Let’s Talk About the Dodgers Bench

As we’ve talked about many times here at TBPC, the Los Angeles Dodgers offense is incredibly robust. While individual players may slump here or there, overall there are not many holes in this lineup.

With a blip against Eric Lauer on Monday, the Dodgers offense have shown their prowess against two of the top starting pitchers in the National League. On Sunday, the Dodgers knocked Cy Young leader Sandy Alcantara out of the game in the fourth inning, tagging him for six earned runs. Then on Tuesday night, the Dodgers also chased Corbin Burnes out of the game in the fourth, after he had allowed seven earned runs in 3.2 innings.

As an aside, in tagging those six earned runs on Alcantara, the Dodgers helped out starter Tony Gonsolin. Gonsolin allowed one earned run over 5.0 innings on Tuesday, and is now the NL ERA leader. Currently Gonsolin sits at 2.10, and Alcantara sits at 2.19.

We are now a week away from rosters expanding to 28 players on September 1, and the Dodgers front office will have some decisions to make now, and with thoughts towards the postseason.

Currently the Dodgers bench consists of Gavin Lux, Trayce Thompson, Hanser Alberto, and Joey Gallo. Those players are such an improvement over who the Dodgers had on their bench last postseason.

Trayce Thompson has been such an impressive pick-up. After seeing Thompson tearing it up in the Triple-A club of the Detroit Tigers, the Dodgers traded cash considerations for him before the trade deadline. Thompson has repaid them with continuing to mash the baseball, and make some great plays in the outfield.

In Thompson’s last 11 games, he has a .375 batting average, six extra base hits, and eight RBI, including a three-run homer against Burnes Tuesday night.

Ironically, Thompson was brought to the team to platoon against left handed pitching, but he’s been very good against righties. He is slashing .361/451/.705 with five homers in 61 at bats against them as a Dodger.

After the Tuesday night game, Thompson talked to reporters about his righty/lefty splits.

“I think I can hit both. I know I can, actually. I know my lefty numbers aren’t good right now. It’s going to get better. I’ve just got to stick with the process,” Trayce said.

Regardless, Trayce’s bat has been a great addition to an already stacked lineup.

Quietly, Lux has been having a great year at the plate, also. He is slashing .297/373/.439/.812 with seven triples and six homers.

Gallo has also hit much better since his trade from the New York Yankees at the deadline. The outfielder has a 1.024 OPS since joining the Dodgers. In an interview with SNLA’s Kirsten Watson, he remarked that while it’s an intense push to win in L.A., it’s also calm, fun, and the players are well informed of their jobs and given lots of information to make themselves better.

Edwin Ríos had spent the beginning of the season on the IL recovering from shoulder surgery, but when he returned, he has been raking it in Triple-A Oklahoma City. Both Miguel Vargas and James Outman proved that they could hit when they were called up to play with the big team. Anyone of the three could be called up again when the rosters expand.

Whatever configuration of players the Dodgers go with in the postseason, they are much better suited for the postseason than most of the past few postseasons, and that can only help lead to more good things.

7 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About the Dodgers Bench

  1. Lux is the 2B but sitting a couple of days due to a neck issue, minor I hope. I would say Taylor is part of the bench. There now seems to be a LF rotation including Taylor, Thompson and Gallo
    While Outman made a big splash, I would promote Vargas ahead of either Outman or Rios. He’s a much better overall hitter. I would however promote Outman if an OF went down with injury.

  2. While beating both Alcantara and Burnes convincingly should help Gonsolin as far as the CY Young is concerned, the voters seem to value strikeout totals and innings pitched to such an extent Gonsolin’s relatively low totals for those categories may hurt his chances. Every time he is pulled after 5 and a Low pitch count I worry that he may not even qualify for the ERA title.

  3. The best they had off of the bench last year was Pujols. Most everyone else sucked. This years bench has been a lot more involved and playing at a much higher level. Dodgers lead in the division up to 19.5 with the Pads loss yesterday. They have tanked since getting Bell, Hader, Drury and Soto.

  4. Thompson has been great. I had thought the Dodgers were wrong to trade for Gallo. Very glad he proved me wrong, Beeter was not going to make a Dodger roster. AF strikes again. The additions of Thompson and Gallo give the Dodgers power stats but they are both excellent defensive outfielders that can play anywhere in the outfield. As Bear states how interesting the Padres have nose dived after the “TRADE”. It will be interesting to see how team chemistry is in 23 with Tatis’s return lots of upset Padres players.

    1. Tatis is going to miss some time in 23 also. He also just had shoulder surgery, so the chances he comes back 100% out of the gate in 23 are pretty slim.

      1. Great point. My daughter the PT says it takes a year or longer to get performance back to elite levels.

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