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Dodgers: LA Needs to Bring Back Matt Beaty, is Bellinger Hurting Team?



By most statistical measures, Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers has proven to be one of the least productive hitters in baseball this season. Belli is near the bottom of the league in wRC+ at 49 and is hitting .162 for the year yet continues to see time despite LA’s other more viable options.

We tell you why it’s time for the Dodgers to call up ‘The Hitman’, Matt Beaty and why his below average defense shouldn’t keep him from starting for the team. Plus, the real reason why LA hasn’t called up Matt Beaty yet and could the Dodgers be doing more harm than good for Cody Bellinger by continuing to allow him to struggle.

WATCH

The utility man Beaty was unexpectedly optioned to AAA on August 26 when Mookie Betts returned from the IL. In 8 games with OKC, Beaty has done what Beaty does and hit. He has 10 hits in 28 at-bats with a .935 OPS. In 105 games with the big league Dodgers, he’s posted a triple slash line of .262/.358/.374 with 5 home runs and 34 RBI in limited action.

Notably, Dave Roberts has often pointed to Beaty’s role on the Dodgers as pinch hitter, but the 28-year-old actually has better results as a starter (hitting just .208 as a pinch hitter vs .284 as a starter). He’s also hitting .333 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position along with posting a .302 average in high-leverage spots — all areas where the lineup has been anemic of late.

The time is now to inject some offense into the lineup and, most importantly, some quality, professional at-bats.

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Written by Doug McKain

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  1. At time Beatty was not hitting (below .200) and Mookie was coming back. Yeah I know Cody wasn’t/isn’t hitting too. But if Beatty & Cody are sub .200 Beattys the one getting sent down.

    Now that AJ Pollock is out Dodgers could have recalled Beatty but instead they chose 32-yr old journeyman Steven Sousa Jr., no idea why.

      • yeah but same thing coming up, Dodgers will miss Snell this time around so right handers. Beaty , perfect time……..If roberts shunns him again, we know it’s Hate and or bias….some have stated because Beaty is a Southern boy, I’m beginning to believe they might be right…

    • Batey was hitting .260 when sent down. Not only is he, on any statistic, performed better than Cody–he’s miles ahead of McKinney. For a team that stress micro stats the thinkers in this organization have their heads stuck-up their butts.

    • I call BS- Scott Wayne. Beatty was hitting .250 to start August and was bringing his average up during the month. He just wasn’t getting many at bats and bad-boy Bill McKinney came over in late July and took up twice as many at bats as Beatty.

      This has nothing to do with the starters. Dodgers just chose a sub that plays sub-par. McKinney is hitting .150 with the Dodgers

  2. Doug, you’re correct but Roberts is stubborn and blind to that fact that yes, Bellinger IS hurting this team by being in lineup every day. But maybe the FO is dictating Bellinger’s presence in the lineup but at least hopefully he will sit when a LHP is starting for the opposing team. Yes, Beaty SHOULD be here but it angers me that Roberts doesn’t seem to care about his bat bring the lineup down. Roberts will come to regret his stubborness when this issue costs the team a chance to go deep in October.

      • Have you seen the lineup for todays game, 9/9? Roberts is not only stubborn, he is a moron. It is as if he is a Little League coach where the rules state that “everyone plays”. Two games behind the Giants and twenty-two games left and he runs out a line up that after the fourth spot, the chance of any offence is likely to be zero . Bellinger hitting 5th, followed by Souza, McKinney, Barnes and the pitchers spot, really? The chances of being competitive with this line up are pretty slim, again not sure what he is thinking, maybe he will just be satisficed with a wild card slot, it is definitely not a line up for a game this important at this point in the season.

        • Spot on Chip…There is NO OTHER reasoning for not only pushing back Urias, but then putting in the weakest line up possible…..it wouldn’t be so pain full to watch if they would just explain the reasoning. Same thing with letting Beaty Rot while these other non deserving failures play…

        • as most here agree, Belli is a big hole in our lineup, and getting worse — no hits in last 27 AB (over a week). Roberts batted him 5th today — OMG what stupidity. Bring back Beaty and put him in LF, with CT3 in CF, Mookie in RF. Send Belli down to get him to try adjustments. He is killing us now. and Souza over Beaty? McKinney over McKinstry? terrible decisions.

