4 former Dodgers who painfully enter 2023 on fire after impressive springs
By Jason Reed
A lot of different players have come and gone on the Los Angeles Dodgers in recent years and the result is a wide-ranging footprint throughout MLB. This year is particularly different, though, as several big names left the team and kickstarted what many fans feel is a new era in LA.
But it hasn't gotten off to a particularly great start as the Dodgers moseyed their way through Spring Training with more concerning performances than breakout ones. Then again, it's Spring Training, and fans shouldn't lose sleep over games that are glorified warm-ups.
What should fans lose sleep over, though? The fact that there are several former Dodgers who enjoyed a red-hot spring and will likely carry that into the 2023 season. It'll be even more painful if these players continue producing at a high level while the Dodgers fall short of expectations.
4 former Dodgers who are riding red-hot springs into 2023
4. Craig Kimbrel
Shortly before the 2022 season began the Dodgers made the decision to trade outfielder AJ Pollock to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel. It was a surprising move that was dissected at the time as one that could backfire for Andrew Friedman and Co.
Pollock wasn't great for the White Sox in 2022 but he still would've added much-needed depth to the Dodgers. Trayce Thompson ended up saving the team in that regard, but now the Dodgers are stuck believing in a journeyman outfielder who got hot for six weeks and has cooled off tremendously since.
Kimbrel's tenure with the Dodgers was bad from the start. He allowed a run to score in his first-ever appearance for the club and continued to remind fans throughout the year how under-appreciated Kenley Jansen was.
When the dust finally settled, Kimbrel finished with a 3.75 ERA and pitched himself off the playoff roster. The trade could not have gone any worse for the Dodgers, who happily let him walk in the offseason.
Kimbrel still managed to get $10 million from the Philadelphia Phillies on a one-year deal and, as absurd as it looked when it was announced, it's actually going quite well for the defending NL champs. Kimbrel has appeared in eight games for the Phillies, allowing just one run while striking out 13.
The Dodgers are not going to miss Kimbrel, but it's worth questioning where this was last season when the team actually needed him.