David Freese: Anchoring the Dodgers and Having Fun

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The Dodgers come in to Wednesday’s matinee with the Arizona Diamondbacks on an seven game winning streak, having gathered another series win, and with a chance for another series sweep.

That’s exactly what they should be doing, with a team this talented. After last season’s abysmal start, this season has been an absolute joy to watch.

The spotlight has been mostly on Cody Bellinger, and rightly so. More than a third of the way through the season, the young phenom is still leading all of MLB in batting average, RBI, slugging, and OPS. He’s second in runs, and tied for second in home runs. While he may not maintain a .400 batting average throughout the season, he is having quite the impressive season.

A bunch of the focus has also been on rookie Alex Verdugo‘s campaign, and of course on Hyun-Jin Ryu and his incredible pitching. But baseball is a team sport, and you need more than one hot batter or one shutdown pitcher who only takes the mound once every five days.

Under the media and some fans’ radar, there have been an older contributor that has quietly and constantly been contributing to making a good team, great.

David Freese has been what everyone thought Chase Utley would be – a fill-in, bat with pop off the bench and a mentor to all the good, young players the Dodgers currently have. Utley definitely has the mentor side down, but unfortunately by time he got to the Dodgers his body wasn’t what it once was.

A member of three teams before he was traded to the Dodgers last season and in his eleventh season in the majors, Freese has mentioned that he knows he is at the latter stages of his career. He is definitely making the best of it.

Opting to re-sign with the Dodgers after the 2018 season for $5M raised some eyebrows, thinking he would go out and test the market. But Freese said he felt really comfortable in Los Angeles, and in the role that he would be in. He no longer felt the need to be the everyday starter and relishes being able to come off the bench and provide the lineup with some punch.

In a recent interview with Sportnet LA, when asked if this is the most fun he’s had playing with a team, Freese answered “Yeah, but I mean, not to discredit any other spot I’ve been, man, but I’m having a blast here, and it’s not really about the 40, 41 wins, I just love this group and I feel real comfortable here.”

And he has shown just that. Freese currently in the midst of a 10 game hitting streak. His slash line is .301/.425/.591, and his OPS is a whopping 1.016. And in his last seven games, coinciding with some of that 10 game hit streak, he’s slashing .476/.522/.952. with two home runs, and over those 10 games, has a 1.511 OPS.

In Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, first baseman Matt Beaty was replaced by Freese because of an apparent injury. David promptly broke the 0-0 tie with a homer, and then made an incredible play at first to stab a screaming liner to end the inning and the Phillies’ scoring chance.

And not for nothing, he’s been giving great postgame interviews with Alanna Rizzo.

The accolades and impressive stats could go on and on for the 36 year old veteran. But maybe the most important thing is that he has the World Series hero pedigree, Veteran Clubhouse Presence, and calm demeanor to anchor a team on a World Series run. All we can ask for is for Freese to give us some World Series heroics of our own.

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38 thoughts on “David Freese: Anchoring the Dodgers and Having Fun

  1. Love David Freese! What a true professional and he still has the enthusiasm of a rookie. He still is a stud with the bat and he’s clutch. Can’t ask for more than that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny how time can change your perspective on things. When they traded for Freese last season, I personally thought he would be ok, but no where near what he turned out to be. He was great the last month of the year and super through the playoffs. I felt one of the reasons the Dodgers were taken out the way they were by the Sox was because their veterans were not in that lineup every day. And I mean Kemp and Freese. Guys used to pressure ball games and in Freese’s case, not a shrinking violet on the big stage. After getting out of the box a little slow, he has heated up and been the best they have off of the bench. With Beatty nursing a sore hip, he is even more important. Chase Utley from the right side with a little more pop in the gun. Sad thing is, these kind of pickups will no longer happen since the July 31 deadline is it. No pickups on the 31st of August anymore and no expanding the roster to 40 for the stretch. Cubs emerging as favorites to land Kimbrel and the Yanks seem to be top dog in the Kuechel sweepstakes. Indians Carrasco out indefinitely with a blood condition. Did my all star ballot again, and as much as I would love to keep voting for Turner, I just cannot justify putting him ahead of Arenado, who is tearing it up.

