The Los Angeles Dodgers returned the majority of their core roster that reached the World Series and therefore entered the 2018 season as overwhelming favorites to capture a sixth consecutive National League West title.
But with one-quarter of the regular season in the books, the Dodgers find themselves closer to the bottom than the top of the division. Los Angeles enters play on Wednesday just a half-game up on the last-place San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers dug themselves into an early hole after concluding the month of April with an underwhelming 12-16 record. Still, that didn’t stop manager Dave Roberts from declaring that his club will once again win the NL West when it’s all said and done.
Los Angeles had since sunk to a season-worst nine games under .500, posting a weak 4-9 record through the first two weeks of May. A recent six-game losing streak represented their worst of the season.
Despite this, Roberts isn’t backing down from his previous prediction that the Dodgers will come out on top in the NL West, via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“I do. … I understand that it’s a long season. I look at the standings, and we’re eight games back. Eight games back is not unattainable, by any stretch of the imagination, as we sit here in May. I believe in everyone here: coaches, trainers, players, front office. I believe in this organization, and in the guys we have right now. I know we’re not playing up to our abilities. We still control our own fate. If we’re not playing good baseball, it doesn’t matter who we play or where we play, but I expect us to turn this thing around and play the baseball we’re capable of.”
As Roberts notes, there’s still plenty of time for the Dodgers to turn things around. While the club’s struggles can be attributed to an abundance of injuries, reinforcements are on the way.
A pair of veterans in Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner were activated off the disabled list prior to Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins. Not only that, but it’s conceivable that Clayton Kershaw will return from the disabled list in weeks, rather than months.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner has already resumed throwing and the next step could be returning to the mound.