More Thoughts About the Dodgers Offense

As of Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are tied for first place in the National League West. The San Francisco Giants are not behind, only three games out.

While it is still only June, Dodger fans are still concerned. The team just got swept in San Francisco in a series where Los Angles left an average of 10 runners on base per game. The Dodgers went 2-4 on a six-game road trip and are now 4-9 in their last 13 games.

Walker Buehler, who had struggled all year, has now been placed on the injured list with a right forearm strain and is expected to miss significant time. He will not need surgery but is expected to be out until late August or early September.

In the three-game against the Giants, the Dodgers scored only four runs and were shut out in the last game. They left 29 runners on base and went 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position.

Outside of the top three in the lineup, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner, the Dodgers haven’t got production elsewhere. Relying on those three will not always turn into success. Betts, after a great month of May, has come back to earth. He has one hit in his last 26 at-bats.

Freeman, Betts, and Turner are the top four in leading the team in batting average, and the only other player close is Gavin Lux, who currently has a .296 batting average.

It is a long season, and we’re still only in June, so that things can look up from here. However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shared his thoughts after the latest series: “It’s getting clear that we’re not doing enough to win baseball games; we’re too talented.”

All Dodger fans can share that sentiment, as every season it seems the Dodgers are bit by the injury bug. While every team has injuries, the Dodgers depth is always questioned, and it seems they may have to pull off another deal at this year’s trade deadline.

The Dodgers will hope that a five-game homestand will turn around their luck. They will face their crosstown rival, Angels, then host the Cleveland Guardians for a three-game series.

The Angels broke a 14-game losing streak last week and continue to have problems. The Dodgers will start with Tony Gonsolin in the opener, who has been the best Dodgers pitcher this year. He is 7-0 with a 1.58 ERA. In the second game, they will start left-hander Tyler Anderson who is also 7-0 and has posted a 3.07 ERA.

The Angels will counter with right-hander Noah Syndergaard and left-hander Reid Detmers.

Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.

20 thoughts on “More Thoughts About the Dodgers Offense

  1. Actually Lux at .296 is second behind Tre Turner at .298. I really think it’s time to move Lux up to second and drop Freeman to 4th.

  2. So far it looks like Father Time has caught up to JT he is late on many of his swings. Bellinger may be a career .220 ish hitter with Gold Glove defense and occasional power but not 17 million worth of talent.
    That the Dodger line up is not as talented as once thought has to be a consideration. I think T Turner, Betts and Freeman will come around and Smith will probably be around .250 or so. Lux is starting to fulfill the expectations from his debut. Is Muncy recovered? Unknown….
    The team is tied for 1st and has had three rotation starters out on the IL and Treinen, Kahnle, Gonzalez and Ferguson have also are or have been on the IL.
    I look at this year as a transition year with several of the young players almost ready to reach the big leagues. Losing Rios was a blow as his power helped. I see them letting T Turner and possibly JT go next year and bringing up Busch and Vargas.They have several young players protected on the 40 man that they will need to trade or promote. I would stop bringing up reclamation projects and use Pepiot, Grove and White to see if they can perform well enough to make the Dodger roster long term. They need financial flexibility and Bauer has an appeal so the Dodgers do not know about their budget now or going forward. The Dodgers lost draft position because of the luxury tax and they are paying a lot in compensation. That is not sustainable if they want to run a profitable LLC. As a fan you see sportswriter and fans screaming spend spend trade trade. But many times that is not financially sustainable nor the intelligent long term decision….

    1. Busch is not ready for the big show. After his promotion to OKC, he’s been very ineffective. It’s only about 100 at bats, so he has plenty of time to improve, but if he can’t show marked improvement by the end of the season, there is no way he should start next year in L.A.

      Vargas is another story. He’s been doing well and by next year could very well be ready.

      White deserves a chance to stick, Pepiot may be close, but Grove is (in my opinion) nowhere near ready.

