Dave Roberts has officially been named the next manager of the Dodgers, and I’m excited to see what he can do. While I said that I had wanted Bud Black, I also said that there was really no wrong answer here, and while Roberts will need to prove he can overcome his lack of experience — and quickly, given the expectations around this team — he’s a fascinating choice. (Gabe Kapler, for his part, was incredibly gracious in defeat.)
Yasiel Puig seems excited:
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) November 23, 2015
Justin Turner, too:
But while there’s a lot of good feelings around the new hire, it’s often seemed like the extended search and interview process has been but a prelude to what should be a very busy offseason. That is, now that that’s out of the way, there’s still a lot to get moving on.
- Who fills out the coaching staff? Rick Honeycutt will be back, but Davey Lopes and Ron Roenicke are gone, Tim Wallach is all but certain to be, and Mark McGwire‘s status is uncertain at best. Is Kapler the bench coach? Kirk Gibson? Does feel like it has to be someone with more experience.
- Will Zack Greinke return? Feels like a 50/50 proposition to me. No, the Dodgers can’t control where he goes (i.e., San Francisco) if he doesn’t return. Either they sign him, or they don’t.
- Who joins the rotation? Greinke? David Price? John Lackey? Maybe. Maybe someone you can’t even consider right now.
- Will Yasiel Puig be traded? Probably. Doubtful. Definitely. Of course not. Certainly.
- Who joins the outfield? Seems weird to say that a team that’s had a “too many outfielders” problem for three years would need to add an outfielder, but think about the scenario. If Puig is gone, there’s no way they start three lefties in Joc Pederson, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford. Even if Puig is around, can you trust Pederson? Does Crawford still have a place? Is Enrique Hernandez more than a utility player?
- Who plays second base? Sure, Howie Kendrick may yet return. If not him.. Jose Peraza? Ben Zobrist? Daniel Murphy?
- Who joins the bullpen? The bullpen is better than you think it is, but we all know the 2016 group won’t be 100% comprised of members of the 2015 Dodgers. Aroldis Chapman? Darren O’Day? Tony Sipp?
- How exactly is Alex Guerrero jettisoned into space? Remember that we already identfied how many games he will play for the 2016 Dodgers. (Hint: few.) But how, exactly, does that happen? Trade? Release?
- Who is the backup shortstop? Everyone’s excited to see a full season of Corey Seager. What if he struggles, or is injured? Is Hernandez enough?
…and so on, on top of the question of what type of manager Roberts will be. Lots of questions. Not enough answers. With a manager in place and the winter meetings just two weeks away, we should hopefully learn a lot, soon.