Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Doesn’t ‘Really Care What The Padres Do’

Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch on Wednesday for the start of Spring Training, and the club will hold their first full-squad workout next week to mark the beginning of defending the World Series title.

Several projections, including PECOTA, have the Dodgers winning the National League West for a ninth consecutive year. Some models additionally forecast L.A. finishing with the best record in baseball and they again are a World Series favorite.

In order to extend their reign over the NL West, the Dodgers will need to contend with a rising San Diego Padres team that is coming off one of their best seasons in franchise history. The Padres built on that by trading for Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, among other efforts to improve their roster.

Despite the headline-grabbing activity, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts candidly said he is not concerned in the slightest by what the Padres do, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group

“You know what? I think it’s been very well documented what they did this winter and how they’ve gotten better as an organization over the last two, three years,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said as pitchers and catchers prepared for Thursday’s first workout.

“I’ll be the first to tell our guys, I don’t really care what the Padres do or don’t do – or any team in our division. The focus has got to be and has always been on how we prepare and how we play. Then everything will take care of itself. I don’t mean to sound brash or, how do I say it … I don’t mean to sound arrogant. But the fact is I really don’t (care what moves the Padres make).”

Roberts’ message is hardly a surprise, as he has consistently stressed an internal focus since being hired as manager. It’s a sentiment that’s served as one of the building blocks for the Dodgers’ culture and was key in their erasing a 3-1 series deficit in the NL Championship Series.

Roberts previously praised the Padres, both during the regular season and their NL Division Series matchup.

Friedman credits Padres

The Dodgers signing Trevor Bauer to a three-year contract was viewed by many as a response of sort to the Padres fortifying their starting rotation. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman didn’t fully dismiss the notion during Bauer’s introductory press conference with the Dodgers.

“Obviously we’ve noticed and we think they’re a really talented team,” Friedman said. “That being said, we’re pretty intrinsically motivated to be as good as we can be. But yeah, we’ve definitely noticed. Last year was a good little battle between us, and we anticipate that’s going to be the case going forward.

“We feel like they’re a really good team and we’re looking forward to the series coming up this year. We definitely noticed what they’ve done and we’re going to do everything we can to maintain our position.”

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