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.
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.