There’s Still No Reason for Dodgers to Panic, but It’s Getting Close


To say this season has been frustrating is an understatement. Every time the Dodgers seem to get things going, some other piece of bad news hits the fan. It has been said that during any series at Coors Field, the best you can hope for is to get in, get out and hopefully everyone escape healthy. It didn’t quite happen that way this time.

The Dodgers offense went flat, they lost their All-Star closer Kenley Jansen for up to a month with an irregular heartbeat, and the remaining relievers were unable to hold any ninth inning tie or lead. They dropped three of four to the Rockies, and now Colorado is only one-half game behind the Dodgers, who are a full game behind the Diamondbacks.

Is it time to panic? Or maybe not panic, but make some radical changes? That is definitely not Dave Roberts‘ MO, as he and the team remained pretty evenly keeled through the 11 game losing streak in 2017, opting to just let the team play through the horrid stretch and regain their footing on their own.

But back then, the Dodgers had a big lead in the division, and didn’t need to fight for first in the NL West like they do now. They are not even in first place now, and every game is stressful and important. There isn’t really much time to let players stay in the lineup to work their way out of slumps, and unfortunately, there are quite a few players who are slumping.

Yasmani Grandal has been pretty good at the plate, even though he’s been letting a lot of balls get passed him on defense. Austin Barnes, on the other hand, has been abysmal. Kyle Farmer is batting .292 with six homers and 23 doubles at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Enrique Hernandez, utility player extraordinaire, has been anything but at the plate. In the second half, he’s slashing .151/.196/.245. Matt Kemp similarly has also regressed mightily in the second half, with a slash line of .172/.250/.297. Meanwhile, Alex Verdugo is in OKC and is leading all batters in the Pacific Coast League in batting average, and has a slash line of .346/.395/.500/.895.

Before Sunday’s game, the Dodgers announced that both Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling will be moving to the bullpen, with Maeda most likely moving there for good and Stripling just for the time being, although Stripling won’t be available until Tuesday and Wednesday for Maeda.

Last year’s mantra was “This Team.” It is truly going to take every member of this year’s team to get them back to the playoffs, let alone the World Series. Whether it’s moving to the bullpen, or maybe optioning someone who didn’t think they would be optioned, or only sticking with hot bats and not strictly playing matchups, something has to spark some urgency in the team. I’m not saying it’s a panic situation yet, but the Dodgers cannot let this division slip away by letting players work their way out of slumps at their own pace. The division may be lost by then.


11 thoughts on “There’s Still No Reason for Dodgers to Panic, but It’s Getting Close

  1. I agree. Play the hot bats no matter who the opposition pitcher is. When you keep benching a guy because stats show he wasn’t successful against a certain pitcher in the past, you perpetuate the feeling in his mind that he can’t hit the guy. If someone is going really well, play him against everyone. And by the way, does anyone know, with five of the next six opposition pitchers left handed why Kemp was started in place of Joc yesterday against a righty? Was Joc injured, not feeling well?


    1. With this management group, top to bottom, it will be by the numbers. Their rhythm is algo. It is the only beat they recognize


      1. I think that sometimes we don’t give them credit for injecting a human element into their calculations. Yes, algo is king, but there is also room for other considerations, albeit to a lesser extent. We know they tend to favor “character guys” when the sign or trade for people. If algo is absolutely everything they consider in pre game planning and in game decisions, they may have to rethink their strategy when they miss the playoffs this year. I’m sure they lean very heavily on the algo beat, but there’s always room for a little Beethoven.


  2. Last chance for Kemp. If he can’t get it going this next series with the Giants he needs to sit. I’d rather see JOC in there even against a few lefties. If Verdugo hit from the right side he’d be in left right now!


    1. Roberts and the front office will figure things out. It’s just that the readership of this website tends to understand things faster than they do. They should really start reading TBPC. It would make their life so much easier. 🙂


  3. I figured Kemp and Muncy would eventually fall back to earth but it happened at a bad time with Kenley down. I do think Kemp is too good of a hitter to stay this bad for long though. I say give his legs some rest over these next 3-4 weeks, call up Verdugo, and let he and Joc get some playing time. This is the time of year where our depth can really bail us out.


  4. With the exception of Machado, this is an all or nothing group. It’s what FAZ looks for and what the Dodgers teach. When it’s working, it’s a thing of beauty. When it isn’t, we get this. I thought we had the pitching to keep us in it, but the pen now looks very vulnerable. This could just be a glitch. It could be who we are for the rest of the year – a .500 team. Long way to go.


  5. I agree with Alex, this is definitely the time of the season for the Dodgers to make good use of their much-heralded “depth” in their system and boy do they ever need it right now. Ought to thank Mr. Jansen for shocking management back to reality with his latest health-related setback…


  6. 3 losses of 4 in a row on last at bats. I don’t recall this happening before. This IS apparently who we are.

    How to fix this relief problem? Make a starter the closer? Ok. But three different relievers were losers in the last 4 games. And how do we fix the holes in the bats?

    This collection of squirrels got issues.


    1. Excuse me, four different relievers took the loss in the last four games. Edit please.

      Is Dozier ok? What is going on with this group? Rumor going around that pins are being stuck in Dodger dolls.


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