Dodgers Offense: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Mid-Season

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(Los Angeles Times photo)

In the middle game of the weekend series against the Giants on Saturday night, Corey Seager came up huge, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI. He helped lift the Dodgers to a 7-2 victory, as his team is back in the winning column after a two-game skid, leading the second-place Rockies in the West by a full 10 games.. Seager is amid his most productive streak of the season—when he’s hot, he certainly makes the Los Angeles lineup one of the most potent in the league.

Seager is currently tied for second with Bryce Harper with 20 doubles in the National League, trailing Josh Bell‘s 25. At this rate of production, he’ll surpass his career-high of 40 two-baggers from 2016. After starting the year slowly, Seager is hitting .386/.453/.754 with four homers, nine doubles and 18 RBI over his last 15 games.

Who else is hot:

Justin Turner has been bothered by several injuries this season and his production has been so-so, at least by his standards. He appears to be recovered from an iffy hamstring, and his production has been elevating in between his days off, despite an absence of power. Over his last 13 games and 53 plate appearances, JT is slashing a monstrous .435/.472/.543 with five doubles and 20 singles.

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36-year-old veteran David Freese has also increased his level of play lately, demonstrating to be a key contributor in frequent spot-starts and off the bench. In his last 13 games, Freese is hitting .441/.500/.882 with three long balls, six doubles and nine RBI. He’s certainly proving to be one of the most economical and valuable free agent signings of the offseason.

Over his last five games, backup catcher Russell Martin has gone 7-for-17, lifting his season average to .282 and his OPS close to .800. It may not seem like much, but to get any kind of decent production from the No. 2 catcher is a huge bonus for an already strong lineup.

Steady as she goes:

Max Muncy hasn’t made many headlines lately, but he’s probably been one of the most consistent contributors on offense after a sluggish start over the first few weeks. For the season, he is now slashing .272/.365/.498 with 10 doubles, 12 HR and 37 RBI. His power numbers are not quite the same as last year, but his steady production has been unquestionably critical to the Dodgers’ success.

Joc Pederson has settled nicely into his role as the starting left fielder against righty pitching. If the season would end today, his current .254 average, .357 OBP and .616 slugging would all mark career highs. Currently, Joc has 18 home runs and 33 RBI—a pace that could conceivably eclipse his personal bests of 26 HR from 2016 and 68 RBI from 2017.

Who’s not:

Justifiably, it might not be fair to say Cody Bellinger is not hot, mainly because his pace over the first 10 weeks of the season was absolutely ridiculous. Plus, the number of free passes he’s been issued lately by opposing pitchers has been absurdly high. Nonetheless, over his last 15 games, Cody has put up an average of just .241. Still, he has walked 10 times during that span, which still makes his OBP very respectable.

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Out of spring camp, Enrique Hernandez was considered the club’s primary second baseman. In the early stages of the year, he might have been on pace to garner more regular playing time than any other point of his career. The problem is that he’s slumping terribly at the moment. If he stays in a hole, his PA could decrease, especially if A.J. Pollock ever makes it back onto the active roster. After hovering around the .350 mark in mid-April, Hernandez is slashing just .167/.208/.292 over his last 20 games and 77 plate appearances.

Also on the utility front, Chris Taylor has seen a decline in his contributions recently. While it’s been a roller coaster for the 28 year old this season, he’s hitting just .148 over his last 10 games after boosting his average up as high as .240 on May 28.

Recently victimized by back spasms, rookie Alex Verdugo has also been a victim to a huge drop-off in his production. The 23-year-old outfielder had an average of .372 through the team’s 20th game of the year; however, he’s hitting just .219 over his last 21 games and 85 plate appearances.

 

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39 thoughts on “Dodgers Offense: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Mid-Season

  1. I’d like to see us improve our WRISP numbers. We are 10th in ABs, 8th in runs, 10th in OPS, 6th in runs, 8th in average. We are scoring of course, but those LOB situations still bother me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit that nail on the head. Left the bases loaded twice on Friday, including 2 on and no one out. Swinging through Pomeranz’s slow stuff. Every time Cody had a chance to do damage they walked him. Peters and Rios K rates this year are disturbing. Peters striking out at a 40 percent rate. Rios not far behind. Kendall looks like he is going to be a bust too. Best hitting prospects right now are Lux and Estevez…….pitchers not lighting up stats at any level

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  2. Kiki should strictly be used against lefties. Muncy should be full time 2nd baseman. His D is much improved this year. I’d love to give Joc a chance at first base to platoon with Freese so when Pollock comes back he would get a full time spot back in the outfield. Taylor is just spot starter and depth piece if someone gets injured. Kelley’s outing was encouraging. He’s throwing more of his off speed and down in the zone and if he can start locating his fast ball then he becomes a valuable bullpen piece. And Garcia has the stuff to be good again if he can locate. As Belly and Verdugo come back to earth, Turner and Seager stepping up. It’s a talented and deep team. Fun time to be a Dodger fan!

