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Tom Verducci
April 05, 2004
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Dodgers
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April 05, 2004

Enemy Lines

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an opposing team's scout sizes up the Dodgers

"This team is in trouble. The offense will be as bad as last year's, maybe worse. Juan Encarnacion is a nice pickup, but he's not the big bat they needed. Adrian Beltre is like someone running on a treadmill: He's not going anywhere....

The rotation is weaker too, with Kevin Brown gone and Jeff Weaver in his place. Edwin Jackson is exciting to watch; he has a chance to be special. They're going to let him get his feet wet as a fifth starter, but by the end of the season he won't be their Number 5. He's got a 96-mph fastball and real presence for a 20-year-old. There's a thought process in his pitching; he doesn't just rely on his stuff....

Hideo Nomo has not looked sharp. He had a good year last year, but he looks like he's lost velocity. He's their Opening Day starter, and he's looking like a Number 3 guy....

Odalis Perez is their best pitcher. He has dominant stuff and has shown a lot of focus. Kaz Ishii and Weaver are big question marks....

You just don't see the strength with the rotation that you saw last year, and that's bad news given their offense."