As the Dodgers departed with some of the club’s top contributors from last year’s 111-win season, Dave Roberts now plans to lean into the group of veteran players on this year’s roster.
Trea Turner was one strong performer that left Los Angeles for the Phillies. Dodgers beat writer Bill Plunkett shared how Roberts addressed the ways in which the team plans to fill the leadership void with Turner out of the picture:
“If you look around the clubhouse, there’s a lot of guys that have been around. I don’t see the culture with a couple guys departing should be affected. …”
“I wouldn’t say a call to action but it’s an opportunity for guys like Freddie and Mookie to step up with their voices and not only lead by example. If there’s something to be said, they’ve earned that right.”
As Roberts references, veteran players such as Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have the experience to carry this team. With the high level of youth the team is expecting to use this season, it will be important for Betts and Freeman to take the opportunity to guide the young players as well.
After all, Betts and Freeman each have six All-Star appearances under their belt; both players also know what it takes to win a championship, as both teammates have won at least one World Series.
On the mound as well, the team still holds an All-Star cast of pitchers including Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and Tony Gonsolin. With top prospects like Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller expected to make an impact this year, the veteran pitchers can certainly provide support in this area as well.
Despite losing key performers, Roberts remains confident in this season’s bullpen. This 2023 group will rely heavily on veteran talent and leadership to foster success.
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