  3. I have the same injury Bellinger has. I got it playing basketball over 14 months ago, and I opted not to do surgery but to rehab. Granted, I’m 47 y/o, but I’m still in pain and my shoulder is not normal. I couldn’t even think about swinging a club, let alone a bat or anything.

    It took Kemp about 2 years to bounce back from the same injury. I’ve said this since last year, and all of the metrics back this up, Cody is not healthy and he needs to just rehab. I can’t wrap my mind around what the Dodgers have been thinking, and I can only hope this doesn’t impact his psyche going forward.

    Beaty is a break even WAR player because of his bat. Bellinger right now is -1.6. This is an easy decision. Just put Cody on the IL and let the guy heal his shoulder and mind. Please.

    • People keep blaming the injuries. Fact is, he’s sucked since the All Star game in ‘19. Injuries started with that stupid celebration with Keke I last years playoffs

      • The injuries are real though. He hasn’t sucked since the 19′ All star game. That’s simply not true. He had a bad shortened season in 20′ and a horrible 21′ because he’s still recovering.

        Simply look at the advanced metrics. He’s was in the 97th percentile on exit velocity prior to his injury. Now he’s below the 45th percentile. So even when he does connect, he’s not hitting it nearly as hard. Why? Because he can’t generate the same power between the shoulder injury and leg injury.

        The numbers don’t lie bro.

        • You’re right bro, numbers don’t lie. Second half of ‘19 MVP season, hits .261 and awful in post season. Don’t get the shortened ‘20 season reasoning, but hits .239 and once again awful in the post season. Yes, every now and then the ball hits his bat. Now the injuries are a factor in spite of 250 ab’s where his upper cut only home run swing seems to be as violent as ever…..and then some.
          Agree, numbers don’t lie, and the number is .161! Also be nice to hear from Cody relative to what’s going on with Cody as opposed to hearing about everyone from Delusional Dave.

        • What’s his exit velocity when he is whiffing? Which is most of the time…one problem is… He is swinging too hard, not struggling with an injury…. Unless the injury is effecting his timing or batting eye…

  4. Not too long ago we had an article asking if Roberts was causing the DODGERS games? And once again the answer is yes!!!! When is he going to learn to go with who’s hot and not go with what these players used to be? Whether it’s starting pitching, the bullpen or your starting line up, you need to go with those who are producing instead of those who are not!!! Let’s hope we don’t have another early exit this season bcuz of Roberts being stubborn

  5. Thank you Marcos for at least bringing up the elephant in the room. Beaty is a contact hitter, he at least will move runners along. His defense is NOT that bad considering bellinger throws a ball 11 rows deep against the giants and costs us a game and it isn’t Even mentioned by anyone in the media. I watch all of the Dodgers games and only saw Beaty flub one ball at the wall in right. So let’s be real here, Roberts is sabotaging himself and the team by remaining loyal to bellinger who with out a doubt has been costing the dodgers numerous times. It was a relief last night watching Souza contribute, and Bellinger has not done ANYTHING that ANYOTHER major leaguer couldn’t do in center. Beaty is and will solve a lot of roberts late innings disasters because he can actually play multiple positions, and he also can hit right handers. Once again Marcos, thanks for finally someone addressing this in the media..Now, can you get anyone in Post game to Hold roberts accountable for holding Beaty and the team Back?

  6. As always, the Dodgers have to overcome their opponents, and their own manager, to win baseball games.

    • You guys are ridiculous, blaming Roberts. It’s so beyond micro 20/20 analysis it’s laughable.

      You do realize Roberts isn’t the person who makes decisions on roster spots right?

      Unless you put Cody on the IL, you can’t send him down, he’s not eligible.

      You guys don’t know what you’re talking about honestly.

      • So John, in the year 2085 when some 12 yr old kid is doing a report on the MLB and he picks the year 2020, with your wisdom here Roberts won’t be mentioned as the winning Manager, but he will be listed as “Liaison to Andrew Friedman” ? Didn’t know it worked that way…..

    • And Doug, seriously? Why won’t anyone on Post game etc. bring this up? I attend 3 Dodgers talk forums and every single dodgers fan is in complete disdain over this very topic. Roberts needs to be held accountable for this shunn of beaty. Even just a “Because” would be nice……..

