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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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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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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Dodgers Roster: A Look at the Organization’s Middle Infield Depth

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

After contemplating the fallout from shortstop Corey Seager‘s most recent hamstring saga, some fans of the Dodgers couldn’t help but look far down the organizational ladder just to get an idea of the quality of middle infielders lurking in the Los Angeles system.

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Dodgers Recall Mike Freeman, Place Franklin Gutierrez on Disabled List

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(Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday recalled infielder/outfielder Mike Freeman from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the 10-day disabled list with an episode of ankylosis spondylitis.

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Dodgers Injury Notes: Seager, Hatcher, Urías, Ethier & More

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(Mandatory Credit: Tim Warner/Getty Images)

If there’s one secondary detail that’s currently being overshadowed by the scorching hot play of the Dodgers right now, it’s the fact that there are still several serious injuries to players which don’t appear to be improving anytime soon. In most cases, the tremendous organizational depth of the club covers just about any type of potential ailment, yet in the case of one certain shortstop, fans everywhere are hoping for just a very minor hiccup.

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Red-Hot Dodgers Hope to Distance Themselves from Rockies in Weekend Series

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So, it just might be that these Dodgers are pretty good. After sweeping a four-game series with the Mets, they head into a series with the second place Colorado Rockies riding a seven game winning streak. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 games.

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Perhaps the Dodgers Won’t Need Outside Offensive Help After All

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(Mandatory Credit: Tim Warner/Getty Images)

It wasn’t too long ago — right when the Dodgers were at the tail-end of one of their notorious, first-half offensive lulls — that we put together our first installment of trade deadline articles, recommending a handful of potential barter candidates who could conceivably help boost the Los Angeles offense down the stretch run of the regular season. Just a short time later, however, Justin Turner returned to the lineup from a hamstring injury, and using a Cody Bellinger bat of all things, ignited the run-producing sleeping giant that every Dodger fan knew existed from the first day of the 2017 campaign.

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Dodgers Head to Cleveland After Successful Weekend at Home

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What an absolutely fun weekend of Dodgers baseball. Two comeback wins, and a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds. This team continues to show no quit when down late in the game.

Both comebacks were spurred on by shortstop Corey Seager, who with a walkoff double Saturday night, recorded his first ever walkoff hit at any level. For a player as talented as he, that seems highly improbable. But, baseball. Seager then proceeded to smash the go-ahead runs in with his first ever grand slam in the eighth-inning. That also was his first grand slam in the major leagues. Again, surprising.

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