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Dodgers currently are exactly what they appear to be -- mediocre

April 28, 2010 |  7:01 am
Here it is, cold and cruel:

The Dodgers just aren’t very good.

That’s not intended as a season-long indictment. Not a prediction of things to come. Not even a moment of creeping cynicism.

Just simple reality based upon the season’s first 20 games. The Dodgers are currently 8-12. It’s not a deceptive record. It is a harbinger that ought to get their attention.

Right now, the Dodgers don’t do anything particularly well. Starting pitching, relief, offense, defense, the bench. Nothing that is remotely spectacular.

They certainly were hitting remarkably well, but no one assumed for a moment they would continue to hit .311 as a team as they were on Friday. Now their team average is at .278, and still falling.

Their rotation is far from impressive. Hiroki Kuroda has been their best starter. He’s 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA, but it’s not like he’s been dominating. Opening-day starter Vicente Padilla is on the disabled list. Charlie Haeger is starting to look like a failed experiment. Clayton Kershaw is still growing. Chad Billingsley is … what exactly?

Jonathan Broxton is still golden, I think, but it’s not like the rest of the bullpen can get him a lead to save for anyone to be sure.

The defense continues to disappoint. And it’s not just the major-league worst .973 fielding percentage and 21 errors in 20 games. It’s the plays they don’t make, the balls they don’t get to, the double plays they don’t turn.

They look a lot more like a .500 team right now than the one that went to the National League Championship Series the last two years.

It is, of course, still April. Still a ridiculous amount of time to turn things around. Maybe they will. Maybe the pitching staff will find itself, the defense will settle down, the offense will be more consistent, the bench won’t look completely overmatched and misplaced.

But 20 games in doesn’t offer that promise. Just a cold chill, that if they don’t get it turned around, it could be one very disappointing season.

-- Steve Dilbeck