Dave Roberts: 2024 Dodgers Have ‘A Lot To Prove’

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

After a second consecutive early playoff exit, the Los Angeles Dodgers responded with the biggest spending spree in MLB history, committing nearly $1.2 billion to add the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, among others.

Several projection models expect the Dodgers to maintain their status as one of the elite teams in the league this year, as Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA believes they will win an MLB-best 101 games en route to another National League West title.

The Dodgers are looking to bounce back from being swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2023 NL Division Series, which saw L.A. score a combined six runs in three games.

Manager Dave Roberts thinks the excitement surrounding his club has taken some of the focus off their recent postseason failures, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I think so,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think reshuffling the deck with new players, I think that brought a lot of excitement to the fan base, to the organization itself. The newness part of it, yeah.”

Roberts also said there is no right answer to whether the Dodgers should forget last October’s disappointment or use it as fuel in 2024:

“I think it’s a good existential question – as far as failures and how you deal with them, how you look at them,” Roberts said. “I think the feeling of not realizing a goal and how it doesn’t sit well is important to remember and motivate. There’s also a component of looking forward and giving yourself an opportunity to do it again.

“Everyone is different. Mookie certainly feels a responsibility as one of the best players in the game to perform at the highest level on the biggest of stages. I think his words are his words. But I think for everyone – for me and the ’24 Dodgers, there’s a lot of guys that weren’t on this ballclub the last couple years. So for them to have that burden, I don’t think that makes any sense. I think for me, we’ve got something to prove. The ’24 Dodgers haven’t done anything. And as we clearly know, you don’t win on paper. I just think we haven’t done anything and we’ve got a lot to prove.”

Roberts is correct in saying that the new players on the 2024 Dodgers should not be responsible for the team’s struggles in the postseason last year, while adding that holdovers such as Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy are justified to enter the year with a chip on their shoulder.

Betts in particular has been vocal about his individual struggles in the Dodgers’ NLDS loss, vowing to be a more reliable bat if the team returns to the postseason.

Dave Roberts wants Dodgers to welcome ‘bigger bullseye’

Roberts delivered his first message of Spring Training to the Dodgers clubhouse on Wednesday and told his players to embrace the expectations that are being placed on them this year.

“Every year, when you wear the Dodger uniform, people are gunning for you. And that’s a sign of respect. But certainly this past offseason, obviously what happened as far as the signings and things like that, there’s maybe a little bit of a bigger bullseye,” Roberts acknowledged.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!