2012 Season Review Series: Los Angeles Dodgers

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The Los Angeles Dodgers had one of the most tumultuous seasons in recent memory. Recapping all the highs and lows is the Co-Editor of Lasorda’s Lair, Scott Andes.

Author: Scott Andes

The 2012 Dodger Season was the ultimate rollercoaster ride for Dodger fans. From the dizzying highs, and excitement of April, and May to the injury filled middle months of the season. The exhilarating trades of August, all the way to the final depressing month of September. The 2012 Dodger season was unforgettable, but unfortunately the Dodgers came up just short in the end. When all was said and done, injuries, and poor hitting doomed the Dodger’s season. How can I possibly fit in everything that happened during the 2012 Dodger season in just one article? The 50th anniversary season of Dodger Stadium would be a memorable one for Dodger fans. Thank god we were once again blessed with the beautiful voice of Vin Scully, who returned to the Dodger broadcast booth for an unprecedented 63rd season. We also celebrated the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the Baseball color barrier.

Kemp looked like the best player in baseball before injuries cost him 56 games. Image: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

What went wrong for the Dodgers of course was all of the injuries. The Dodgers had an unbelievable amount of injuries. The only team that had more DL stints than the Dodgers was the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers used 50 players this season. The Dodgers should have had Hawkeye Pierce in the dugout with the rest of the Mash 4077th unit. The offense let the team down as well. The team just couldn’t hit. The Dodgers finished at the bottom of almost every offensive category. The Dodgers finished 29th in home runs, 16th in batting, and 26th in runs scored. That’s just not acceptable. The Dodgers also finished 18th in hitting with runners in scoring position. Kemp was the only Dodger to hit .300, and there was not a 100 RBI man in sight.

The pitching staff was a bright spot and carried the team most of the season, despite all of the injuries. The Dodgers finished with the third best staff ERA in the majors. (3.34 ERA).

Another bright spot for the Dodgers in 2012 was catcher A.J. Ellis. I couldn’t finish this season recap without mentioning him. The 31 year old played 133 games as the Dodger’s primary catcher, and won over Dodger fans with his hard work ethic, and clutch performances. This prompted one Dodger fan to create an A.J. Ellis facts tumbler page to document his rising folk lore legend. AJ finished the season batting .270, with a .373 OBP, and led the team with 64 walks. Most impressive was his power. AJ slugged 13 home runs, and driving in 52. He finished third on the team in both home runs and RBI.

For many Dodgers it was a season filled with injuries and frustrations. Team captain Matt Kemp only played in 106 games with various injuries suffered, including a left shoulder frayed labrum suffered from a death-defying crash into the center field wall at Coors Field in August. (The Bison still finished the season with a .303 average and 23 home runs). Some Dodgers found a new home during their first seasons in Blue like Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Jerry Hairston, and Mark Ellis. For other Dodgers it was a season of redemption. For instance, nasty Venezuelan set-up man Ronald Belisario (8-1 2.54 ERA), would came back from missing the entire 2011 because of visa issues caused by a drug problem to have a very strong 2012. Clayton Kershaw had another Cy Young type of season, although with less run support and fewer wins. Kershaw finished with a 14-9 record 229 whiffs, while leading the league in ERA (2.53). Other solid seasons included all-star right fielder Andre Ethier (20 HR 89 RBI), and Kenley Jansen (25 saves 2.35 ERA). Some Dodgers had a breakout season, like A.J. Ellis, who continued to be the emotional and spiritual compass of the team. Second year manager Don Mattingly would have his hands full in 2012. Indeed this was a most memorable year for the Boys in Blue.