Although there is still a lot of work left to be done, those of us in Dodgers Nation can breathe a little sigh of relief after the recent series in San Francisco. Our beloved team is starting to look like the powerhouse team it was earlier in the season.
While there’s been very heavy speculation lately about the effectiveness of the Dodgers‘ most common batting orders, there’s little guarantee that moving around several regular pieces will make a huge difference in the overall potency of the offense. The same can be said about moving up right fielder Yasiel Puig in the lineup—he’s definitely thrived in the lower part of the order, but when given the chance to hit in the middle, hasn’t made much of a notable difference at all.
I’ve never looked at the roster of a playoff contender and seen any tough choices to make. I’ve never had to look at a teams outfield, and figure out who should play left field because usually there’s a clear answer. Not for the 2017 Dodgers. In the postseason, managers want to put their “A-Team” on the field, the problem is, the Dodgers have quite a few combinations of a championship caliber team, but it’s the best problem to have — it’s why they’re likely to succeed in the 2017 playoffs.
During the middle contest of a three-game series against the Padres last weekend, we noted a statistic on Twitter about how the No. 5 hole in the Dodgers lineup has been the least productive of all the spots in the batting order this season, excluding the No. 9 slot.
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.
To say the Dodgers‘ offense has been lackluster lately would be a bit of an understatement. After scoring 10 runs in Milwaukee last Friday, the Dodgers have only scored five runs in five games since then. Granted, they were facing some of the best pitchers they’ve face so far in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, but still the offense has left something to be desired.
It just doesn’t seem that the Dodgers can catch a break. On the same night that saw Adrian Gonzalez return from his first-ever stint on the disabled list, it appears that the Dodgers might lose their All-Star caliber third baseman Justin Turner.