  7. Beaty should be back — in place of McKinney. In the first two games against the Cardinals I have noticed a change in Bellinger’s mechanics and especially his hitting approach. Now is not the time to sit him, see if the improvement continues, or if he reverts to old ways. Sousa Jr. is a temp RH hitting replacement for Pollock. DFA McKinney, recall Beaty for pinch hitting.

    • Without a doubt DFA Mckinney and bring Beaty back. How about Bellinger go to Camel Back and work until the D-backs series. Bellinger will only succeed against mediocre pitching. Anyone throws over 94 and he’s toast. Play him in series where bottom feeder teams and their pitching to rest Taylor and muncy…..

  8. The new reality show, “Leave it to Roberts.” Starring Mark Walter, (plus the other 8 owners), Stan Kasten, Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts….as Dave Roberts

  9. There’s no doubt Beaty should be on the major league roster and probably never should have been sent down in the first place. In fact, we had McKinstry back up for a minute after Beaty was sent down??? It’s easy to conclude Roberts doesn’t value him.
    I get Doug’s point about Beaty in the lineup and Bellinger out but this is really about the team trying to get Bellinger whole again offensively in time for the post season. I seriously doubt it’s Doc’s decision alone. I also don’t think these guys fortunes should be tied together. They are individuals with their own individual formulas for success. Wise managers plug players into the lineup in situations where they have a good chance of succeeding. Belly’s looking like his role should be late inning defensive replacement with about one at bat a game. Truly sad that this guy hasn’t been sent out to work with a special hitting coach. Best organization in baseball totally consumed with finding somebody to pitch in tomorrow’s game.

  10. Bellinger’s defense is not able to overtake his offense in terms of value. His elite base running becomes obsolete, because… well you have to be on base to take advantage of that base running. So of his three pillars of strength, Bellinger only has his defense to rely on. That’s just not enough. How many times has Belli been up to bat where almost anything, but two outcomes, would help, and he K’s or hits a weak pop up to the infield? The there’s Roberts weird love affair with Billy McKinney which drives me all kinds of crazy. The simple fact is Beaty had options left, and McKinney did not. Fine, see ya McKinney. Also I just feel like Bellinger needs to “have some injury” so they can send him on a rehab assignment to AAA or something. Get him some at bats that aren’t so heavily important and see if he can get his hitting acumen back. It’s doubtful, but confidence breeds confidence, and if you look at his at bats, he just looks like he’s trying to swat flies up there. Nothing is exploding off his bat, he seems to have two strikes on him the moment he comes up to the plate.

    There’s a lot of reasons the Dodgers are where they are right now. We had a stretch where we went 5-15 in late April into May, the Giants never had such a streak. Bellinger batting 4th or 5th for so many games before Roberts realized, “oh hey he’s not right” cost us games. Bellinger costs us games now. We are only one game back, we DO NOT WANT. a one game playoff with Blake Snell starting for the Padres… Roberts needs to pull the band aid off and get offense in there, and use Bellinger as late inning defense. Beaty is the superior hitter, and this was unthinkable before. However Bellinger hasn’t been the same player since the first half of his MVP season, not even close.

    • I’ve watched ‘countless’ opportunities
      for Belli to use his speed by bunting
      down the 3rd base line for hits when
      the defense is employing the shift but
      he instead ‘is all about’ swingin’ for the
      fences. & why doesn’t Roberts- from
      the dugout call for the occasionally bunt
      outta anybody- not just Belli. If Cody then
      swings away- fine him or bench him for not
      listening!

  11. Cody “Weak” Bellinger (35) Is a mess he needs to clean up his act from his big swing and especially appearance! What the hell happened to him? He looks like a scarecrow!
    I wonder if it’s a mental issue? Everytime he comes up to bat he is thinking home run?
    Instead of just putting the ball in play by shorting up his swing and waiting for his pitch.
    Whatever it is he needs big help!

    • LA Bleeds Blue, I’ve said these exact same things about Bellinger’s AB’s and his appearance. He needs help big time because he is hurting the lineup and help needs to be at Camelback, and NOT on the active roster.

