Dodgers Lineups: How About Some Changes in the Batting Order?

Lineup strategies in baseball are intriguing because many teams take entirely different approaches. Some managers prefer to construct batting orders having players with the best OPB at the top, while others like to build their lineups to combat an opposing pitcher’s handedness, even if most of the hitters have decent splits.

Obviously, the most well-constructed batting orders can’t put runners on base and drive them home, but an optimal lineup can definitely help move runners along sometimes when it’s working right.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts is often criticized for the way he puts together his daily batting orders, especially when the club is struggling offensively. Despite having one of the best winning percentages in MLB history, Roberts is seemingly very stubborn with his batting orders, specifically for rotating left-handed and right-handed bats as much as possible. This tactic is often used more to combat pitching strategies against him rather than maximize the offense of his club.

Friday’s opener against the Guardians was a great example of one of those lineups that backfired. Mookie Betts was a late scratch, which made things a bit challenging, but some of the choices appeared poor, especially since neither of your three, four or five-hole hitters had season averages above .240.

One of the biggest examples of Roberts’ stubbornness was visible last year after the club acquired Trea Turner. Roberts insisted on hitting Turner leadoff and playing around with Betts in the two and three holes. Technically, this shouldn’t affect the way a team performs, but it does play a part in a player’s comfort level.

When Roberts finally moved Betts back to leadoff and the team began performing well, Roberts admitted that comfort plays a factor for some of his players. However, that didn’t stop him from moving Freddie Freeman to the two-spot this year, a hole where he hasn’t really spent much time. Over the course of his 13-year MLB career, the lefty-hitting Freeman hit 182 games in the 2-spot, a whopping 1070 games batting third and 143 games hitting cleanup.

The same can probably be said for Trea Turner, who has led off in 453 games, hit second in 160 games and batted third in just 91 contests.

Nevertheless, those switches and discomforts aren’t the biggest of the Dodgers’ problems. Since his return, Max Muncy continues to hit in the heart of the Los Angeles lineup with an average below .160. He’s typically followed by Justin Turner, who’s having one of the worst offensive years of his career.

It’s definitely too early to make any significant personnel changes, but it couldn’t hurt to move a player that’s hitting .153 a few spots down in the lineup, giving someone else who’s producing better the chance to drive some runners home.

Let’s see how a lineup would work with Freeman hitting behind Trea Turner for a change, along with Muncy in the eight-spot.

And how about some looks for someone like Jake Lamb, who’s hitting .292/.400/.522 with 11 doubles and 12 homers over his first 200 AB at triple-A Oklahoma City this season?

There will be streaks with ebbs and tides with the offense, but sometimes it just needs a little boost to push it in the right direction.

31 thoughts on “Dodgers Lineups: How About Some Changes in the Batting Order?

  1. Changes in the batting order would be nice.
    Teaching our guys how to bunt and then using that strategy once in a while would also be nice.

    Hard to believe that this team which seems like it’s playing about 50% below its capability, is still only 1/2 game out of first.

    1. I thought the same thing when I checked the Sports section this morning. Our offense sucks. Yet, there we are near the top.

      Is Lamb a better option than Turner? Probably. I’d like to see the Alvarez energy translate into a team boost, so far that hasn’t happened. Two solid Cleveland starters coming up. Be selective. Bat to ball guys. Keep at it. It will turn.

    2. Yes I am old school. But we were taught baseball is a team game. When you are in the tenth inning no outs and the “runner” is placed on second and you are behind by one run the lead off man MUST move the man over! I don’t care if you are Freeman, Betts or Muncy you must move the man. Lasorda would have gone NUTS! As I say I am Not a Roberts fan. He is a terrible in game pitching manager and a ZERO motivator. He is a Nice guy. Sorry but a manager has to get the most out of people. That means sometimes giving them a boot in the bum. I realize the Front Office likes Roberts’s because he is a sock puppet for them but the fact they give him the most talented team or at least in the top 3 every year and he has won 1 WS should tell them something! Surely they could bring up Lamb, McKinstry and or Vargas. JT and Muncy are rally killers and with Bellinger playing because of his defense they cannot afford 3 players not contributing offensively. It happens every game with a RISP and less than 2 outs and the batter strikes out!! WT !!! move the man get the easy run JEEZ so frustrating..Play like its a TEAM GAME! AGHHH…

      1. When it takes 1 run to win, yep, that’s what you do. But I wonder if the thinking is different when it takes 2 runs to win? Just askin.

      2. We were taught to make contact. If they are playing u to pull push the ball to the other side. It’s not that difficult if u give up your power swing. As a team everything changes in the 9th or extra innings. However if there is a man on we were taught to advance the runner. It’s not snazzy but it’s the correct baseball play. I get very upset when people say they don’t know how to sacrifice or hit to the opposite field. They r professionals making millions it’s their trade! You must know how…shame on you and your organization if u don’t.

  2. Hey we are the Dodgers. The best team in baseball on paper. All we have to do is show up.

    This team and the manager don’t seem to be playing with any sense of urgency. It is well beyond time for some changes. Maybe when they find themselves in 3rd place, AF and Roberts will shake things up.

    1. It’s all AF… I believe the Dodgers will us the Farm to fill positions now and in 2023. They have to stabilize their budget. Why have a top Farm System if u only use it for trades?

