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.
Earlier this week, Fox Sports ran an article about it being time for the Dodgers to trade Yasiel Puig. Many fans of the Dodgers took exception to it. I highly doubt that Puig himself read it, but he responded the next day by promptly hitting two homers.
With less than two months remaining until MLB’s 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, we knew it would be only a matter of time before the Dodgers surfaced among clubs that are likely to show trading activity during the coming weeks. In Wednesday’s column, we made note of how several media outlets believe that Los Angeles will be aggressive on the pitching market, yet based on the squad’s recent propensity to fall into frequent offensive stupors, the management crew could be interested in seeking offensive help as well.
Up until recently, many media outlets have been emphasizing how the starting rotation and the relief corps of the Dodgers have been the backbone of the club over the course of the season’s first quarter. While this is certainly true, it can also be said that the team’s offense is quickly building momentum, and if the lumber can maintain any kind of steady reliability, the Dodgers may be controlling the National League West in the blink of an eye.
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.
Hindsight is always 20/20. Of course. But I bet that Dave Roberts wishes he would’ve pulled a different play in the top of the first inning yesterday. Instead of having Chris Taylor swing away, he called for a sacrifice squeeze. The Dodgers already had two runs in, and two runners on base. Instead of getting to the rookie pitcher early, Taylor hit into a inning ending double-play where Utley was tagged out trying to go home and Yasmani Grandal was tagged trying to head into third.
The Dodgers have completed their first road trip of the season, returning home with just a 2-6 record against the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs. As my friend Chuck says, just get in and out of those locales without any injuries, and we can call it a success. Mission almost accomplished. During the road trip the Dodgers lost Franklin Gutierrez to a left hamstring strain, placed him on the 10-day DL and recalled Trayce Thompson from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Outside of a dreary evening against Padres’ starter Clayton Richard on Tuesday, the Dodgers‘ opening series of the 2017 campaign turned out to be quite productive. Three wins in four games is a solid outcome for Los Angeles, as the crew now prepares to carry its momentum to the mountains of Denver for a three-game set against the Rockies.
The exact make up of the Dodgers outfield is still unknown. Manager Dave Roberts has come out many times saying that Yasiel Puig will be starting in right field, and Joc Pederson will retain his roll in center. Left field is a bit uncertain, but look for Andre Ethier to have the starting role there. Where the real fun begins is determining who will make the team as reserves.
The answer is yes, although there’s a slim chance he’ll be among the 25 players suited up for Opening Day.
As it stands now, assuming Andre Ethier comes away from a bout of back spasms unscathed, the primary outfield crew for the Dodgers‘ big league squad will consist of Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, along with the 34-year-old Ethier. And according to our latest projections, newcomer Franklin Gutierrez warrants a spot based on his contract alone, while utility man Scott Van Slyke sneaks on the 25-man primarily for his ability to effectively provide cover at first base.