      I really hope that Vargas and Pepiot remain at OKC for the rest of the year, playing every day (or every fifth day in Pepiot’s case). I think they need to use 2022 to refine their skills so that they have every chance of sticking next year.

      1. You may be right about Busch. But he is older and it’s time to do it or forget about him. Vargas I am penciling in for 2023. If u look at Groves numbers he has swing snd miss talent. I have been watching Stone at Tulsa he throws strikes doesn’t walk and is efficient. Maybe 2024 talent. I think Pepiot needs to grab the opportunity. I am hoping White builds from his last start.

      2. Yes, Busch is a little older at 24, but he only has 635 minor leagues at bats with 34 homers, 39 doubles 869 OPS and 107 walks. The lone detractor offensively is 206 Ks. He could finish strong, have a good spring and still make the big club next year or sometime next year.

  3. Mookie, Freddie, and TTurner will come out of this slump and put up good numbers. This team needs JT, Muncy, and Belli to start producing to have a serious shot at a division and WS title.

    1. I agree.

      Next year’s team will no doubt look different, but I don’t see how this year’s team is improved by anybody in the minors. The Dodgers put together a team of high paid potential or former All Stars at ever position. All team goes through slumps. We are in one now. I trust these guys will figure it. Maybe not all of them, but even those that have looked lost all season will have their moments. Hopefully the team stays close and peaks late. No guarantees of that of course.

      I still believe those starting pitchers that haven’t gone full years yet, or in a while, will need time off. Heaney throwing 5 innings, 77 pitches at AA is in my opinion a mixed blessing. It’s 77 pitches of shutout ball is impressive but it’s AA. A lot of pitchers not ready for the Major Lesgues can do that. Anderson has been terrific, but can he keep going like this without some down time. Pitching Grove, White and Pepiot might be of if the Dodgers were scoring 7 runs consistently. Obviously they are not.

      1. To me it is just ridiculous to have a .150 hitter batting cleanup while your number 9 guy is finally showing his potential and hitting .290ish. This line up is going to continue to be inconsistent until Muncy, Bellinger and JT start improving toward their career numbers. I think the lineup until those changes become obvious should be:
        1. Betts
        2. Lux
        3. T. turner
        4. Freeman (still hitting about 100 points higher with men on base)
        5. Smith
        6. Bellinger (only because they favor alternation R/L)
        7. J. Turner (low average but still puts more balls in play then Turner)
        8. Taylor (must cut down Ks)
        9. Muncy (9 spot can still provide base runners because he is still drawing walks)

        Gonsolin is exceeding all expectations, but please DR, let him go a little deeper. It will be a shame if he cannot accumulate the innings to potentially win the ERA title and possibly a Cy young award. We all know Dave’s gut feelings when replacing starters is wrong as often as it’s right.

        I think the Cardinal pitcher Mikolas was allowed to try for his no hitter and only pulled in 9th after giving up a hit and had thrown 129 pitches.

        That’s my ranting for the day. I’ll keep politics off this site

      2. I’m not as sold on the left right thing as some. Lux seems to be flourishing in the 9 hole so, I see him as another leadoff guy for second time through the order, which could happen as early as the second inning if the team is on. I might try something like this

        Betts, Turner, Freeman Smith, Muncy, Taylor, Bellinger, Turner, Lux. Those guys 5-8 could be mixed any way you may want, and when Barnes is in obviously he doesn’t hit cleanup. I still have belief that Muncy and Bellinger will improve their OPS, if not through slugging through OBP. Summer will be better months for them.

  4. Muncy should not be hitting 4th or 5th. Move Lux up to 2nd and bat Muncy 9th. JT needs to sit more.

    1. Perhaps Muncy would see better pitches to hit batting 9th with Betts, Lux, Freddie, and Trea coming up.

  5. I dislike Roberts and yes I know we are stuck with him. He makes some of the worst in-game pitching decisions in baseball. He has lost playoff games because of his ineptness. The other issue is he is such a “Player’s Manager” he won’t sit a veteran who is injured and struggling. He played Bellinger all year last year. Bellinger was either hurt or struggling. His horrible numbers either were or close to being records. Muncy this year was struggling with a bad elbow and yet he plays him. To me that is an insult on the guys on the bench and in the minor leagues as Roberts is saying an injured Muncy batting in the .150’s is better than anyone sitting on the bench or in the minors.

