The Dodgers finally have their second baseman. With the addition of Logan Forsythe, the infield is finally complete. Manager Dave Roberts has says that he would like to use Forsythe as his primary leadoff batter. So what will the rest of the lineup behind him look like?
Part of the batting order of course depends on who gets the starting jobs in the outfield, other than Joc Pederson. But we can make a preliminary guess as to how the lineup will look on opening day 2017.
- Logan Forsythe
- Andre Ethier/Yasiel Puig
- Justin Turner
- Corey Seager
- Adrian Gonzalez
- Yazmani Grandal
- Joc Pederson
- Andrew Toles
For this lineup, I have gone on the thought that Andre Ethier will be starting in right field and Andrew Toles will be starting in left, at least against right-handed pitching. Ethier batting second may seem a little off here, but I think this is where he best slots into the lineup. Over his last two healthy seasons,(2014-15) he struck out an average of every five at bats. I also think that you could slot Yasiel Puig in here, if he was starting in place of Ethier. In 2016, Puig struck out an average of 4.5 times at the plate, and grounded into a double play an average of once every 32 at-bats. Puig also provides speed on the bases behind Forsythe, should they both get on. All of this is dependent on either of these players being healthy, and in the case of Puig, still being with the team.
Justin Turner just fits so naturally into the three hole, so that’s where he shall be. I know that other places have projected Corey Seager in the number two slot, but I like him batting cleanup. I realize that there are so many other ways to quantify a good hitter besides his batting average, but I like having my most reliable hitter here for a few reasons. I think that he will work on bringing down his strikeout totals this year. If you have a baserunner or two on for him, this gives you the best shot of driving them home. Even though he is only starting his sophomore season, he has enough maturity to handle this role, and the power to produce. He did have the second most amount of strikeouts last year, but I think that he will work on bringing that down this season. And if the three batters before him all are out in their at-bats, his consistency makes him a great candidate to lead off the next inning.
Adrian Gonzalez has been so consistent throughout his career, but I am a bit worried that we are starting to see the decline of our first baseman. Still, he is steady enough to bat in the number five spot. Yasmani Grandal takes up the number six slot, and Pederson with his high amount of strikeouts in the seven hole. One thing that I have wished for on this team is more speed on the basepaths. I really am hoping that Toles makes the team as a full-time starter as opposed to a bench piece, so we can see that speed along with Forsythe on the basepaths. I also like to take a page out of Joe Maddon‘s play book, and with all other pitcher besides Clayton Kershaw, have the pitcher bat eighth. If he’s the last out of the inning, essentially you have two lead off batters to start the next inning.
Overall, this is an incredibly deep team. It doesn’t really let up, with the threat of power and speed so far down into the batting order. With the exception of Seager and Gonzalez, it switches from right-handed to left handed and right back again. No wonder this team is projected to give the Cubs a run for their money. Is it April yet?
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