The Los Angeles Dodgers are one week into the 2023 season, currently sporting a record of 4-2, and all alone in first place in the division.
The name of the game this early in the season is small sample size, of course, but we are still going to use it to compare and contrast players on the Dodgers and teams in the NL West.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres sit at 3-3, with San Francisco and Colorado behind them with only two wins each. Every thing is clumped close together as one would imagine this early on.
The Dodgers do have a chance to perhaps put a little room between them and the Padres, as the Dodgers will next play in Arizona and San Francisco, and the Padres head east to take on the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, potentially tougher matchups for the team down south.
The starting rotation has performed very well to start the season. Despite allowing a solo homer, Clayton Kershaw was his vintage self, striking out nine in 6.0 innings. Noah Syndergaard was also vintage in his outing, allowing one across 6.0. And Dustin May didn’t allow any runs in his outing that went 7.0 innings. Julio Urías has started the season 2-0 with a 0.75 WHIP. The exception was Michael Grove, who gave up three earned runs in four innings of work. Later, Manager Dave Roberts said that Grove was pitching a little under the weather which could have attributed to his less than stellar outing.
The offense was hot and cold to start the season. They had run totals of 8, 1, 10, 1, 13 across the first five games of the season.
The rookies are showing up as promised. James Outman is batting .286 with a homer and an impressive 1.260 OPS. Miguel Vargas leads all of the majors with nine walks, showing incredible plate discipline, along with his .375 batting average. He did miss Tuesday’s game with a sore thumb, but said on Thursday that it is feeling better and while not starting, could be called upon to pinch hit if needed.
Will Smith continues to make his case for Best Catcher In Baseball. He’s batting .421 with three homers, and a whopping 1.478 OPS.
Of course it was not all perfect. Max Muncy struck out all five times in last Thursday’s home opener. His defense at third has been somewhat of an adventure. Alex Vesia and Brusdar Graterol gave up key runs in tight games. But overall, winning two thirds of your games will get you pretty far. If they managed to continue that, they would end up 108-54.
Of course we know as fans it will not all go that well, but fans can be encouraged by the Dodgers’ start.
A few injury notes – Miguel Rojas is dealing with a groin injury. He was expected to do some pre-game work Thursday and will be evaluated after that.
Tony Gonsolin “got through” his live batting practice Wednesday at Camelback Ranch, according to Dave Roberts. He will likely throw another bullpen and live batting practice before heading out on a rehab assignment.
9 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes – Injury Updates, A Look at the Division, and More”
I got the idea that they were going to give Mookie some time at second base this year because it would be easier on him physically.
Next thing you know he almost kills himself by colliding with JHey on Tuesday, going into right field on a pop fly.
Undeterred, he’s playing second base again tonight. Between what happened on Tuesday and the possibility of being knocked over or spiked by a player going into second, it seems to me that maybe this isn’t such a great idea.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if we lost him for a few weeks due to an injury he suffered while playing the infield.
Yes, it seems (no expert here) that the torque on 2B knees, ankles, and ligaments must be different than OF. For example, going to the right behind second to get off a throw to first or going to the left on a hard hit ball and getting off a throw looks more violent that an OF taking long, loping strides with more time to react to the ball.
Dodgers need a 3rd baseman.
They have one, name is Muncy.
But assuming you are not a fan, who would you suggest, and how would you propose we get him (assuming that would involve a trade)?
That is the conundrum. Not really any good options except Muncy. And he is not a good 3rd baseman.
I admit to being more of a Muncy fan than many who frequent here, so I’m going to give him more time than others might.
I still think he can be an adequate third baseman and a real contributor on offense. But if I’m wrong and he’s still not helping come July, I think AF will find a way to fill that spot with someone else. We have a tremendous group of prospects to dangle at other teams in order to do that.
Dodgers have a 3rd baseman his name is Vargas! As I see it the Dodgers should get rid of Peralta or Heyward and bring up Busch. He can play 2nd.If this is the year of the rookies then go for it. Vargas’s position through the minors was 3rd. Muncy was a below average 2nd baseman and he continues that as a below average 3rd baseman. Why do they think he will be an adequate fielder? I have never been very pro Muncy as he strikes out too often. The speed of Rojas when he is playing partially covers for Muncy but if he is not hitting he is a huge minus. Outman’s play makes one of the outfielders expendable.
It is looking like we should have kept JT. I would like the Dodgers to go after Matt Chapman this off season. They also need to let Busch work out at 3B and see if he can handle it.
I think it’s too early to determine a winner in the JT vs JDM vs MM sweepstakes, but a glove like Chapman’s at third base certainly sounds tempting. I think we can all agree he won’t keep up the offensive stats he’s started the year with, but his defense alone is worth quite a bit.
He’s from Victorville and attended Cal State Fullerton, so basically he’s a local kid. That might help if AF decides to pursue him.