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  3. Will Smith going out with a bang. 2 run HR is the only offense for the Dodgers today. Tough to send down a catcher hitting .300 with power AND elite defense but it’s gling to happen tomorrow. I might have to give Martin a little rest and stick him on the 10 day IL.

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  4. I’m with you on that call Alex. Smith hitting .300 with an OPS over .800. Difficult to justify sending those numbers to the minors. But that’s what will happen. Maybe now would be a good time to trade him for a reliable reliever.?

    I don’t want ANY Dodgers on the All Star team. Ef that game. Go home and get some rest

    Freese is a good fit here. A seasoned pro who knows what it takes to win.

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    1. Since Roberts is managing the NL in the AS Game rest assured he’ll pack it with as many of our guys as he can get away with, so you can forget about the “go home and get some rest”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not the managers call so much anymore. He did not do that last year. They have switched the voting rules again. The reserves are picked by their peers. Offense never got going today. And Roberts pulled Maeda way too soon.

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    1. Brandon Hyde…the manager of the Orioles. 29 was Montoyo of the Jays. Top 10 10. Boone, 9. Hinch, 8.Snitker, 7. Cash, 6. Roberts, 5.Bochy, 4. Maddon, 3. Cora, 2. Melvin, 1. Francona. Ausmus was rated # 15.

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  5. I believe that they consult with the league office on replacements for injured guys, but managers no longer pick their subs. Also, this year after the vote, there is another vote on the top 3 finishers at each position. Interesting poll on yahoo. Rating the managers from worst to first. Roberts was rated #6. Bochy was #5 and Francona was numero Uno.

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  6. I agree that Andy probably wouldn’t have gone that high, but even if he was willing there was the slight problem of Mr. Jansen saying “Hell no, he isn’t closing!” (my words)

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  7. Are y’all kidding? I would have gladly given him $43 million if that would fix the bullpen. It’s really not that much money if Kimbrel pitches like he’s capable. Can’t believe Atlanta screwed around and didn’t grab him. He clearly wanted to go back to the Braves and he would have helped that team immensely. Oh well I guess now we can look forward to AF trading Gavin Lux to SF for Tony Watson (only kidding, I would go crazy if they traded Lux).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just spoke with Andrew and he told me they were all set to go with Kimbrel and then he remembered he had to keep that money to extend Ryu tomorrow. 🙂

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    2. Pretty free with someone else’s money, especially since Kimbrel would put them over the luxury tax and come on Alex, you know damn well Ol Andy is not going there.

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  8. We???? Again Alex, pretty free with ownership’s cash. Boras will wait until the season is over. His guy, Ryu, will get massive money if he pitches this way all year, and there is no way he accepts an extension as long as ol Hyun Jin stays healthy and productive….they have LA by the cojones.

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    1. Now that makes sense Bear. If Ryu remains healthy he will get the money later that Alex wants to pay him now, Somebody other than the Dodgers will likely offer over 3 years, hoping they can actually get 3 years out of him. That scenario seems to happen every year. I don’t trust Ryu to pitch like this for 1 full year, let alone 3. He’s been with us 6 years, and though he’s been good, he hasn’t done this. He’s the reason we have the lead we do. We can win the West without him starting 30 games, but can we win a Championship without him?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At this point I would say absolutely not. He is the best on the team right now. And he flummoxes offenses about as good as I have ever seen. Keeping it up a full season? We will see.

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  9. Sad news. Former Dodger Raul Mondesi convicted of corruption and sentenced to 8 years in prison. Happened while he was the mayor of his hometown. Just sad to see these guys ruin their lives like that. Lenny Dykstra and Denny McLain also had legal problems.

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    1. I don’t know Mondesi personally of course but he never struck me as the sharpest tool in the shed. In fact, I think I remember a “Raul Mondesi Sucks” forum and the general consensus there was he is an idiot. Have to wonder why in the world any place would elect him mayor. Maybe he bought his way in. I hear that’s possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He was the mayor of San Crystobal in the Dominican. He was accused of defrauding the city of about 6 million dollars while the mayor. He got 8 years and a fine of 1.2 million dollars. He is 48 so he will be 56 when he gets out.