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    1. Told you before Rich, they experimented with Joc at 1st a few years ago. Not a fit. And Roberts stated that when He comes back, Pollock is getting his starting CF job back. And you more than anyone should know that Ol Andy and Dave do not favor full time players at more than a couple of spots.

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    1. Only needed a Muncy homer to win it. The Mad Bum showed again why he is the biggest jerk on the planet. Muncy did not back down. Motioned to the big jerk to come on out and get him! Buehler, Baez and Jansen slammed the door. Except for a great play by Turner, it might not have ended that way. 1st and 3rd, no outs, Panda hits a screamer that Turner fields and guns to Barnes who runs Yaz into an out. Then Buehler shut the door. Giants never really threatened after that. The one that got away……..Yordan Alvarez, the player traded for Josh Fields in August of 2016, homered in his first MLB game to help Houston beat the O’s. Alvarez was hitting .343 with 23 homers and 71 ribbies in 56 games at AAA Round Rock…….Nice job Andy!

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      1. Frankie Montas is another one who slipped away. Jharel Cotton was about ready for a return but tore a hamstring tendon. I wonder if Grant Holmes will ever make it. He’s 23 and at AA.

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      2. I may have missed it Bear, but I don’t remember your congratulating Andy for getting JT and Muncy for nothing.
        You seem to be getting back to your normal mood. It sounds like the sunshine and roses are in the rear view mirror. Are you back in Colorado? 🙂

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      3. Leaving on Sunday, and you better do a fact check there Jeff old buddy. Turner was signed But he has traded away more talent than he has signed. And he STILL has not fixed the frippen bullpen!

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  3. Wow I had completely forgotten Yordan Álvarez was signed by the Dodgers and traded for Fields. What a colossal shitshow that turned out to be. This seriously has the potential to be up there with the notorious terrible Dodgers trades of all time. It’s in Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields, Piazza to the Marlins and Konerko for Jeff Shaw. Álvarez is an animal and he’s only 21.

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  4. Actually Fields had 2 pretty good years for Dodgers. It wasn’t like he was a bum. You never know with young prospects. We may have to give up some young prospects this year for another reliever. Who do you want and who would you give up?

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  5. But of all the Cuban ball players we’ve had it looks like we gave the wrong one away! We only had him for a short time. Props to Houston for seeing something we didn’t!

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  6. Justin Turner signed a free agent contract with the Dodgers on February 6th 2014. A full 9 months before Friedman took over. Players signed that same year included, Chris Perez, a new contract for Juan Uribe, and Jamie Wright….you are usually a bright bulb in the chandelier Jefe……How did you blow that one????????Colletti and Logan White were still in charge at that point in time………

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    1. Hah! If you think I’m the bright bulb in the chandelier Bear, you better take another look at the chandelier. You were absolutely right to call me out on that one. Can’t sneak anything past you. Glad to give Ned some credit. He made his share of stupid moves while he was here but he also did some good stuff and he should get the Medal of Honor for having to work with McCourt. Most experts agree that Alvarez is an AL player. No real safe position for him except DH, but if he has the career everyone expects of him it will still go down as one of the worst of the Dodger trades. I try to judge a front office based on total results. Overall, I’m very happy with what I’ve seen from the Friedman group. I have a very strong team to root for every year even if we haven’t gotten the Grand Prize yet. Maybe I just don’t expect enough out of life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Jefe, I just did not want you to try and pull a fast one on the less edjuamakated folks on here who do not follow the Blue that close…..Alvarez is probably what everyone thinks he is and that’s cool. But if he produces at the big league level like he did at AAA, it will definitely go down as a bad deal for the Dodgers. But even the Brooklyn boys and early LA days made some player blunders. Brooklyn let Clemente get away, and missed out on a kid named Mays because the scout said the kid, who was 17 at the time, could not hit a curve ball. Campanella had suggested they sign him. And they traded Jim Gentile, who became a solid power hitter when Hodges was at the end and fading, and got very little in return. So Andy is not immune to bad moves either. The constant dumpster diving though does drive me up a wall.

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  7. It’s not like Friedman and Zaidi took over a team in disarray. We were a two time Division winner with a stacked minor league system when they got here. They continued the winning ways using their own strategies. Some of has worked quite well, some of it didn’t. The Cubans for the most part have not. I’m on record… I didn’t like what they were doing at first. The McCarthy/Anderson/Latos/Kazmir type moves drove me crazy, but we keep winning so I’ve mellowed in my take on the approach. Still don’t like 3 outcome baseball and the refusal to do the obvious thing to beat the shift, but I look up and see we are in first place, so, viva la Friedman

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree Scoop. Back in the day, I would go to left on purpose when I was hitting just so they could not always play me to pull. I was pretty much a spray hitter with pop, and line drives were my forte. I though Belli should have adjusted some this weekend because he pulled almost everything he hit except when they walked him. Sad about Ortiz. Proves gun violence is not restricted to the states. Guess the people there beat the crap out of the gun man before the cops got there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was taught to hit line drives. That’s the way I coached too. But then I’m not 6’2” 220 pounds. Neither were the players I coached. Not many of them anway. Staying “in the plane” is not new. Ted Williams taught that.

