in

Dodgers That Would Benefit From A Change of Scenery

Dodgers
Sep 19, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Scott Oberg (45) in the game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When I first conceived this article during the playoffs it was of players I thought had used up their usefulness to the Dodgers. It was originally just going to be about why Alex Wood, Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig should move on. Nothing personal as I admire all those players. However, with a look back at the whole season and the playoffs the tone changed. I still list those players but have been re-sold on Puig. This article also takes some perspective of the player and what might be best for him and not necessarily the Dodgers.

The Pitchers

There is a common theme with these players. They have been bounced to and from the rotation over the last few years and it is negatively impacting their career arc and earnings.

Dodgers
Jun 30, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood (57) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Wood:  He was so good in the first half of 2017 with higher velocity than at any time in his career.  At the beginning of the 2017 season he was sitting at 92-95 MPH. Starting in July 2017 a drop started to occur so he know sits at 88-91 MPH. Going from just the stretch probably hasn’t helped. When he went to the bullpen at the end of 2018 I expected an uptick but it never happened. He also didn’t seem the same coming out of the bullpen as he almost looked depressed out there. Would should be a starter and might make around $9 million in arbitration. I can envision a trade but I believe it would be selling low.

Ross Stripling:  Strip had an excellent first half but seemed to wear out during the second half. A back injury didn’t help. For the sake of his career and future paychecks he should be a starter. 2019 is his age 29 season and he’s not eligible for arbitration until after this coming season.

Kenta Maeda:  His contract is very team friendly, especially when he goes to the bullpen. All of his incentives are as a starting pitcher. If his contract is not modified, he should be traded to a team that will just start him. I like how they use him and would prefer they keep him with a modified contract.

The Catcher

Yasmani Grandal has, overall, been an excellent trade acquisition. He puts up strong numbers for a catcher and is elite at pitch framing. Grandal has had a problem with passed balls, even some yips catching the ball and has poor playoff offensive numbers. He is a free agent and was given a Qualifying Offer (QO). If he accepts I would be pleased but a lot of the fan base would not be. The fact he was boo’d during a playoff game should give him pause about returning to the Dodgers. I would not blame him if he left for more overall money and a fresh start.

The Outfielders

There is a glut of outfielders that need to be either playing full time in the Major Leagues or should not be sent down to the minors. The bottom line is there are more qualified players than available spots.

Yasiel Puig:  He was originally one of my guys to move on from. However, unlike most of his teammates, he was pretty good in the playoffs. The question would be, what do the Dodgers want to do with him long term? He is a free agent after 2019 and big, muscular guys don’t age well. I honestly don’t know what the market would be for him. I’d like to see them avoid arbitration and sign him to a 3 year/$24-27 million contract. After that I expect some regression due to a lot of wear and tear on his legs.

Joc Pederson:  He brings good value as he heads to arbitration this year. He’ll end up at $4-5 million for 2019. I hate that they never let him develop as a hitter to hit off of left handed pitchers. He’s also pretty much a left fielder only now. With so many strong outfield candidates that bat left handed, I could see Joc being traded. I’d also be afraid that, once he gets away from platoons, he really blossoms. For his sake a trade would help his career quite a bit. 

Aug 23, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Andrew Toles (60) reacts after hitting a two run HR in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Toles:  When he went down with a knee injury in 2017, he was the left handed hitting part of a platoon in left field. A numbers game put him in AAA to start 2018 and then he pulled a muscle that delayed his recall to the MLB. He barely got many chances in 2018 so it feels like a wasted season. There is no reason for him to be in the minors so they should either make room for him or trade him. 

Alex Verdugo:  I believe the Dodgers need a bat like Verdugo’s in the lineup. He has an approach at the plate that is needed in the lineup. He can work the pitch count, adjusts to the situation and isn’t all or nothing. Another left handed hitting outfielder, he has an excellent arm and can play all three outfield positions. If they decide to platoon him right off the bat then that will damage his career. He should either start every day in 2019 or trade him now. I want him to be a full time starter in 2019 to have another multidimensional hitter in the lineup.

