April 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting The Opponent: Los Angeles Dodgers

Every series, we at Chicken Friars will ask the editor of  the FanSided team the Padres are playing some questions. We call this segment Scouting The Opponent because we are asking the questions to get to know the opposition. For our this  Scouting The Opponent segment, we interviewed Lasorda’s Lair co-editor Scott Andes.

 Dodgers have a 2013 payroll just over $200 million. That being said, with all the money being tossed around in  Dodger town, is this a World Series or bust year?

Sort of. There have been some very high expectations placed on the Dodgers this season. They all are aware of the immense pressure on them to win this year after all of the high priced trades and free agent signings. With that being said, Don Mattingly is very good at managing a clubhouse, and he’s a player’s guy, so he should be able to handle the different personalities, and keep things drama free. However I hope they will be able to respond well to the pressure. it seemed like they didn’t play very well when the pressure was on in 2012, but then again, the roster was in transition for much of the year. I think if they don’t at least make the playoffs this season, There will be alot of frustrated dissapointed Dodger fans. I think if they don’t at least make a run deep into the playoffs, then the season will probably be a failure. The expectations will be sky high all season long.

 What is the scouting report on prized Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu?
Ryu is a fastball, Changeup, slider guy. Although Stacie had noticed Ryu was having issues throwing his breaking balls consistently. Mostly, Ryu is a power pitcher. he was an all-star in the Korean leagues, and as most power pitchers can, he gets alot of strikeouts. He has pretty good command, but needs time to adjust to a new country, new league, and new ballparks. He’s also facing hitters he has never faced before, which could be an advantage or disadvantage, however you want to look at it.I think Ryu is going to make a very solid mid-rotationg guy for the Dodgers throughout the 2013 season.
 Is Tony Gwynn Jr. a fan favorite in Dodger town?
I wouldn’t say Tony Gwynn Jr. is a fan favorite. I would say he’s reasonably liked. He’s a very nice guy, and a very good outfielder. Unfortunately he could never hit well enough to justify a place on the roster. He was cut form the 40 man roster in spring, and is currently playing in Albuquerque.
 Most Padres fans hate the Dodgers, being that they are just up the freeway from San Diego and the fact that Dodger fans are allegedly obnoxious, what is the  typical Dodger fans’ view of the Padres? Do Dodgers fans consider it a rivalry as much as Padres fans do?
Dodger fans are pretty much indifferent towards the Padres and the SD fans. We don’t have the Padres, we just don’t care about them. I remember being a kid, and watching the Dodgers struggle in the house of horrors that was Jack Murphy Stadium. Every game we would see Tony Gwynn Sr. and his pot belly roll out of bed and get 4 hits off us. Nowadays, we just have more important things to worry about. Namely the Giants. Obviously they’re our main rivals. We have to beat the Giants in order to win the division. However it doesn’t mean we take the Padres lightly. They always seem to play us tough, and are usually very annoying.
 For a team with a $200 payroll, is there a weakness on this ball club? if so what is it?
Yes the Dodgers have weaknesses too. Just because they spent all of this money does’t necessarily mean they are unbeatable or perfect. The Bench is the main problem as I see it. It’s utterly atrocious. Nobody can hit off the bench, and it is bereft of any kind of power. Obviously I am sure you saw the Dodgers this week having all kinds of problems scoring runs. The lineup is still a concern, and the regulars are still looking to regain their timing, and find their groove. Eventually Kemp, and the regulars wil start to hit again, but the Bench will remain useless.
The left side of the infield is still a big problem as well, until Hanley Ramirez returns in late may. Justin Sellers can play defense well, but can’t hit, and none of the other scrubs (Punto/Uribe/Cruz) can hit at all. Not having automatic outs in the lineup is key, so we’ll see how long the Dodgers can go with the way this bench has been constructed.
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