    Gun violence. Redundant. Guns are made to kill. I gave them up once I got out of the Marine Corps. Melt them all down as far as I’m concerned.

    Gonna be 90 here. Pool day!!

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    1. In a more Utopian society my friend I would agree. Unfortunately that is not the world we live in and frankly, I do not trust the police to protect my life if it is threatened. They cannot respond as fast as I can. 5 to 10 minute minimum and if an intruder breaks in, you do not have that long. My trusty 45 and my shot gun are the best deterrents to that kind of behavior, and I am not afraid to use deadly force if I feel threatened, but I am also not going to use it unless forced to. Have never had to fire them in anger, but would rather have them and not need them then need them and them not be available. Guns are only as good or bad as the person using them. Guns do not kill. People do…and unfortunately..there are a lot of bad people out there.

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      1. I haven’t needed to shoot anyone for protection since ‘68. And my advice for not getting ripped off is don’t own anything worth stealing.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Although I love the way the team has performed as a whole, I still think Ol Andy has some work to do. RH power is pretty much non existent with Turner not really at 100% and Kike and Taylor not performing as expected. Martin and Barnes are definitely not power guys and Freese as good as he is, does not play every day. Hopefully some of that is restored when Pollock comes back and is healthy. As stated many times here by a lot of people. Kike and Taylor are redundant. Either could be moved and it would be no big loss. Package say Taylor and Brock Stewart, maybe Rios and Alexander for a quality relief arm with some contract years left. If Cleveland makes Hand available, I go after that guy rather than a rental like Smith or Watson. Pollock gets his job back when he is healthy.. Roberts has already stated that. Except for Valera who was traded, the Orioles have all 4 players they received from the Dodgers playing at AA. None are really lighting it up. Pop is on the IL.

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    1. Hand is the guy I’d like to see us go after but I don’t see the package you mention getting it done. Unfortunately Stewart has negative trade value at this point and Alexander certainly hasn’t distinguished himself since he left KC. Rios is totally unproven at the MLB level and isn’t having all that good a year at AAA. That leaves Taylor whom the Indians would probably be OK with but only as part of a trade which included a better player or top minor league prospect. They gave up their top prospect (#24 in all of baseball) to get Hand and he has only gotten better since he got there. And to top it off, there will probably be at least 6-8 very serious bidders for him if they actually decide to trade him. We could get him but the price will be a lot steeper than what you outlined.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Neither do I. Just threw some garbage out there and hoped they had a trash truck. They would want at least one or two of our top 10 guys. Alexander’s biggest plus is that he is a sinker balling lefty. Other than that, he is worthless…..lol

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      2. It might take something like Downs/Gray/Peters or Rios to get it done and some other team might very well top that. They might like the idea of Downs since they won’t be able to keep Lindor when his contract is up. Gray would help fill the pitching hole that they’ll have when Kluber and Bauer are gone.

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      3. Considering how much he has fallen off at AA, I have no problem trading Peters and Downs and a lower level pitcher or two…

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      4. Considering how much he’s fallen off, Peters may no longer have all that much trade value. In any case, for those of us who are into trade stuff, it’s going to be a very exciting six weeks (as long as we don’t count on AF to provide all of our excitement).

        Liked by 1 person

      5. True, but bundled with a few other players, he would be a nice piece for someone. Farhan is definitely Andy Jr. Went dumpster diving for another outfielder today and got Alex Dickerson from the Pads.

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      6. Peters is an interesting prospect. He’s still 23, and at AA that’s younger than average. No one doubts his power potential but he has to cut down on his strikeouts. He knows it, and it hasn’t happened yet. 35% is ridiculous. Still, if offered I think teams will listen. That kid can launch ‘em with the best of them.

        If Cleveland caves, Hand will create a lot of interest. But they are only a game and half out of a playoff spot. You don’t sell when you’re still in it.

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  10. Well Scoop, unfortunately again, that is not always possible my friend. I am also a musician. Music equipment it a huge target of thieves. I have had more friends get gear ripped off over the last couple of years than I care to think of. I do not seek violence…….but if it is forced upon me, I will respond..be well my friend, and enjoy the pool….

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      1. Good point Jefe. We now have 4 of them. One is outside up against the new cat door we installed. These cats are spoiled. They’ also pissed we moved from Sedona.

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