A boring offseason leads to much speculation on the part of Dodger fans, as there is not much concrete news to concentrate on. One topic I’ve seen increasingly is who is going to be manning second base when the season starts.
Prior to the 2017 season, the Dodgers were looking for a full-time second baseman. Many Dodger fans wanted them to trade for Brian Dozier of the Twins, but instead the front office traded pitching prospect Jose De Leon to Tampa Bay for Logan Forsythe.
The veteran infielder did not get off to a very good start with his time in Los Angeles. Just a few weeks into the season he was placed on the 10-day DL due to a fractured big toe. He ended up missing 30 games total, not returning to the lineup until late May. When he did return, his swing was out of whack and Dodger fans moaned and groaned that this was not the kind of play they wanted to see from him.
And it was fair to grumble some. For the 2017 season, Forsythe slashed .224/.351/.327/.678 with six home runs and 19 doubles. The past two seasons in Tampa had seen him hit .281 with 17 homers in 2015, and .264 with 20 homers in 2016. He wasn’t very good against right-handed pitching at all, batting just .190. This lead to him platooning with Chase Utley, who himself did not have a great year at the plate.
Looking back on the 2017 season, and comparing the offensive output of Chris Taylor to Logan Forsythe, and it’s easy to see why some are clamoring for Taylor to take over the second base position. CT3 took LA by storm last year, slashing .288/.354/.496/.850 with 21 homers and 34 doubles while tackling new positions in the outfield. If he could do that, the natural infielder should be prosperous at second.
But that’s not what’s going to happen. Forsythe was brought to Los Angeles to be the full time second baseman, and so he shall stay. There could be times for Taylor to play in that position, if Forsythe is slid to third to give Justin Turner a day off, or giving Forsythe himself a day off. If Taylor continues his pace of play from last season, there will be a spot for him somewhere, especially now that he has made himself so versatile.
It bears repeating what a great postseason Forsythe had. He found his grove at exactly the right time of the season, playing in 14 of 15 games, batting .297 with nine walks. He was patient and got key hits. I believe that it took him a long time to find his rhythm and comfort zone after his injury, but in the end he showed why the Dodgers chose to trade for him. They have faith that 2018 will see the same steady veteran force at second. He might not hit close to .300 for the entire year, but I fully expect at return to a solid offensive show along with his steady defense in the 2018 season.
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