Aside from the World Championship season in 2020, one of the most talked about baseball topics over the last decade has been the Dodgers not playing to their potential. Sure, this can be said for the majority of MLB teams that at least make an effort to spend money, but when you look at the Dodgers on paper, the roster just oozes with talent.
Of course, the overall best team in the majors doesn’t win the World Series every year. However, the best team at the moment the playoffs roll around typically advances quite far. Even though the Dodgers were loaded with talent last year, they admittedly were out of gas after battling with the Cardinals in the Wild Card then going toe-to-toe with the Giants in the NLDS.
Although we’re not here to talk about last year, we see the same pattern developing in 2022. Obviously, Los Angeles has been bitten by the injury bug quite hard this season, but the club’s quality of hitters — at least at the top of the order — should be good enough to be among the top 25% best offenses in the league instead of sitting right in the middle of the pack.
In the past, we’ve talked about players like Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez being among the franchise’s streakiest hitters, but this 2022 version of the Dodgers could be among the streakiest combined offensive club in recent memory. Almost every regular player in the daily lineup has streaked to the extreme this year — see Mookie Betts — aside from Trea Turner, who has probably been the team’s most consistent offensive contributor, at least as far as getting on base goes.
Still, the team could have bigger problems than a extremely inconsistent offense. Fans cringe when Craig Kimbrel gets the ball in a save situation, but until Blake Treinen comes back at 100%, there’s really no one else to trust aside from Daniel Hudson.
And, when it comes to performing on paper, nobody in their right mind would have guessed that Tony Gonsolin would be among the Top 5 pitchers in the majors as the halfway point of the season approaches. Throw in the fact that Tyler Anderson, who has a career 4.45 ERA, is having a season for the ages, and you might think anything is possible before the end of the regular season rolls around.
A lot of people have been discussing the trade deadline for months now, but let’s not forget about what the team lost in players like Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, Joe Kelly, Corey Knebel and Kenley Jansen last year. The Dodgers don’t really have a solid option to replace Justin Turner’s dwindling defense, and as much as you like Trea Turner’s range, Seager is still the better overall defensive player. Not to mention Seager also has a slightly better career OBP.
Regardless, until we see this team take a serious nosedive, there won’t be any major changes made, aside from a minor splash later next month. For now, we just sit back and wait to see which team shows up on a given night, whether it’s the lackluster club that got swept by the Pirates at home three weeks ago or a team that won 11 out of 13 during a stretch back in April.
Maybe they’ll hit their true stride come October.