Thoughts on the Dodgers’ 90 Wins before September

Your Los Angeles Dodgers now are at 90 wins on the season, 52 games over .500, with a .703 winning percentage, and a 19.5 game lead in the NL West.

As we all know, it is not what a team does in the regular season, aside from securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but how the team actually performs during those playoffs.

However, an almost 20 game lead in the division and an eight game lead for home field does allowing a coaching staff to tinker with their players, and use some in situations they would most not likely be in come playoff time.

In Monday’s game against the Marlins, Craig Kimbrel was brought in to pitch a second inning, in an extra inning game. Kimbrel kept the tie in the ninth, then allowed a groundout to move the ghost runner to third in the bottom of the tenth, and was replaced by Chris Martin who came in induced a strikeout and a pop-up to deserve the one run victory.

In Tuesday night’s game against the New York Mets at CitiField, Manager Dave Roberts again with a non-traditional closer to end the game. Jake Reed, who had just been called up after rejoining the Dodgers after he was DFA’d by those same Mets, was brought in to pitch the ninth.

But it turned out to be the right call. Reed allowed a hit, but otherwise retired the side to close out the 4-3 win.

The month of September will be auditions for those players on the cusp, seeing how they handle different situations. Blake Treinen Is nearing his return, and a pitcher will then have to be sent down. Phil Bickford was already optioned when Reed and Heath Hembree were recalled on Tuesday.

As far as position players go, one looks to Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger to be the ones that most need the time to get their bats right.

After an All-Star season last year, Taylor has never quiet gotten himself going this season. His splits sit at .224/.304/.391/.696, with eight home runs. Normally as consistent as they come, CT3 is someone the Dodgers could definitely use in the playoffs.

Bellinger also has not had the kind of season that he or the team was hoping for. His slow start was attributed to his shoulder not being 100% back after offseason surgery. But now as we look to start September, Belli is still struggling at the plate. His stat line sits right above the Mendoza line, at .206/263/.395/.658.

Meanwhile, James Outman has been absolutely tearing up Triple-A since he was optioned after his brief stint in the big leagues. He has hit for the cycle twice in the last two days. With September call-ups, could he possibly work his way on to the postseason roster?

As with all things, time will work out how the team will be come mid-October. The Dodgers have the luxury of time and depth and a huge lead to slowly let the game play itself out.

12 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Dodgers’ 90 Wins before September

  1. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with expectations. Unless Dave Roberts makes some hard choices in the lineup, we have a rough road ahead in the post-season with our hitting lineup. In the last week (7 days) the combined batting stats of Belli, CT3 and Gallo are: AB: 44 H: 4 BA: 0.90 RBI: 4 K: 20
    This is a recipe, if not for disaster, at least extreme disappointment.

    1. CT3 and Belli have had prior history of floundering during the season and then coming to life in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean they’ll do it this year, though.

      I’m happy to see Vargas coming up but that’s also why I’ve been in favor of cutting Gallo loose and seeing what we have in Rios or Outman. Others have pointed out that Gallo was good for us until he was bad and he might turn it around. I just don’t have the patience to find out, but that might be unfair on my part.

      1. Gallo. He’s here, there’s plenty of PA’s for that spot in the order, might as well see what he’s got. If he gets hot again, he could carry the bottom of the order. Vargas is the bat they brought up. I’m fine with that.

      2. I admit it. I’m prejudiced against Gallo.
        There are better wines. There are better hitters.
        But I hear he’s a nice guy so I’m just going to shut up and watch everything unfold, however they decide to play it.

  2. The thing is most teams have 2 or 3 players who shouldn’t be there, but with our vaunted farm xystem, why are belli, Gallo and ct3 playing instead of auditioning these prospects in a low pressure part of the season? And playing a lot of innings. In my mind Outman and Rios are just just career minor leaguers unless they can prove different. Hoese is getting there also. Let’s see what they can do. If Vargas sits on the bench I’ll go crazy (crazier?)

    1. I don’t think we can compare Hoese to Outman and Rios, except to say they are all Dodger minor leaguers who haven’t experienced much or any time with the big club.

      Hoese hasn’t even had success in the minors and although he isn’t 26 yet, I’m willing to let you write him off, Gordon.

      Rios has had the misfortune of combining a lack of opportunity with injuries. I think there may still be some untapped major league potential there but competition for playing time is fierce with this organization and it may just be that AF moves him in a trade this winter. I’m sure there would be interest from some other teams.

      Outman is the guy that I think should be brought up today and given the next month to play every day. Let’s see what he has. He could replace either Gallo or Belli on next year’s roster, but there is no way they get rid of Bellinger this winter without knowing they have a good replacement for him.

      Statistics don’t always give a full picture, but the front office can draw some conclusions by watching prospects play at the MLB level. So, give Vargas every day playing time also. It could help AF make some roster decisions this winter, and if either one or both do well, could also help with some post season roster decisions.

      1. Oops. There I go again. Busch not hoese. Pretty sure all 3 could hit above the mendoza line and if not let’s find out, not wait til they are also 27 or 28 like Rios. I see all these 21 and 22 year old major league prospects either playing or recently called up. Real prospects I guess. I agree Outman and Vargas should get lots of playing time. Vargas because I think he’s real a d outman because I think he’s a pretender.

  3. I would take Outman over Gallo for 23 as you need to continue to bring up Farm guys to churn your system and save boatloads of money. Very happy if they give Vargas at-bats, I will be extremely upset if they just sit him on the bench. Too bad about Graterol. Dodgers still have Belli for arbitration for 23 and that is his do-or-die year. He should do well without the shift as he pulls the ball no matter where it is pitched. Hard to watch.

    1. I’m intrigued by Gallo and am hoping the coaches can help him. He’s not that old, 29 in November, and even as bad as he was in NY in ‘21 he OPSd .808 for the year, scoring 90 and knocking in 77. Would Outman do that? Possible but not likely. That said, I have no problem if Outman earns a spot out of ST next year.

      Taylor looks like his arm is still sore.

      1. I know the stat heads Love Gallo, Muncy and even Belli for their OPS numbers. But watching these guys consistently swinging and missing is frustrating and boring. Make contact PLEASE. Betts, Turner, Freeman churn out runs because they make contact. They generate runs that is what I think Vargas will do and Lux has learned to do. Thank you Freeman for mentoring… They all should be significantly better without the shift as all they do is pull the pitch no matter where it is placed. Frustrating to watch.

      2. As long as Gallo wears a Dodger uniform I’m all in. As soon as he’s gone – I’m out.

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