      • I don’t know how many times I have stated the Belli’s problems are between his ears.
        Apparently instead of working with his hitting coaches on a swing change thought, he just goes it alone because apparently he believes he knows all. Well he doesn’t. All he needs to do is watch Cory or Muncy hit especially against a LH pitcher. Neither pull off the way he does and they both hit with power without the violent upper cut that Cody chooses. There is so damn much frustration watching what Roberts thinks is a competitive lineup to his insistence on playing Mckinney. And it baffles the mind why a LH hitter (Beaty) is in the minors while another LH hitter (the aforementioned McKinney) is with the big club. He can talk about defense, but this is BS and is a long worn out position. This team needs a manager who knows how to fill out a lineup card with the intention that they are going to win every night and not a lineup that is a concession to our opponents. And please, don’t start talking about his 8 straight division titles. The Dodgers have won those on sheer talent not Roberts ability to manage. I have been a loyal fan of the Dodgers since Brooklyn and I can’t remember EVER being this frustrated for ticked off.

  12. Bellinger is an elite CF, prob top 5 in baseball. That said Beatty should be playing in front of him. However to suggest bias or racial prejudice on Robert’s part is ludicrous. By my count Muncy, TTurner, Kershaw, Smith, Seager, Buehler and Betts are all “southern boys.” Also, if we can see that Beatty should be playing so can Dodger leadership above Roberts. I doubt that the fact that he is a Southerner is an acceptable reason to anyone!

    • Agreed it’s a harsh accusation Mujinzoo, and there is only 1 way to put any of these theories to rest, Roberts needs to Address this topic openly to the entire fan base and media. They have all been ignoring the Entire fan base and our Concerns. Roberts is acting like this is “HIS” team and I get the feeling he thinks he’s above all of us!!! You know, US!!!!! The ones that pay his salary!!!! GO DODGERS!!!!

      • Right on, Kirk!!! Honestly, this whole saga with Bellinger has gone way too far for Roberts or ANYONE IN FO to justify him getting in the starting lineup daily. I mean, he was in there yesterday against Happ for crying out loud.

  13. If anyone thinks, the Dodgers are simply preparing Bellinger for post-season, let’s remember that he broke the Major League record for strikeouts (29) in post-season when he was perfectly healthy.

    • Well the DH keeps the pitcher out of batters box. And on days Barnes catches Will Smith can DH in middle of lineup. When Smith catches, that DH could give JT, Pollock, Muncy, or Betts a game off their feet and remain in lineup so Roberts doesn’t find it necessary to have a pitcher bat because he runs out of position players late in a game.

  14. Paul, why is JT sitting this game out when he hit 2 dingers yesterday? Does Roberts know we’re actually 2 games behind again in the division race? Or is he just resting him for the Wild Card game? I’m trying to get a wrap on this… Please help!!!!!!! Seager, Betts got hits tonight and Muncy homered. So does he rest them tomorrow? I’m extremely confused on which one/ones need rest tomorrow…I think the Only explanation is Roberts forgot Zaiidi isn’t his Boss any longer so he’s been calling him and Gabe asking them who he should play…

    • Kirk, I wouldn’t doubt that Roberts might be doing that what ya say but honestly, JT could have gotten the early game tomorrow off instead of tonight but that’s Roberts for ya. Bellinger went 0 for 3 if I recall and Dodgers lost by 1 run. I’m sorry I can’t help ya figure Roberts out but if I recall right, Roberts had plans for Muncy to be out of lineup on Thursday……go figure.

  15. Bumps Chumps above here made an excellent point about Bellinger and that is he’s not been the same player since before the 2nd half of 2019. It means Bellinger has been in this slide for over 2 years now.

  16. In 1959 I was in Long Beach and fell in love with our Dodgers (we beat the White Sox that year and in my 3rd grade mind I knew we would win every year from then on!) I now have two grown daughters, one of which shares my passion for this team. The passion comes from the fact that during a 30 yr Navy career we did two tours in San Diego and one in Long Beach and were at Dodger Stadium (or Jack Murphy when LA was in town) as much as possible. I mention this to say that my Dodger daughter has been calling for Roberts firing/resignation for a few years now, despite the fact that his teams win! I, on the other hand (being the old man), have taken a longer view. Now, however, I’m confused. Matt Beaty’s BA is on par with Muncy, Betts, Smith and Taylor…and 100 pts above Belli. This, when we need offense and more offense. It was enlightening to hear Scherzer say how much a few runs lead changes his approach, making him even more effective. I’m sure it’s the same for Buehler and Kershaw. Bottom line for me: if Roberts can’t make the right and obvious decision regarding Bellinger, Dodger upper management needs to intercede. Roberts needs to be held accountable and we can never trust the Giants to roll over/slump. They need to be beaten into submission and we need every arrow in our quiver!