      1. It’s not only for trades. We have several in that lineup that we drafted. It certainly is helpful to have a plethora of talent when it comes time to trade. Look how well it worked last year. With Scherzer and Turner we got past the Cardinals, and almost got to the World Series. This year the same thing could almost happen.

      2. Yeah I agree there are guys on the 40 man and in the Farm System that I think they will and have to trade. White has decent stats. Amaya was promoted recently. I think guys like Vargas, Miller and possibly Pepiot they will keep. Gomes being promoted and knowing the Farm System was a sign they will promote whenever possible from within unless someone incredible is available like Freeman, I believe.

      3. Me too! Price,Kimbrel, JT and probably T Turner will go. Maybe Barnes as Cartaya not ready yet. With the injuries will Kershaw re-up? Should have a young $ controllable starting rotation.

  3. Team has options on JT and Muncy next year. Gonna be hard to keep Barnes. He will probably get a nice offer to be a starter somewhere. I would like to get younger and more exciting.

    1. We all understand the team isn’t going to win the WS every year. Although with the amount of money they spend and their Farm system they should always be in contention. Give us a team that is fun to watch. Give us a team that plays fundamental team ball. I hate watching these guys at bat… Bellinger makes me crazy. His swing hard in case you hit it philosophy is tough to watch. If he were a team player he would learn to punch the ball to the left side. He could get a double every hit with his speed. Plus they would have to balance the defense more and give him more chances to get a hit when he does pull it.
      Baseball is a about pitching. The Dodgers should have a sensational young starting rotation next year. And another contending Team. I hope they have more young guys from the Farm on it.

      1. Very hard to watch these guys swing for the fence on every pitch of every AB regardless of ball/strike count or game situation. Especially with the new deader ball and humidors. Need to go back to basic fundamentally sound baseball. What used to be “The Dodger Way”.

  4. Muncy’s error just allowed the first run tonight. I can understand keeping Bellinger in the game because of his gold glove. Why is Muncy playing as he isn’t hitting and is a poor fielder??

      1. I don’t blame Muncy. He is hurt and playing out of position. It is the Dodgers management Roberts & AF that are to blame. Players want to play. Management needs to make the best decision for the team. And not worry about upsetting Muncy. But Robert’s is spineless…

  5. Hoping the team continues to waste the great pitching to force AF to get that idiot Robert’s to change the line up. Maybe bring Lamb and McKinstry up. Put Muncy back on the IL. And JT strikes out to end the possible scoring chance.

      1. They have 4 guys making consistent contact for the year. The rest are not. Taylor strikes out too often and Smith has been erratic although he is hitting the ball hard. But when u have 3 guys around the Mendoza line or below not a lot of wiggle room. But I wouldn’t hit Smith 3rd. I would bring guys up. If I am Lamb, McKinstry or even Vargas hitting well and the third baseman and second baseman with the Dodgers are in the .150’s and fielding poorly what message does that send them?? Sorry I do not believe poor fielding Muncy or JT right now are better than the potential reinforcements.

      2. Dennis is it my system? I have not seen the edit function on the PC or apps.

      3. Just for the record, Dennis, I haven’t seen an edit function ever since you changed the site.
        I do 99% of my commenting here on a PC if that makes any difference.

      4. Glad it’s not just me. I use the WordPress apps on iPhone and iPad and on my Mac I go straight to the WordPress site using Firefox or Safari. The edit function was available once the day you were working with it on the Mac via WordPress site but then disappeared. Never was active on the apps. Having it on the app would be great as I use my phone and iPad for the majority of my browsing.

      5. Woke up to the news Mookie to the IL. McKinstry to brought up. I think. That’s a step back. I think. Who knows. Maybe Zach goes nuts.

        And I get 29 minutes to edit.

  6. Betts to IL. Turner will be the leadoff man for the foreseeable future. Inconsistent offense gets a huge blow.

    1. The last 2 weeks Mookie was OPS’n .254. That’s not a misprint. I’m thinking McKinstry can improve on that over the next two weeks and the team gets better.

      It’s not time to feel any urgency yet. Get healthy, stay loose, be selective, hit it where its pitched. On defense be fundamentally sound, hustle to back up bases, take the outs they give you and steal an out now and then. Pitching? Pray the miracles continue.

      1. The performance of Anderson, Gonsolin and maybe Heaney are not according to reports a fluke. And lets throw Almonte in there too. The Dodgers changed their pitch usage and in most cases had them use more of their secondary pitches. Plus on at least one guy had him change his grip. Gonsolin for example is throwing a lot more sliders and split finger pitches and fewer fastballs. And getting them to throw strikes and pitch for weak contact rather than trying for perfection on each pitch which is not possible.
        Glad Betts went on IL and can heal up. Playing hurt does not promote healing. That is why I had hoped Muncy would stay on the IL for awhile.
        If JT’s stats do not approve I would bring up someone to play and see if JT can figure it out on the side. I suggest one of those convenient phantom injuries they used last year to bring people up and down.

  7. Anyone else watching Gavin Stone? He was recently promoted to Tulsa. In 31 innings at Tulsa he has 51 strike outs and 7 walks! A WHIP of 1.1 the guy is a swing and miss machine and has control….Amazing!

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