Just about every Los Angeles Dodgers fan was expecting the 2023 season to be a step back. There was no chance that the Dodgers were going to replicate the 111-win season from 2022 with the talent that left the team since November.
That being said, the Dodgers were still expected to comfortably finish with 90-ish wins before the season, but they're not on pact for that thus far. The Dodgers have been a .500 ballclub. This is the most sobering start to a season since 2018.
As Dodgers fans have painfully learned over the last decade, regular-season wins are thrown out the window, and all a team needs to do is get hot in October to make noise. The slow start won't keep the Dodgers from doing this, but the team definitely needs to make some moves in order to be this year's hot October team.
3 moves Dodgers must make to have chance of winning 2023 World Series
3. Actually promote (and give playing time to) the top performers in the minors
This was a problem last season for the Dodgers. James Outman was the hottest hitter in the entire organization towards the end of the season and the Dodgers left him off the playoff roster for Joey Gallo. Remember him?
The hope this year is that the Dodgers have learned from that mistake and will actually give a chance to the best/top performing players in the organization. There is less of an excuse this year since there's less established talent (like Justin Turner or Cody Bellinger) blocking young players from legitimately taking a roster spot or a starting job.
If Michael Busch or Andy Pages are tearing the cover off of the ball in the second half of the season, then they deserve playing time over any struggling veterans like David Peralta or Trayce Thompson. If someone is pitching very well, it's imperative to give them the shot over a struggling arm like Noah Syndergaard. They have the bandwidth to make it happen and wouldn't be displacing any integral talent in the process.
This is not unheard of for the Dodgers, either. The team promoted Corey Seager in August of 2015 and made him the starting shortstop for the playoffs over Jimmy Rollins. They can and should do the same if applicable in 2023.