Roster Decisions May Start to Become Easier for Dodgers

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.

Since the midway point of 2017 Cactus league play, utility man Chris Taylor‘s name has been mentioned frequently whenever discussing the Dodgers’ 25-man roster. Taylor was in a battle with teammate Enrique Hernandez for the squad’s final position player spot, and ironically enough, missed out on being included on the Opening Day squad because of his inability to effectively man center field. But considering his production since being recalled in mid-April, it’s now difficult to even give him a much deserved day of rest.

Among all players on the active roster, Taylor is leading the club with a .327 average and a .424 on-base percentage, and has already tallied six home runs, seven doubles and 19 RBI — all solid numbers while keeping in mind that he’s been hitting a ton in the leadoff spot lately. Entering Sunday’s finale against the Cubs, his OPS+ is 167, and his oWAR has risen to +1.4 — not bad for a player who was once viewed as a secondary substitute infield option. And on top of all the wonderful offensive statistics, he’s been surprisingly decent with his glove, wherever skipper Dave Roberts has placed him on the diamond.

Even with the recent emergence of Hernandez and veteran infielder Chase Utley offensively, along with the upcoming return of third baseman Justin Turner from the disabled list, Roberts insists that Taylor will continue to get his reps.

“He’ll play,” Roberts said. “I’ll find him at-bats. He’s earned it.”

Hernandez is hitting .306/.390/.556 since May 8, lifting his batting average from .214 to .250. Utley is batting .341/.412/.614 since May 9, ballooning his average from .098 to .222. Unfortunately for Hernandez, though, he may be the odd man out when Turner is reinstated, bearing in mind that Brett Eibner is optioned when Joc Pederson is activated when his concussion symptoms have subsided. That’s supposing any other injuries don’t crop up between then and now. Yet considering the frequent fluctuation of players on the DL, a prospective demotion for Hernandez probably wouldn’t last long at all.

Even on the starting pitching front, for what was once an overcrowded group of confusion, especially at the tail-end of the rotation, things are beginning to work themselves out. If something unfortunate happens to come out of Brandon McCarthy‘s recent struggle with tendinitis, lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s still around to slide in from the bullpen, assuming that management feels the need to give Julio Urias a little more time at Oklahoma City to sharpen his command.

And with the count still holding steady at eight in the relief corps, the club could always reduce that number to seven without feeling any negative effects, specifically during a phase where the starters are providing quality length.

In the end, any forthcoming roster moves will still require the same amount of critical thought, yet the current performances of several players, Taylor in particular, should make such personnel decisions much more easier than the choices faced earlier in the season.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)
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Dodgers Activate Kenta Maeda, Place Joc Pederson on Disabled List

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(Photo courtesy of The Japan Times)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday reinstated right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda from the 10-day disabled list and placed outfielder Joc Pederson on the special seven-day disabled list for a concussion. Pederson’s stay on the DL can be retroactive to May 24, if needed.

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Dodgers Reinstate Joc Pederson, Place Adrián González on Disabled List

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The Dodgers made it official on Friday — Adrian Gonzalez will be going to the DL for the first time in his 14-year major league career. He had the big league record among active players for most games played without going on the disabled list, going 1,774 games since 2006. He had never missed more than six games in a season in that time frame.

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Dodgers Hope to Gain Momentum in San Diego Series

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Today could very well turn out to be an interesting day for the Dodgers. It appears as though a couple of roster changes will be made, including one that has never happened before. Up until now, Adrian Gonzalez has never gone on the disabled list in his entire major league career. Will that change today? Also, will Kenta Maeda be able to build on his success from his last game?

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Dodgers Roster: Making Cases for Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor

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(Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

While many would think the news of Joc Pederson and Logan Forsythe returning from the disabled list would spotlight the majority current headlines in Los Angeles, most fans of the Dodgers appear to be more intrigued by the impending moves that are necessary to create the space on the 25-man roster.

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More Roster Changes Ahead for Dodgers

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(Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

By the time the Dodgers head into San Diego this weekend for a three-game divisional series, the team’s 25-man roster may have a bit of a different look, most specifically with the return of three position players — Franklin Gutierrez, Joc Pederson and Logan Forsythe.

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Dodgers Hope to Ride Momentum Wave Through Current Homestand

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We are now fully one month into the Dodgers‘ season, and it ended up a little better than some might have thought a week ago. A four game winning streak, including one pretty epic comeback victory to end the month, will do that for you. The Dodgers sit at 14-12, third in the NL West, two games out of first. Not bad, considering.

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Dodgers Injury Notes: Joc Pederson, Logan Forsythe, Andre Ethier & More

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After Saturday evening’s come-from-behind, walk-off victory against the Phillies, many who are close to the Dodgers, including skipper Dave Roberts himself, believe that the monumental win has potentially infused a bit of momentum, and conceivably could be the one contest that may spearhead a new direction for the squad.

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How Can Dodgers Boost Offensive Productivity?

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(Mandatory Credit: Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Undoubtedly, the most common conversation themes these days between fans of the Dodgers have been about inconsistencies in several areas of the game, primarily discussions regarding either the sputtering offense or the somewhat unsteady starting rotation.

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Dodgers Promote Cody Bellinger to Big Leagues

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(Mandatory Credit: Michael Spomer/Cal Sports Media)

The Dodgers on Tuesday afternoon selected the contract of 21-year-old infielder/outfielder Cody Bellinger from Triple-A Oklahoma City for the club’s middle game of a three-game set against the Giants.

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