(CBS) – The Dodgers begin their post All-Star break with a huge mountain to climb to contend in the NL West, 11.5 games behind first place San Francisco.
The most optimistic fans still believe the Dodgers can make a run, but this six-game road trip through Arizona and San Francisco will determine the season.
That’s because General Manager Ned Colletti doesn’t have much more time to determine if the Dodgers will be sellers at the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.
If the team is going to make a run, the rest of the season relies heavily on the play of five players, Chad Billingsley, Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, Juan Uribe and Rafael Furcal.
The team knows what to expect from the three All-Stars, but after that, it’s all anybody’s guess.
Billingsley and De La Rosa will have to pitch to their top-of-the-rotation potential, combining them with Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw to get a dominate one through four.
Javy Guerra has been a pleasant surprise, but it’s no secret the team needs him to step up and take over the role as the closer.
On offense, getting limited power production from Juan Uribe will keep the team near the cellar, and Furcal has to become the guy that carried the Dodgers in the past… But time is ticking away.
The Boston Red Sox have made a call about Kuroda, the Milwaukee Brewers need infield help and the Dodgers have Furcal, Jeremy Carroll, Uribe and Casey Blake that could be dealt.
The biggest move they can make, dealing Ethier.
Colletti only has 15 games before the deadline, so the answers will come very soon.