Green is a Dodger of the week
Shawn Green has played an integral part of the Dodgers' current five-game winning streak. Because Green had a sprained thumb during spring training, he had spent the first two weeks of the regular season trying to get his timing. He is trying to rebound from a disappointing 2000 season and prove to Dodger fans and the Dodger management he deserves his large contract.
When Shawn Green came to Los Angeles from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Dodgers had unrealistic expectations for Green. No player can make his team to go the World Series, but the Dodgers expected Green to lead them to World Series. Though Green had marvelous offensive statistics in Toronto, people tend to downplay the transition from the American League to the National League. Whereas the American League teams have small hitters' stadiums mostly and their pitchers rely on curveballs to get hitters out, the National League teams have mostly spacious stadiums favoring the pitchers and their pitchers rely fastballs. Green found the transition from the American League to the National League extremely difficult. In 1999 Green batted .309 with 42 home runs and 123 RBI, an outstanding season. However, in 2000 he hit .269 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI, a good season for most major leagues but Green and the Dodgers were disappointed by his performance.
This season Green feels more comfortable in Los Angeles than he was last season. He missed most of spring training with a sprained thumb. Most players would have started the season on the disabled list with Green's amount of playing in Florida, but Green has not missed a game. He struggled the first two weeks, but since then he has been the Dodgers' best hitter. So far entering tonight's game, Green has hit .301 with six home runs and nineteen RBI, the team's lead.
Since Shawn Green has been a Dodger, he has loved hitting at Dodger Stadium. This season he has hit .368 at home. The week of April 24-30 Shawn Green hit .318 (7/22). The Dodgers are relying on Shawn Green to produce offensively to help them reach the playoffs this year.