A boring offseason leads to much speculation on the part of Dodger fans, as there is not much concrete news to concentrate on. One topic I’ve seen increasingly is who is going to be manning second base when the season starts.
It’s only November, and already many fans of the Dodgers have been trying to put together an outfield plan for the upcoming 2018 campaign. We are guilty of it, too—over the last few weeks we have talked about where Chris Taylor fits into next year’s roster strategy, in addition to discussing how Andrew Toles returns from a severed ACL. Anything can happen over the next few months, especially with the Winter Meetings approaching; but based on what we know right now, we decided to attempt to paint a picture of what may lie ahead.
Earlier in November, the Dodgers exercised their option to bring back second baseman Logan Forsythe for another season at $8.5 million, perhaps making evident that the team views the 30-year-old Memphis native as the main guy at the keystone moving into 2018. But there’s one potential problem with the way the roster may shape up—there’s nobody at all on the radar who bats left-handed and can play second base.
As a prelude to what may be a busy winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers made several intriguing roster-related moves on Monday. They had previously declined to pick up the remaining $17.5 million on Andre Ethier‘s contract, instead opting to buy him out for $2.5 million. He is now a free agent. In theory, he could still return to the club, albeit at a lower salary.
It’s very early in the postseason, but the Dodgers seem to have it together. All that worry about whether they would be able to get hot at the right time, if they feared the Diamondbacks, was all for naught. The bats look good, the pitching looks decent, and the Dodgers take a commanding 2-0 lead into Arizona.
That’s really all anybody is thinking about right now, the postseason. The Dodgers have said that all of the team records, and winning 100 games for the first time 1974, is really cool, but it’s not the ultimate goal. I’m not saying winning 100 games is easy, of course it’s not, but the Dodgers have their eyes set on the Fall Classic, and so do all the fans. The Boys in the Blue clinched the National League West on Friday, in a game which they cemented the one thing we’ve known all season; the Dodgers know how to win baseball games. To make matters better, within five days of each other, two of the longest-running home run records in baseball were broken; the NL Rookie Home Run record, and the All-Time Rookie Home Run record, broken by Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge, respectively. So, after all this history, what’s next?
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.