The 2012 and 2013 Dodgers if the megadeal goes through

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Assuming the Josh Beckett-Adrian Gonzalez-Carl Crawford trade gets done, here’s what the Dodgers are going to look like as they go down the stretch in 2012 and what the Opening Day 2013 lineup could look like:

2012 Rotation:
Clayton Kershaw
Chad Billingsley
Chris Capuano
Josh Beckett
Aaron Harang

Lineup:
LF Shane Victorino
2B Mark Ellis
CF Matt Kemp
1B Adrian Gonzalez
SS Hanley Ramirez
RF Andre Ethier
3B Luis Cruz/Nick Punto/Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis

2013 Lineup:
SS Dee Gordon
LF Carl Crawford
CF Matt Kemp
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Hanley Ramirez
RF Andre Ethier
2B Mark Ellis
C A.J. Ellis

The 2013 rotation shouldn’t change at all, as both Capuano and Harang got two-year deals last winter. The top candidate to displace a veteran would have been Rubby De La Rosa, but it sounds like he’s Boston bound if a deal gets done.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.