  17. I hope Cody is seen a sports psychologist. Not only is this playing issue getting in his head, but he is going to be a father pretty soon. I’m doubting that was planned. It must be distracting; it’s a huge life change that should be taken into consideration.

  18. Why doesn’t Roberts order Belly to bunt for a hit? He’s fast – and it may refresh his ability to make contact. Nothing to lose.

  19. Bellinger (besides his great defense) is definitely hurting the team
    At this time of the season you can’t afford to be starting a player hitting .160 and striking out to end a rally.
    He is becoming a rally killer.

  20. Mujinzoo, Thanks for serving brother…….When it all comes down to it, this is just a game, these are all great athletes and we wouldn’t even be talking about any of them if they weren’t. But those of us that work for a living, some of us physically more than others, it’s quite frankly HARD to sympathize with any of them regarding REST in a dogfight against a Division rival. Roberts pampers players, and like a little League coach chooses favorites which is Obvious regarding the Beaty/Bellinger scenario. His choice to stick with the flailing Bellinger, play Mckinnley, and fail to bring Beaty up is beyond ridiculous. The media won’t even address the reasoning whether it be a organizational decision, or what. Even though this team has done some winning in recent years, WE fans want it all. We finally got a ownership group that has built the farm, spent big money to go after championships, and it is a MUCH better organization since then. The dodgers annually have the largest attendance and without a doubt Make the most money of any team. The team this year spends 275 million to attain the best they possibly can to go for it all. With this all said, it is NOT a pleasant thing to see wasted by a bumbling manager such as Roberts. His in game managing and horrible assessment of Pitchers, his constant shuffling of line ups, complete ignorance of fundamental traditional baseball, I could go on and on. IMO and Many many others such as your daughter, just believe the Team deserves better, and the team with the TOP payroll, the MOST finances to afford to build the farm , should have won more than 1 Championship with this current group. Roberts is like watching a Bad Movie over and over and over. I have zero faith in roberts, but COMPLETE faith in the players on this team “IF” they are given the chance to succeed. Roberts coddles players, has favorites such as Baez, Kenley, now Bellinger and keeps playing them at CRUCIAL times at the TOTAL plight of the entire team. We’ve all watched roberts BLOW a few Playoff series with this BLIND loyalty to certain players, and now we’re watching it with this current Beaty Bellinger scenario So none of this is New to Dodger fans. He will blow the entire season “Like he has in the past” due to his Homer irrational decisions. I know exactly why your daughter feels the way she feels….

  21. Love Belli, but it has been more than a year of this. He will not get out of it this season. He needs serious work while not under pressure and rework his swing. I’m actually more excited to see the pitcher come to bat as Cody has killed a lot of rallies and at least the pitcher might get lucky. Cody seems to have zero chance at the moment.

    I want to see him do well and the best thing you can do for him is send him down. Allow him to recover from whatever he is going through.

  22. Matt Beaty is clutch. You’d have to be blind to not see that Bellinger is a near automatic out. If anyone needs to go to the minors to try and recapture a swing it’s Bellinger. Get Beaty back or watch the Dodgers bow out early in the playoffs and have no chance to catch the Giants.

  23. Greetings
    I have been asking myself why Beaty is not here. If his defense is that bad put him at first

    • A suggestion, bring Beaty back have him play 1st until Pollock is able to play, move T. Turner to center, Muncy to 2nd and Taylor to left. Never let Bellinger see the field for the rest of this season. Once Pollock is healthy have him play left, move Muncy back to 1st and Taylor to 2nd and Beaty comes in off the bench to hit.

  24. Sounds like it has all been said about Matt Beaty and Cody. I went down to OKC and watched our AAA team play. Matt was knocking the cover off the ball that nite. It seems to me that Cody would be better off where the lights don’t shine so bright. Some place where he can find some help. We can’t give up on him….just fix him.

    As for Matt Beaty, damn it Doc, bring him up and let him play. The boy is good. Sooo much better than McKinney. Put the best horses out there and let’s win another one!

