Dodgers Roster: Applauding Several of the Year’s Most Surprising Contributors

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Well, I suppose it had to happen at some point — the Los Angeles Dodgers actually lost a game. It seems like it has been forever since that has happened. In fact, it had been — 11 games, an All-Star break and one off-day ago. One would believe they’ll start on a new winning streak soon enough.

To anyone but die-hard Dodger fans this powerhouse team must be due to the contributions of the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Justin Turner. And of course, those guys are awesome and carrying their fair share of the load. But the team wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for the contributions of players that many of us didn’t think would have a huge impact on the season. First up in a little mini-series of posts by me are Chris Taylor, Brandon Morrow and Alex Wood.

Taylor, The Taylord, didn’t even make the squad out of spring training, despite hitting out of his mind, because he didn’t play the outfield. Flash forward to today, and Taylor mainly plays in the outfield. Last night, he recorded his fourth outfield assist of the season, which leads the team. On a team that has the rocket arm of Yasiel Puig, who could’ve foreseen the guy who primarily played infield having the team lead in outfield assists? CT3 has a slash line of .310/.383/.524/.907 with 21 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs. He has the ability to hit pretty much anywhere in the batting order, and has proven it. On a team that lost their primary left fielder at the beginning of the season to an ACL injury, Taylor has been an incredible asset to the team. (We still miss you very much, Andrew Toles).

Morrow has been rumored to be available in any upcoming trades the Dodgers front office may make.  At this point, though, that may not make much sense. Morrow has been a very solid edition to the bullpen. In 17-2/3 innings pitched so far this season, he has only allowed 12 hits, and two walks while giving up four earned runs. He touches 99 with his fastball, and when he is on, is unhittable. I’m not the deal maker, but I think they should keep him around if at all possible.

And then we come to Wood, who is having a season for the ages. The guy has yet to lose a game, and has better numbers than Kershaw, despite many fewer innings. He also takes issue with the talk that the Dodgers need No. 2 pitcher, saying that he has shown all the season that he is a true No. 2, and wants to prove that in the playoffs. That’s exactly what I want to see from a pitcher in the postseason, the will to show everyone who doubted him that he can and will do it. Being left out of the starting rotation at the beginning of the year has left a huge chip on his shoulder, and quite possibly, it is the best thing that could’ve happened to him and the team.

One of the best things about baseball is that you don’t really know where the season is going to take you, and who is going to step up to the plate, pun intended. We knew this was a really good team, with a really good chance to go all the way. To see it progressing in this manner, being helped along by players we could not have foreseen doing this well. just makes it all the more sweeter.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)

 

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