Something a bit surprising to see from a Dave Roberts led Dodgers team is Kiké Hernandez in the lineup less and less for LA. After starting often for the club early in the season, by the final few weeks, his role had diminished as Chris Taylor picked up more time at second base. Moreover, usually a lefty pitcher masher, Kiké actually suffered from reverse splits in 2020 (.237 BA vs RHP, .217 vs LHP).
Additionally, usually a playoff starter for the Dodgers, his name has yet to have been penciled into the starting lineup this postseason. At least until Monday. Over the weekend, Roberts revealed at least one change to his starting lineup for game 1.
He’ll be in there against [Max] Fried [on Monday].
Notably, this is the first time the Dodgers will be facing a left-handed starter this October. At least one that’s expected to go more than 1 or 2 innings. While Hernandez has struggled in what may very well be his final season donning Dodger blue, Doc still loves the intangibles the utility man brings.
The one thing that Kiké always brings is defense and intensity and preparation. I still like him in the batter’s box — he’s gonna compete.
Kiké is 1-3 against Fried in his career, so it’s not a past success situation. Doc is going on his gut as he looks to optimize the defense and the DH position.