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  10. Sports hero in a small country runs for mayor and wins, not surprising. Like you said he was not considered the brightest bulb in the chandelier. What is surprising is that he was able to syphon that much out and was not caught until after he left office.

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  11. I was e-talking with an old blog buddy this morning about left handed relievers. Ours are broken or just not doing so great and the name Sean Doolittle came up. He’s mentioned at BR as a possible target for us. It got me thinking….. Doolittle is known name and would cost a lot, both in salary, $6.5mm, and in prospects. Sooo…… maybe Farhan will work with us. Will Smith for Will Smith. I like it.

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    1. Sorry Scoop. No way AF trades umpteen years of control (our Smith) for half a season (their Smith). Especially after what Will showed over the past couple of weeks when he was here. Yes, we have Ruiz coming and Cartaya a few years after that, but you can never tell how a guy will do when he gets to the Big Show. If I was going to swallow hard and trade Smith this July, it would have to be for someone with long term control (like a Brad Hand, for example).

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      1. Team control? Never considered that as I was looking more at his 3+ years in the minors and a .244: career MiLB average – which would be fine if his OPS was over .900. It isn’t. It’s under .800. He’s 24 and is not really in the Dodgers plans. The real trouble with that trade is Farhan knows all that and wouldn’t do it. His Will Smith is too good.

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      2. OK, we obviously disagree on this one. And I repeat what I’ve said before, in the Ruiz vs Smith battle I favor Ruiz, but I still think it’s too early to trade Smith, especially for half a year of an admittedly very good but not great reliever.

        Dennis/Andy, if you’re out there, how about setting up a poll: Smith for Smith, who says no (Farhan or Andrew)?

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      3. I’ll do it.

        Our Will Smith:

        24 years old, MiLB slash line 3+ years – .244/.351/..439. 5 minutes in Bigs looks damn good.

        giants Will Smith:

        29 years old, 2018 54 games FIP 2.07, WHIP 0.981. SO/9 12.1. 2019 FIP 2.01, WHIP 0.706, SO/9 12.7.

        We need bullpen help to close the deal this year. We don’t need Smith…. hopefully. Ruiz is our catcher of the future. I do that deal.

        But I don’t think Friedman or Zaidi do it. And I know Jefe don’t do it neither.

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      4. First of all it’s not a real poll if I can’t click on something.
        Secondly, you don’t think either Farhan or Andrew would do the deal? Of course Farhan’s best prospect is young catcher Joey Bart, but you can never have too many good catchers and our Smith can play infield also. If I’m Farhan I do it in a San Francisco minute.

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      5. Forget it. After further investigation I read the giants top prospect Joey Bart is ranked higher than any of our catchers. He’s a few years behind Smith, but he’s #1, Smith is #9 so they have no reason to trade for him really. The giants can wait. I still want their Smith but our Smith won’t get it done.

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      6. Farhan did a radio interview yesterday in which he stated that he has absolutely no problem trading with the hated Dodgers even though it might make the SF fans angry. His logic was basically that they aren’t competitive now so if he trades us a current asset while they can’t compete with us but gets back future assets, he will weaken us for the future when they will be stronger. This is why they hired the guy. His logic makes absolute sense. Now you just have to figure out what it will take to get their Smith since they obviously don’t need our Smith.

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      7. Yeah, I heard that. If SF relievers become available, there will be bidding. If there’s bidding, Farhan won’t do us any favors and my money is on Friedman getting outbid.

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      8. Friedman may be outbid but there is no farm system that Farhan knows better than ours, which may make him most anxious to deal with us. Time will tell.

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  12. 75 years ago today, thousands of young American’s, Brits and Canadians were on their way to the beaches of France. Their job was to rid Hitler’s Fortress Europa from Nazi rule. The price paid that day and the days after until the war was over was very high on both sides. We remember those who paid the ultimate price so that we can enjoy the game we love. Lots of those kids grew up idolizing the players of their time, and there were some good ones. I seem to remember that almost every war movie I saw had some kid from Brooklyn who loved his Dodgers in the squad or unit….they usually seemed to get killed along the way. My father on that day was in the Navy with the Pacific Fleet, island hopping to Japan. He was aboard the USS Dewey. May all of those who made that ultimate sacrifice rest in peace and may we all never forget what they did…..

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