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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A Preliminary Glance at the 2017 NL Cy Young Race

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(Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles/USA TODAY Sports)

Looking deep into the history books of the Los Angeles Dodgers, we tried to find out if Clayton Kershaw was the fastest pitcher to notch 15 wins in a season, only to discover that the great Sandy Koufax accomplished the feat in his final season back in 1966. Of course, Koufax would go on to capture his third NL Cy Young Award after posting a 27-9 record with a 1.73 ERA, along with five shutouts, 27 complete games and 317 strikeouts over an even 323 innings pitched.

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With the 2017 All-Star Festivities Wrapped Up, Dodgers Look Towards Marlins

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(Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

While many baseball fans around the globe tuned into the 2017 MLB All-Star Game expecting an offensively dominant showcase of fireworks, the almost complete opposite occurred — a display of superior pitching with a few timely hits sprinkled in along the way.

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The 7 Biggest Differences Between the 2016 and 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers

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(Mandatory Credit: Gregory Bull/Associated Press)

While many fans of the Dodgers couldn’t be happier with the remarkable script of the first half of the season, there’s still plenty of baseball to be played in the second half — 72 games, to be exact. And as there are quite a few similarities between last year’s club and the 2017 version, there are indeed a handful of favorable differences which could eventually propel Los Angeles to an even more successful campaign by season’s end.

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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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Dodgers Prospect Watch: DJ Peters Conducting Slugging Clinic in Cal League

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(Mandatory Photo Credit: Steve Saenz)

While lefty Alex Wood was busy providing the Dodgers with yet another stellar starting pitching performance at the big league level on Wednesday evening, outfield prospect DJ Peters continued his recent domination with the lumber in the California League.

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Clayton Kershaw Prioritizing Regular Season Schedule over All-Star Affairs

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(Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Fans of the Dodgers shouldn’t want to see it any other way—their beloved No. 22 slotting into the rotation to squeeze in two more turns before the 2017 All-Star break. And even though he’s yet to start an All-Star contest for the National League during his already illustrious career, Clayton Kershaw realizes that a regular season victory or two certainly outweighs the importance of a single game which basically, in many senses, has become meaningless.

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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 Hope to Keep Control in Padres Series After Tempers Flare in Opener

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(Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst/Associated Press)

While it remains to be seen exactly how much animosity carries over into the middle game of the weekend series, all eyes will be on Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Andy Green of the Padres after a bench-clearing skirmish saw both skippers ejected early in Friday night’s opener.

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