles Dodgers
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2010 Los Angeles Dodgers / Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers / BR Team Page
Managed by Joe Torre
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2010 Dodgers had a difficult year, finishing under .500 for only the second time since the year 2000. Manager Joe Torre had his first losing season since 1995, after winning the division with the Dodgers in both 2008 and 2009.
On the basis of a strong May, when the team went 20-8, the Dodgers finished the first part of the season well over .500 at 49-39. But they struggled in the second part, going 31-43. And they got worse in September, playing at a .385 clip.
It didn't help that there were a variety of injuries to stars such as Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Rafael Furcal. Ethier, in particular, was having a terrific season before his injury and never played as well when he returned.
In spite of that, the team was in first place as late as June 17 before fading to fourth place for most of the second half of the season.
Among the hitters, Ramirez had the best OPS+, at 154 for the 66 games in which he appeared for the Dodgers before joining the Chicago White Sox in their attempt to reach the post-season. Manny was the only regular to slug over .500. Ethier, however, was close with a .493 SLG, and was much higher than that before his injury. Matt Kemp led the team in home runs but had a relatively low OPS+ and SLG due to playing in all 162 games and leading the team with 668 plate appearances.
Furcal, who was prevented from appearing in more than 97 games largely due to injuries, had the team's highest batting average at .300 among regulars who finished the season with the team (Ramirez was higher at .311, but he wasn't on the team at the end).
Among other regulars, catcher Russell Martin was injured after playing in 97 games, and was replaced by Rod Barajas, A.J. Ellis and 41-year-old Brad Ausmus, who announced his retirement to take effect after the season. Second baseman Blake DeWitt was traded and Ryan Theriot came over to take his place in the trade. This was actually a bit of a relief to fans who kept getting DeWitt, whose first name was "Blake", mixed up with third baseman Casey Blake, since announcers and sportscasters would sometimes refer just to "Blake".
A few back-ups performed well. Jamey Carroll posted a .379 OBP, and got into so many games (133) that it was hard to consider him a back-up (although he is considered one because he split his time between various infield and outfield positions, thus not leading the team in appearances at any one position). Jay Gibbons made an impact at the end of the season with a .507 SLG in 37 games, although his numbers slid a bit at the end.
The pitching staff was anchored by young Clayton Kershaw, who had a record of 13-10. Both his ERA and strikeouts were among the league leaders. Other starting pitchers with ERA+ scores over 100 were Hiroki Kuroda, Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly, who came over in the trade involvng DeWitt and Theriot.
Reliever Jonathan Broxton was often criticized during the season, and ended up with an ERA of 4.04. Hong-Chih Kuo was much more effective, with a 1.20 ERA and 12 saves, but was used sparingly due to a previous injury which made it advisable not to have him pitch too often.
Kenley Jansen was a wonder, posting a 0.67 ERA in a partial season. It was all the more impressive because Jansen only converted from catcher to pitcher in 2009.
Otherwise, the pitching staff was a bit of a revolving door, with 24 hurlers used in 2010. Octavio Dotel was acquired on July 31 and then traded on September 18. Ramon Troncoso, the most utilized pitcher in the first part of the season, was at one point sent down to the minors in spite of being the pitcher with the most appearances on the team. Youngster John Ely started out well in his first few appearances, but then mostly struggled after that.
A number of key players were eligible to become free agents after the season. Although some other key players would remain, it was not a young team in 2010, with an average age of 30.3.
Finally, the team ownership was in question with the highly-publicized divorce proceeding involving Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt. As of early October 2010, it was not clear how the judge would rule, and it was not clear how any ruling would affect the financial ability of the Dodgers to sign some free agents during the off-season.
Awards and Honors