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Dodgers Offensive Success Is Derived From Interesting Philosophy

The Los Angeles Dodgers are hitting more, by hitting less. What a funny concept, right? Indeed though, that’s what is going on behind the curtain at Dodgers facilities. Surely, you saw the Dodgers put up a milestone amount of runs in their opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s not just something in the drinking water, in case you were wondering.

Furthermore, Pedro Moura detailed a great read over at The Athletic that talks about the Dodgers’ unique approach in 2019 which is yielding more results.

Simply, new hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc having the players hit a little bit less. No really, they’re not hitting as much; the article details:

The team is limiting players’ access to Dodger Stadium’s batting cages. Over the first series against Arizona, the cages were not staffed until five hours before first pitch, or later in the case of day games. The idea is that it is still plenty of time to prepare. The goal is to limit the workload that will accumulate between now and the end of October, when the Dodgers plan to still be playing.

“You gotta put some boundaries around some of these guys,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Because they want to work hard, which is a great thing. But to what end? For some of these guys, there’s anxiety involved. And, as coaches, we understand that we’re expecting to play baseball for seven months.”

Equally important as having guys remain fresh physically is the mental approach remain in the same state. Now, Max Muncy can see how that comes into play.


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Muncy gave a nice quote on that aspect of the hands-off approach being coined in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

“Part of the reason why a lot of us are very good is because we like to get in there and work,” Max Muncy said. “But we’re human and the coaches are human, so sometimes you have to put restraints on people to make sure everyone realizes we all need breaks here and there — coaching staff included.”

The article goes on to talk about how in past seasons, many players would arrive to do early cage work around noon or shortly thereafter. Currently, the Dodgers are showing up around 3 to get started. The old adage applies here – if it’s not broken you don’t fix it. Without question, the Dodgers’ offense is off to an incredible start with 42 runs in four games.

Alex Verdugo added to how things feel in the hitting room.

“Our hitters are friggin’ locked in right now,” Verdugo said. “Everyone’s going crazy. Just tone it down a little bit,” he said. “Running a marathon, you’re not gonna sprint as fast as you can for one mile and then die the last five. You’re gonna get into a nice steady jog and make it all right.”

Yes, the Dodgers will go into a stretch where they don’t hit at some point. That is the game of baseball. For right now, you stick with exactly what is yielding (record-setting) results and don’t deviate. And you ride that wave as long as possible.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. When I was younger, before we all had internet and I had to read the newspaper the next day, one of the stats that at the time was kept track of and always pissed me off was “IR/S”. You know, “inherited runners / scored”.

    As a Dodger fan for 40 years or so, this statistic has caused me a great deal of despair and grief. (I remember Tom Niedenfuer, and I remember Broxton).

    I have always thought it was incorrect (bullshit) to charge these runs to the pitcher that just left the game. So I want to ISO the ERA / runs expected.

    it’s a nine game sample,

    Game 1: Verdugo hit for Ryu with a 7-1 lead. Does not apply.
    Game 2: Stripling pitched 5.1 and left w/ the bases empty. Scott Alexander finished the inning, negating my point. 7th inning, Baez gets 3 outs but the inning was extended ’cause the guy struck out on a wild pitch and made it to first. Among the stupidest rules in the game. Baez walked the next batter, bringing on a pitching change featuring old friend Joe Kelly. Kelly immediately gave up a 3-run homer. 2 of those runs were charged to Baez.

    What is Baez’ ERA if Kelly doesn’t give up that homer? and what is Kelly’s ERA if he is charged w/ all 3 runs? THAT is my idea for adjusted ERA, or ISO ERA, or whatever. I think it’s an extremely important statistic to keep track of.

    I have a full time job, I don’t have time for this math, But my point is, what if every inherited runner was retired? how would this affect the starters ERA? how would this affect everyone’s ERA? and how about if the pen ERA was instead charged w/ IR/S ???

    I work 7 days a week, not in the field of baseball writing nor analysis. But I would love to see the results.

    • and I live in Oregon so I get to watch every Dodgers game via MLBtv premium (as long as the Mariners are not involved)

  2. say 40 games into the season. Take any starter, Buehler for example. Look at how many he runners he left on base at the time he was “relieved”. Then look at how many of those runners scored. Subtract those runners who scored, and you get a look at his ISO /ERA / RLISP. Same thing for these bullpen people. Charge all of those runners to the guy who allowed them to score (if the guy had done his job, they wouldn’t have scored), and p

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