    1. You know that it is quite possible that the dodgers do think muncy hitting 150 is better than anyone on the bench OR on the farm. We saw that last year when we saw a steady parade of other teams pitching rejects because they knew there was no pitching on the farm.

      1. I’m as certain as I can be, which means little really, that going forward the team is confident Muncy can contribute considerably more than he has to this point. He has history, he knows what he’s doing, for reasons we can only speculate (injury) to this point he’s not been able to get it done. He’s got a .670 OPS against RH starters, .467 against LH starters, this year. The problem as I see it it is, our utility guy, Alberto, only OPS’s .583 against LH starters, .548 against LH pitchers. Alvarez hasn’t answered the call, Pillar is out, that leaves another LHer, McKinstry, to sub. He’s had 9 plate appearances. The resulting decision has been – no rest, leave Muncy in there. Same can be said for Bellinger. But he’s on pace for 3 WAR. Help him to be more selective, and that OPS can get back over .700 and that’s all we should need out of him.

        I still believe this team is capable of scoring 5+ per game. Summer will be better for our hitters. I’m not as confident in our pitching. These guys are going to need time off. Who steps in? May, Pepiot, White, Heaney. I hope in the end it’s enough for whoever ends up 1-4 to go full speed in highly competitive post season games.

      2. Very cogent analysis, my friend.

        As long as we’re in first place (or close) and we don’t have any logical subs, I expect to see Max and Belli playing most days. I thought I saw a little light at the end of the tunnel from Muncy last night. Time will tell.

        I’ve always been a fan of Catman’s and I love what Anderson has done so far, but I’m with you in assuming that midnight may be approaching and one or both may turn into pumpkins. At some point, the innings they are pitching are likely to take a toll. I still think part of Buehler’s problem and possibly Urias as well this year is from the innings and stress they were put through last year and into the playoffs.

        With Heaney, White, Pepiot and possibly May to step in later this year, I don’t know that Andrew will spend the massive prospect capital it would take to get a Montas or Castillo, but I could definitely see him getting an Anderson-like veteran who could either start or pitch out of the pen.

      3. I am hoping they spend this year evaluating their pitching talent like White, Pepiot, Grove and possibly trying Knack or others in the bullpen. White deserves his shot with his performance so far. It takes awhile for most young pitchers to finally understand their pitches do not need to be perfect. But they must throw strikes. I am a big Muncy fan but I believe he is still hurt enough that he has lost a bit. The difference between a everyday player and a minor leaguer can be slim it appears Muncy’s bat speed has suffered just enough so far to make him ineffective. Look at Bellinger.

      4. A couple years ago you may remember I picked Gonsolin as my breakout player. He’s certainly stepped up. I liked the movement on his downward pitches. I’m a little cautious when it comes to split finger pitchers. I’ve read unless you have large, strong hands it can be very tough on elbows. Basically without any fingers on top of the ball, the bulk of the strain goes to the forearm and elbow. I remember Smoltz talking about this years ago. I’ll see if I can find something on it.

        Found it. But it’s in a New York Times article and though I can read it, I can’t copy and paste. Guys like Smoltz, Rod Beck, Bryan Harvey, Dan Haren and a few pitching coaches were saying back then it will be used less and less. Haren said the way he did it was to not throw it at all between starts, and only 20-25 times a game. And many of these guys were 34-36 start 200+ inning pitchers. Maybe guys who only go 150 innings can use it more often and get away with it. Have to ask the analytics guys about that.

        I don’t see May being allowed to engage in long, or high stress situations. Heaney? Who knows. Pepiot could be long man/opener in summer. Same with White, maybe even Grove and Knack. I don’t know. . I still anticipate a trade.

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