One day after coming up short against the cellar-dwelling Padres, the Dodgers have decided to employ yet another lineup variation to face 22-year-old righty Jacob Nix in the second game of the series on Saturday night.
We’ve been talking about it a lot lately, and it seems to gain momentum in the critical games, especially when they’re played in the thin air of Coors Field. Whomever is writing out the lineup card for the Dodgers is sticking to their guns, though, despite the club failing to deliver at times when they need to win the most.
I’m not a big fan of writing about lineup design, particularly when it comes to the Dodgers and the complex tactics they use putting together the daily batting orders. At first glance, the lineups sometimes look carefully thought-out and well constructed, while other times the order looks like it will have absolutely no success at all. Additionally, fans often see a player who is scorching hot at the plate given an unwarranted day off, resulting in frustrating reactions, especially when the team is not winning.
Believe it or not, some people saw a bit of logic when the Dodgers ignored their suspect bullpen while trying to upgrade their offense at the non-waiver trade deadline last month. After all, there were some internal moving pieces which would improve the relief corps, and the addition of two of the best available offensive weapons would seemingly allow the squad to slug its way into the postseason.
Undoubtedly, the most common conversation topics 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, with the bullpen not being far behind.
On Monday night, the Dodgers scored 10 runs, five days after being beaten by an offensively dominant Oakland team, 16-6. For the first 10-12 games of the season, many asked: “Where oh where is the Dodgers’ offense?”
For as much as the big league club has been struggling with its offense so far this season, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have been making up for it with their own bats. The Triple-A crew is off to fine 5-1 record as a team, as they’re hitting a combined .306/.377/.447 through the first six games of the young campaign. Although the 19-run output against Round Rock earlier this week represents a big chunk of their production, they still have put 40 runs on the board so far, which translates to 6.67 runs scored per game—a very impressive number any way you look at it.
While it was only four runs and against one of the not-so-stellar pitching staffs in baseball, the Dodgers‘ slumbering offense may finally be showing some signs of waking up.
Cactus League play is is full session, and all the attention is on the performance of the big league Dodgers. But while there are indeed quite a bit of farmhands suiting up on the major league side of camp, the official reporting date for the minor league affiliates isn’t until March 7.