Dodgers 2018 Roster: A Few Thoughts About Second Base

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.

Sure, Forsythe could conceivably play every day, and there ‘s a whole slew of players who can provide cover at second—Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes, Tim Locastro, or even Justin Turner, in a pinch. However, all these options are righty hitters, and it will be very atypical of Andrew Friedman and his crew not to have a left-handed hitting second baseman on the 25-man roster, especially considering the way Forsythe has hit righty pitching throughout his career.

For the entirety of the 2017 regular season, Forsythe hit just .190/.315/.262 in 286 plate appearances against RHP—a scary thought when considering that roughly two-thirds of the starting pitchers in the majors throw from the right side. Career-wise, his numbers are a little better, but not stellar by any means, as he has a .236/.317/.344 lifetime mark against right-handers. In the greater scope of things, a .344 career slugging percentage for a player hitting in the middle of a lineup with championship aspirations is just a bit grim.

And the scary thing is that the Dodgers don’t really have any second base prospects on the upper levels of the farm who bat left-handed. Willie Calhoun, a Top 5 team prospect who was dealt to the Rangers last July for Yu Darvish, showed a little bit of promise, but even so, Texas doesn’t have much hope for his glove, as the club utilized the youngster as a left fielder in 18 games when he was brought up after rosters expanded.

Max Muncy should be back with Triple-A Oklahoma City next year, and could be a far reach to provide cover at the keystone, but the 27-year-old former Oakland Athletic is more of a corner infielder/outfielder type of utility man—almost a clone of Rob Segedin, if you will. In all, Muncy hit .309/.414/.492 with 12 long balls and 44 RBI in 109 games for OKC last year, however, he only appeared in nine games at second base.

All things considered, Forysthe does have a number of bright spots, most specifically his outstanding defense, his ability to hit anywhere in the lineup, and his propensity to get on base. And if he can carry a bit of momentum into the beginning of 2018, unlike his injury-riddled beginning to last season, maybe things will play out differently. After all, he did have a very productive stretch in the 2017 postseason.

The Dodgers brought in Forsythe last winter for the main reason of generating offense against southpaw pitching after the club as a whole hit below .210 against leftys for the entirety of 2016—and for that purpose, he delivered. Yet, when pondering Forsythe’s career numbers against right-handed pitching, there’s a very good chance the Dodgers make a move to bolster the offensive side of things at second base. There’s about a zero chance that Chase Utley returns, and even if he did, it’s doubtful that he could provide any more pop at the dish against right-handers than Forsythe.

As far as free agent second baseman who hit left-handed go, there are a few options in Jose Reyes, Cliff Pennington or Danny Espinosa, but considering the tendencies and aspirations of the Los Angeles front office crew, they may prefer to make a bigger splash through a potential trade.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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Dodgers Exercise Logan Forsythe’s 2018 Team Option

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe runs to home after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in Los Angeles, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

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.

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Dodgers Hope Hot Bats Stay Sizzling in Arizona

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So far, so good.

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.

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With NL Home Field Advantage Secure, What’s Next for Dodgers?

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Get ready, October is coming.

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?

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Dodgers Look to Continue Winning Ways Against Nationals

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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.

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Will Dodgers Benefit from Keeping Yasiel Puig Higher in Batting Order?

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(Mandatory Credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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.

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The Dodgers Have a Depth Problem, but It’s Only Going to Help Them in the Postseason

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(Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

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.

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Dodgers Lineups: Cody Bellinger Could Benefit from a Little More Protection

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(Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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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 Hope Justin Turner Provides Spark to Sputtering Offense

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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.

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