Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
A disappointing end to the 2023 regular season is behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the feeling of another early postseason exit hangs over the franchise as they have an aggressive offseason to improve their roster.
For several seasons, the Dodgers have dominated the regular season schedule. They won 111 games in 2022 and followed that up with a 100-win campaign by a roster that projected to have less success than in previous seasons. But the Dodgers’ nightmares culminated in both a letdown from their historic offense and a lack of front-end starting pitching.
“I don’t know the answer,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said when speaking on the 2023 season. “For our offense to be an issue this year was really surprising to us. We scored over 900 runs for the first time in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
“It’s the best offensive team we’ve had in this run, so that was surprising to us. Obviously, there are three-game snippets throughout a year where our offense doesn’t perform. How much of it is that? How much of it is other things? I don’t know the answer.
“A lot of these things, it’s hard to know the answer to. There is an element that is October theater and what plays out on a daily and nightly basis. And there’s other things that we can do a better job of. How to separate those, it’s incumbent upon us to figure out.”
Although the Dodgers have added significant talent to their roster this offseason with Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, they know all too well it doesn’t guarantee anything. Once teams get into the postseason, nearly everything is thrown out the window in favor of which is the hotter team at the time.
Every season, there are stories of unexpected postseason heroes and the brightest stars dimming under the lights of October.
“I think people should really go through and look at each guy year to year,” Friedman said. “The noise and variance year to year, we’ve had guys who have been incredible one year and not good the next. It’s not just, ‘Oh, he is a postseason player.’ It’s just not that simple.
“We’ve seen it firsthand. Look at Corey Seager’s 2019, 2020, 2021. There are so many examples of guys that it’s just not that easy to be like, ‘Oh, let’s just get the guy who is going to perform in October.’ Because if it was, I promise you we’d do that.”
Friedman and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts have been joined at the hip throughout the blunders, and the high points, including their 2020 World Series Championship. But in three years since their title run, they’ve gone 7-12 in the postseason, failing to reach the Fall Classic each time.
They’ve added the talent necessary to win this offseason, now it’s about putting it all together on the field and playing their best baseball at the right time.
Dodgers World Series expectations haven’t changed
While the Dodgers have committed more than $1.1 billion in additions to their roster this offseason, they don’t see that increasing expectations as their goal is to win a championship each season.
“I think, first and foremost, you said it is a privilege. I don’t think the expectation has changed,” manager Dave Roberts said when asked if the Dodgers’ expectations of winning the World Series have increased.
“I think that the roster has certainly been enhanced with some great talent and great people. But the goal is still been to win the World Series.”
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