      • Bellinger has to drop the ridiculous batting stance and bend his knees
        Look at all the best hitters in baseball history…not one stands straight up
        Someone needs to take him aside and say “do you want to hit again?”
        Bend your knees and become a hitter again..until he does..he won’t hit
        And his career may be in question

  25. Always thought Dodgers won by overcoming bad decisions by Roberts. I guess he is a good guy but I wouldn’t have him for a head coach.

    • You mean bad decisions like the times he pitched Baez and he gave up 2 and 3 run homers in the
      playoff’s, 8th inning when he’d been doing it quite often all year long bad decisions? Or the Times Kenley pitched 2.5 innings to get a save, then pitche him the next game and Kenley gave it up decisions? Or the times he pitched Kersh on 3-4 days rest and burned him up to where they bombed Kersh type decisions? Those are just a few examples, but all of those moves were in big time games and brought big time losses. The ONLY time he actually showed any Brains at all was last year after once again Kenley Blew game 5, he decided to let Urias close game 6 of the World Series. This Beaty/Belli scenario is very similar to the BLIND loyalty Roberts gives players tooo many chances even if they continually fail , all at the expense of the team…..

  26. Beatty yes. Bellinger no. Roberts no. Resting hot hands no. Minor leaguers pitching no. Removing relievers after 8 pitch one inning appearance no. Bunt down third base line yes. Pollack is responsible for another one of his injuries yes. Resign Scherzer yes. Let bellinger walk without arbitration offer yes. Trea turner center field yes. Muncy 2d base yes. Beaty first base yes against right ganders, Pujols against left handlers.

  27. Get rid of Mckinny and bring up Beaty. Mckinny can catch the ball and run, you already have Bellinger. Dodgers need hitters, before thinking of defensive purposes.

  28. It’s clear we all have passion for this team…that’s why we’re here! Sometimes during a game when the Dodgers are struggling I see a few guys laughing in the dugout for whatever reason and I think “Hey, I can’t laugh, I’m dying here and I’m just sitting in front of the TV!” A bit extreme perhaps but I know my day starts a bit brighter when the Dodgers won the night before. Many of us believe we can manage better than Roberts and maybe a few could, but it is a terribly complex job, for a multi-million dollar enterprise, in a huge market with super high viz and expectations for every game…so what, right? I’m not an apologist for Roberts I just think, as I’ve said before, leadership above him must intercede. If they don’t then they deserve their fair share of criticism. Finally, that lineup last night was a gift to the Cardinals. I’m no longer buying this “day off” stuff…wish I knew how the players feel about it!

  29. The Dodgers bring up the 220 hitting Lux and leave their best hitter in OKC to Rot all because Idiot roberts hates Matt…. At the expense of this team………Dodgers held hostage by Roberts…..

    • Mujinzoo, Nothing against Lux because he’s a slight upgrade over Mckinney and Bellinger but in the 24 games he played at OKC he was hitting 269 which is about right for triple AAA. Problem is Beaty was hitting 269 on the Big club…Beaty is hitting 357 at OKC……..It’s beyond painful bud, it’s fringing on lunacy and Bias hatred towards a player…..Mark my words, after he shuns Beaty and the talking heads examine the weak bench and failure of Roberts to utilize his strongest player in this upcoming offseason regarding this end of season playoff mystery run, BEATY will be the deciding factor that will get Roberts fired… Mark my words, L.A. fans are done with this bias imbecile of a manager. Ignoring the biggest weakness of this team all because of hatred for a player is inexcusable……….FIRE ROBERTS, hire a unbiased baseball guy?

  30. No. Cody Bellinger is not hurting the team. The bonehead decision to PLAY Cody Bellinger is hurting the team. The bonehead decision to not send Cody Bellinger to AAA is hurting the team and the decision to not bring Beaty back up is hurting the team. Playing “non-musical chairs” with the lineup is hurting the team. Bellinger knows that he is a hot mess right now and shows it nearly every time he is at the plate. Its amazing to me that fans understand how “time is of the essence” and we are fast running out of it. Its time to play ball … play SMART ball…hit clutch…stop leaving players stranded…stop moving guys all over the lineup….stop ruining great starts…send players to AAA who need it and bring players up who produce. Everybody can rest later…

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