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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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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Without Bellinger, Where Would Dodgers be in NL West Divisional Race?

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(Mandatory Credit: David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

Much has already been written about Cody Bellinger over the past few months, but until we did some of the math for ourselves, it was difficult to perceive where the Dodgers would be in the standings of the National League West without the presence of the 21-year-old slugger.

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Cody Bellinger Quietly Emerging as Dodgers’ Best Bat

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At the trade deadline last year, and then again over the winter, Cody Bellinger was labeled absolutely not available for trade. And now we are seeing why.

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Dodgers Activate Joc Pederson, Place Adrián González on Disabled List

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(Mandatory Credit: Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday reinstated outfielder Joc Pederson from the seven-day concussion disabled list and placed first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on the 10-day disabled list with lower back discomfort. González’s stay on the DL may be retroactive to June 12, if needed.

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Fans of Dodgers Going Extra Mile to Support Prospective All-Stars

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All-Stars can be a somewhat divisive subject. Is it truly a showing of the greatest players in MLB, or is it just a popularity contest? There are arguments for either side. It does usually showcase the best of the best, but as last year’s NL All-Star team showed with the number of Cubs, some of whom were definitely not the best of their position, it can just be a popularity contest.

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If Bats Stay Hot, Dodgers May Soon Overtake Rockies for Divisional Lead

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(Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth/USA Today Sports)

Up until recently, many media outlets have been emphasizing how the starting rotation and the relief corps of the Dodgers have been the backbone of the club over the course of the season’s first quarter. While this is certainly true, it can also be said that the team’s offense is quickly building momentum, and if the lumber can maintain any kind of steady reliability, the Dodgers may be controlling the National League West in the blink of an eye.

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Roster Decisions May Start to Come Easier for Dodgers

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(Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

All season long, it seems as if many folks, including ourselves, were seemingly trying to stir a bit a controversy each time the management crew of the Dodgers was faced with making a difficult decision regarding the club’s 25-man roster. Yet, in reality, despite all the frequent entries on the disabled list so far, the subsequent roster moves have paid huge dividends. What’s more, if only because of the increasing sample sizes of production, many of the impending personnel decisions may even start to become easier as the season progresses.

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Dodgers Roster: A Few Early Season Surprises

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I think if I had to name the one thing I love the most about baseball, it’s that it just so darn unpredictable. Almost a third of the way into the season, there are quite a few things that no fan of the Dodgers could have predicted.

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Dodgers Roster: How a Few Injuries Have Opened the Doors to Early Success

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(Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Instead of putting together our normal weekend injury report, we thought perhaps a more interesting approach would be looking at a few of the positives that have resulted for the Dodgers from several of the unfortunate injuries that have occurred during the first six weeks of the season.

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