Dave Roberts remain the Dodgers’ gatekeeper

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Dodgers have made the postseason 11 years in a row. Eight of those seasons should be credited to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. During Roberts’ tenure, the Dodgers have been to the World Series three times. 

He’s won a world title. His team has advanced to the league championship series a handful of times. Outside of the shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers have won 91 games or more under Roberts. And yet the 2023 Major League Baseball season may just be his best managerial job since taking over to guide the Boys in Blue. 

Speaking to reporters on the eve of Game 1 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) with the Dodgers playing the Arizona Diamondbacks, Roberts said it’s been the most fun he’s had in a regular season.  

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. File photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“It’s certainly been my most joyful, watching these guys come together. I feel like you impacted — I got a chance to impact a lot of people. So that’s been fun,” Roberts said. “I think the coaches did a fantastic job on the hitting side, on the pitching side, with the young arms. Clayton did a great job with James in the outfield. And so just organizationally it’s been a huge, huge win.”

In five of the eight seasons Roberts has managed the Dodgers, Los Angeles has recorded 100 or more wins during the regular season. In a couple of years,  if Roberts continues to have the success he’s already had, reaching 1,000 wins as a manager is not out of reach. And yet the 2023 regular season just may be the best managerial job that Roberts has performed. 

Regardless of what transpires in the NLDS  against the Diamondbacks, Roberts should be strongly considered as Manager of the Year for what he has achieved.

This is the third straight season in which the Dodgers have reached the century plateau in wins during the regular season (100). Roberts and the Blue Crew were able to achieve this feat without the services of a steady pitching staff. 

To put it succinctly, Roberts lost four starting pitchers from his rotation this season and was still able to lead his team into the playoffs. Roberts is not satisfied, though. 

“The job is definitely not done,” Roberts said. “I’m very proud of the organization with what we’ve dealt with, a lot of things that were unforeseen, and how we’ve come out of it, how we’ve grown a lot of young players at this level and got them to play to a championship-caliber level of baseball. That’s been fun as a coach. It’s just a collective effort and very grateful.”

Roberts got the most out of his players this season, despite losing a plethora of top-notch pitchers. 

Let’s start with Dustin May. May was lost for the season and had to have surgery on his right elbow. Walker Buehler, a steady gem for the Dodgers during the 2021 season, was lost to injury in 2022 and did not make it back for 2023. Tony Gonsolin had to undergo Tommy John surgery. 

Los Angeles Dodgers Dave Roberts getting ready for Game 2 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Photo By Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

And then the Dodgers parted ways with Julio Urias, who had become the ace of the team’s pitching staff after an alleged domestic violence incident. With the depth of his pitching staff being decimated, Roberts was left with Bobby Miller, Michael Grove, Caleb Ferguson, Evan Phillips, and Ryan Pepiot, and Lance Lynn. 

Roberts and the Dodgers were able to come through with the National League West Division crown thanks in no small part to the services of longtime ace Clayton Kershaw. Roberts said that Kershaw has come through as the anchor of the team this season. 

“He’s been — gosh, what has he meant? I don’t think I could do it justice,” Roberts said.  “He’s just the pillar of consistency, of compete, of success and professionalism. So everything that you expect or want out of a superstar player he checks all those boxes. The last five, six years there’s always been some injuries that he’s had to deal with, but never took away from his desire to get back and help us, which he’s done.”

Roberts added that everything that Kershaw has done over the years for the ballclub has not been for naught. 

“I just marvel at sometimes with what he has to work with and the success that he still continues to have. This is, right now, is as good as he’s been for the last couple of months. So I’m excited for him,” Roberts said. 

“But when you look at Emmet Sheehan, Bobby Miller, Michael Grove, Ryan Pepiot, they watch Clayton watch baseball in between innings and his work and catch play, these are things that are going to carry on for years. And those are, when you’re talking legacy, and I’m very grateful for that,” he added.”