Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers held their first workout of Spring Training on Friday, which presented a look at some new faces, players coming back from injury and those who are returning for another season with the club after an aggressive offseason that saw the team commit to spending more than $1 billion over the next decade.
With a rebuilt roster filled with superstars, it’s fair to question how the team will mesh and gel together. There are numerous examples of talented teams falling apart due to clubhouse issues or underperforming due to factors such as selfishness and lack of effort.
However, maintaining cohesion in the clubhouse is a specialty for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who is tasked with making sure the team plays to the best of their ability on the field while minimizing distractions off of it.
Developing chemistry is not something that can be forced or pushed, and that will take the players figuring it out on their own. But in the meantime, Roberts is focused on emphasizing the fundamental principles of the Dodgers organization and how it has historically been built on strong pitching to lead them to success, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“The focus, the message was the Dodgers, the foundation of this organization has always been pitching and defense. We’ve got a lot of guys that have been here, we’ve got a handful of guys that are new to the organization, a lot of guys that understand what we’re about, excited to be a Dodger, and some guys that are curious. So for me, welcoming everyone back, but just kind of really emphasizing the little things on what it takes to be great. When we are good with the pitching, it equates to winning baseball games.”
Pitching and defense were both issues for the Dodgers at various points in 2023. Although the offense arguably failed worse than the pitching in October, hitters were put in tough positions by the starting pitchers that were both unable to prevent runs and go deep into a game.
The Dodgers relied on an injured Clayton Kershaw, a rookie in Bobby Miller, and a struggling veteran in Lance Lynn to lead their postseason rotation last year, which is why upgrading this offseason was key.
The club made sure to do just that by signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto and James Paxton while also trading for Tyler Glasnow and agreeing to a contract extension with him. The moves give the Dodgers both top-of-the-rotation talent and depth to help them get through the season.
Pitching should once again be a strength for the Dodgers as they look to get over their recent postseason failures.
Mookie Betts not worried about Dodgers building chemistry
Mookie Betts believes the Dodgers will develop the chemistry needed to be a good baseball team, even if it doesn’t happen in Spring Training.
“I mean, it’s important but you don’t worry about it. You just kind of let it organically happen,” Betts said when asked how important it is for the Dodgers to build chemistry in Spring Training.
“You can’t force things to happen. You can’t force relationships with people. You’ve just kind of got to let things happen how they do. If they don’t, you just cross that bridge whenever you get there.”
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