Dodgers Roster: Applauding Several of the Year’s Most Surprising Contributors

Well, I suppose it had to happen at some point — the Los Angeles Dodgers actually lost a game. It seems like it has been forever since that has happened. In fact, it had been — 11 games, an All-Star break and one off-day ago. One would believe they’ll start on a new winning streak soon enough.

To anyone but die-hard Dodger fans this powerhouse team must be due to the contributions of the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Justin Turner. And of course, those guys are awesome and carrying their fair share of the load. But the team wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for the contributions of players that many of us didn’t think would have a huge impact on the season. First up in a little mini-series of posts by me are Chris Taylor, Brandon Morrow and Alex Wood.

Taylor, The Taylord, didn’t even make the squad out of spring training, despite hitting out of his mind, because he didn’t play the outfield. Flash forward to today, and Taylor mainly plays in the outfield. Last night, he recorded his fourth outfield assist of the season, which leads the team. On a team that has the rocket arm of Yasiel Puig, who could’ve foreseen the guy who primarily played infield having the team lead in outfield assists? CT3 has a slash line of .310/.383/.524/.907 with 21 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs. He has the ability to hit pretty much anywhere in the batting order, and has proven it. On a team that lost their primary left fielder at the beginning of the season to an ACL injury, Taylor has been an incredible asset to the team. (We still miss you very much, Andrew Toles).

Morrow has been rumored to be available in any upcoming trades the Dodgers front office may make.  At this point, though, that may not make much sense. Morrow has been a very solid edition to the bullpen. In 17-2/3 innings pitched so far this season, he has only allowed 12 hits, and two walks while giving up four earned runs. He touches 99 with his fastball, and when he is on, is unhittable. I’m not the deal maker, but I think they should keep him around if at all possible.

And then we come to Wood, who is having a season for the ages. The guy has yet to lose a game, and has better numbers than Kershaw, despite many fewer innings. He also takes issue with the talk that the Dodgers need No. 2 pitcher, saying that he has shown all the season that he is a true No. 2, and wants to prove that in the playoffs. That’s exactly what I want to see from a pitcher in the postseason, the will to show everyone who doubted him that he can and will do it. Being left out of the starting rotation at the beginning of the year has left a huge chip on his shoulder, and quite possibly, it is the best thing that could’ve happened to him and the team.

One of the best things about baseball is that you don’t really know where the season is going to take you, and who is going to step up to the plate, pun intended. We knew this was a really good team, with a really good chance to go all the way. To see it progressing in this manner, being helped along by players we could not have foreseen doing this well. just makes it all the more sweeter.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)

 

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Dodgers Appear Content in Waiting Out Trade Deadline

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The Dodgers are heading into Chicago to face the White Sox for a two game set while riding a nine game winning streak, and Clayton Kershaw will make his first start of the second half. Will the Dodgers ever lose again? It’s quite the popular rhetorical question on social media these days. The answer, of course, is yes. Teams do not win every game that they play. But the way this team is clicking, all things just seem to keep falling into place.

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Dodgers Weighing Multiple Options as 2017 Trade Deadline Approaches

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(Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports)

And so the second half, and the trade cycle, of the 2017 season begins. The Chicago Cubs kicked it off with a trade with their cross city partners, acquiring Jose Quintana from the White Sox for two of their top prospects, plus one other. Quintana had been on the Dodgers‘ radar for the last season and a half. The reigning World Series champs obviously felt they needed to jump to rush to acquire who they thought could help their team.

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Bellinger Impresses, but Falls Short in 2017 Home Run Derby

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In his first-ever MLB Home Run Derby on Monday evening, Dodgers‘ rookie sensation Cody Bellinger advanced to the second round, but eventually came up short against the juggernaut that is Aaron Judge.

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How the Dodgers Became the Best Team in Baseball at the All-Star Break

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We have reached the All-Star break, and suffice it to say, we can all be very pleased  with the first half of the 2017 season. The Dodgers are sole owners of the best record in baseball, at 61-29, and are more games over .500 than games they’ve actually lost.

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Alex Wood Named to National League All-Star Squad

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(Mandatory Credit: David Goldman/AP)

Late Friday morning, Major League Baseball announced the selections of seven players to the active All-Star rosters as replacements for previously selected players unable to participate in Tuesday’s affair.  Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood joins the National League Team, while newly-named American League All-Stars include Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Canó, Houston Astros reliever Chris Devenski, Minnesota Twins reliever Brandon Kintzler, Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna and Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton.

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Team Effort & Little More Magic Help Dodgers Take Control of NL West

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This team. Every time you think a game’s over, it’s not. There’s always something happening, someone else stepping up to do the damage. Thursday night was another wild ending that resulted in a walkoff win for the Dodgers.

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Justin Turner Named to National League All-Star Squad

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Justin Turner has made the 2017 NL All-Star team. Turner placed first in fan voting of the Final Five, beating second place Kris Bryant of the Cubs with a record total of 20.8 million votes. The rest of the field finished as follows: third place Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals, fourth Mark Reynolds of the Colorado Rockies, and fifth Justin Bour of the Miami Marlins.

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A Few Thoughts on the Dodgers & the 2017 All-Star Game

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It seems as though you can’t have an All-Star game without controversy. Who’s in, who’s not, will the Home Run Derby ruin this year’s participate’s swing?  It was announced Sunday that the players making the All-Star team from the Dodgers are Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger. The controversy comes from who was not included. The man with the highest batting average in the major leagues, Justin Turner, was left to the mercy of the fan vote to make it to Miami next week.

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Dodgers Injury Notes: McCarthy, Kazmir, Gutierrez, Hatcher & More

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Fans of the Dodgers breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week as Corey Seager‘s injury was not quite as bad as it could have been, allowing the shortstop to avoid the disabled list. Seager returned to the lineup Thursday night in Anaheim and went 0-for-4. He was replaced in the sixth inning by Enrique Hernandez to give him a rest. It was a week ago when Seager first felt tightness in his hamstring after a swing, and he exited that game after two innings. He spent this week testing his hamstring on and off the field, and was said to be available off the bench, although he was never used. Before the injury, he was sporting a .329/.433/.605 slash line with six doubles and five home runs in June alone.

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