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Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down: Justin Turner Catches Fire, Rich Hill Struggling

Some Dodgers remain red-hot after a sweep of the San Diego Padres but some are suddenly ice cold

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats in the eighth inning of the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 03, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Giants 5-3. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
This is a recurring series where we break down the hottest and coldest Dodgers over the previous week, outlining who is trending upwards and downwards.

The Dodgers are fresh off a sweep of the division-rival San Diego Padres and head to Cincinnati to face old friends with some guys pulling the weight and others thirsting for results.

The Boys in Blue have managed an MLB sixth-best wRC+ of 107 in the month of May in addition to the third-best starting rotation ERA at a sparkling 3.26 mark.

Let’s take a look at what individual players are trending in what direction:

Stock Up

Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP

May: 25 IP (3 GS), 0.36 ERA, 0.40 WHIP, 1.55 FIP, 7.6 K/9, 0.4 BB/9, 1.2 WAR

Ryu was recently named the National League Player of the Week and for good reason. His last 3 starts have been fantastic, capped by taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning and a complete-game shutout. Believe it or not, Hyun-Jin Ryu has posted the lowest ERA in all of Major League Baseball since 2018 among starting pitchers who have thrown as many innings as he has. That is absurd.

Justin Turner, 3B

May: .326 AVG, .396 OBP, .721 SLG, 4.2 BB%, 8.3 K%, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 0.7 WAR

JT has found his power. Crushing 5 bombs across 11 games is no small feat, and per usual, as the weather heats up, so does he. Another interesting fact about his hot stretch is that he is doing it with a .265 BABIP. This indicates that he could heat up even more.

Max Muncy, INF

May: .286 AVG, .375 OBP, .524 SLG, 12.5 BB%, 22.9 K%, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 0.5 WAR

Muncy has really tried his best to replicate his stellar 2018 campaign to start off 2019. He looks absolutely locked in at the plate and with the glove. He has posted a 5 DRS so far this season to add on to a solid resumé in 2019.

Stock Down

Austin Barnes, C

May: .179 AVG, .258 OBP, .357 SLG, 6.5 BB%, 16.1 K%, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0.0 WAR

Austin Barnes has been cold for a long while and who knows if this level of production is going to improve some over the rest of the month. Barnes is arguably the lone liability in the lineup.

Kiké Hernandez, 2B

May: .150 AVG, .222 OBP, .250 SLG, 6.7 BB%, 26.7 K%, 1 HR, 3 RBI, -0.2 WAR

Hernandez has looked brutal at the plate as of late. Thankfully his defense has been exceptional at second base, helping ease the blow.

However, after getting off to a scorching start to the season, Kiké has regressed in a big way.

Rich Hill, SP

May: 9 IP (2 GS), 6.00 ERA, 0.40 WHIP, 7.33 FIP, 8.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, -0.2 WAR

After looking fantastic in Spring Training, Rich Hill has not quite found his footing this season after his injury. It will come, and the Dodgers also can afford to wait for Hill to find it. With Ryu showing out, Buehler picking things up, and Kershaw at full health, the pressure on Hill is alleviated.

Final thoughts

What do you think? Who did we hit on, and who was a swing and a miss?

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

6 Comments

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  1. Ryu has been an incredible pitcher for the Dodgers when healthy. Since his shoulder surgery and other setbacks he has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. Irregardless of the guys in the Minor League I would attempt to sign Ryu to a multi year contract especially as we have a very large base of Korean fans in LA.
    The strategy should be to win the West and hopefully secure Home Field advantage AND find out who you should play in the playoffs.
    So far Hill does not give confidence he should be in the Rotation. if he does not come around soon I would use
    Stripling as a starter as he has been very good.

    Barnes started well and has tailed off. Instead of Gale I am confused why they have not brought up Smith as Friedman stated this summer he has Major League defensive skills. I would think the time on the Major League Club could help him especially a catcher as their primary task is behind the plate and that is a very complicated job.

  2. I believe the reason minor leaguers such as Smith(C) and May(P) have not been brought up is the clock on their major-league service will start. Think back to why Kris Bryant(Cubs), Vlad. Guererro, Jr.(Blue Jays) were kept in the minors when everybody says “bring them to the majors.” It has to do with the major league team wants longer control of the player before they become free-agents.

  3. Tmaxter, why Gale is even in MLB at all is a HUGE mystery. He is absolutely nothing but a waste of roster space. Hill is struggling because he cannot escape the 1st inning without allowing at least 2 HR’s every time out.I do hope Barnes can turn it around again,

  4. If Hill and I were playing Monopoly, I would send him directly to jail without hope of escaping until the season’s end. If he could get through the early innings without giving up a run, I would be pleasantly shocked. We need a Monopoly card that says, Go To BullPen – NOW. Go Blue!!!

  5. Last year Ryu was a better pitcher at Home(Dodger Stadium) than on the road. Does any Dodger fan know if that trend has continued this year, i.e. Ryu better home vs. road? The past two starts were excellent, hope he can do this today At Cincinnati.

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