Conclusion

There are a lot of talented players on the Dodgers but some could benefit from a change of scenery. My concern is for the Dodgers but also for the career of the player. Most of the players written about seem to be a held back due to the amount of talent the Dodgers have. The philosophy of using almost a full 40 man roster and a versatile roster seems to hold some players back.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgertown-lease-nearly-finalized-of-former-spring-training-stadium-ce1110/2018/11/02/”]Dodgertown: Lease Nearly Finalized of Former Spring Training Stadium[/button]

Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. I agree with Tim in many respects. Tim mentions that fact that platooning players (due to Roberts and managements approach to analytics) is literally destroying any players ability to play at his full potential. Analytics is just one tool in the shed. When overly used, it rarely results in notable advances. Analytics has been in the game for decades to a lesser degree but suddenly now the Dodgers believe it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Many players will be diminished in performance capabilities because of it. Sad. It is so obvious.

    • BleedBlueForever, i could not have said it much better myself. This OBSESSION with these ‘platoon’ lineups is WRECKING HAVOC on their careers as this stupid philosophy of only allowing them to hit against a pitcher of the opposite side is IMHO what ultimately left many players not effective come PS time. I can can pretty much tell you that during this off season, not too many if any FA’s will want to come to Dodgers for this very reason. And on top of that, not too many players that may be available in a trade will want to come here either, as they don’t want to be made into a platoon player. This L-R-L-R match ups stuff is way over done.

    • I’ve been a fan since 1945. I’d listen to the Dodger games with my parents in the big radio. The first 2 years of our marriage we lived in No. Hollywood and went to game 42 times. She was born in Brooklyn and grew up a Dodger fan. We are true blue. I really enjoy reading your articles. But Roles, Verdugo,Stripling, and Meida, should be kept!

  2. I agree that the style current Dodger management employs is ruining potential full time players. Both Friedman and the GM looked quite arrogant at their press conference with those smug smiles talking down to the masses. Do they really think good players want to be platooned ? A change in strategy is in order on plattooning so much

  3. Nice article Tim, I am an even longer Dodger fan, and older but feel the same way. I too would like to see the Dodgers trade Wood, Stripling and Pedersen. They need to do something about the gridlock in the Outfield and also make room for Urias and Buehler in the starting Rotation. Right now I have Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Wood, all under contract next year with Buehler and Urias in my mind probable starters by right of Talent. Also you have guys like Stripling and Ferguson both having performed very well and Santos and Sheffield & others from the Minors knocking on the door. They need to trade some pitchers and outfielders period. If Grandal comes back on the 1 year 17 million that is OK I guess but not a fan. The Dodgers have Farmer, Smith and Ruiz on the Farm and those guys all can play. I have seen Smith play and I think he is outstanding.
    I see the Dodgers winning the Division again and wining over 100 as this rotation will be better than last years and they should have Turner and Seager from the start of the Season and they are Huge for the Offense. So barring a key injury I think 100 wins. If they do not get some guys that can situational hit and move a guy over or score a runner from third and 1 out they will lose again in the WS. I do not care what the Stats guys say the Playoffs are different. Hitting a HR off an average pitcher and flexing around the bases rarely happens in the key playoff games.

    • And as we all know the Dodgers cannot keep them all. My big concern is the way they handle the offense with this constant daily L-R-L-R platooning and honestly it makes players less productive over all IMHO. It is a shame to make many players , maybe now except Turner, be only platoon players , which means in and out of the lineups and that offense you are talking about, (situational hitting, is and has been very inconsistent as a result. The ability to manufacture runs, especially in the PS and WS is very very important if one wants a chance at winning. But I am glad Dodgers can hit the HR’s they do because in the past couple of years, our pitching staff has shown to give up alot of them and Zaidi himself said that being out homered earlier this year was a reason why Dodgers could not win very many close, tight games at all. In the past couple of seasons, the pitching has given up 363 HR’s combined and throughout the past 2 WS alone the pitching has surrendered 23. HR’s.. And one wonders what may have been a huge reason for falling short in both WS.

      • Whay dont they tray for scoter genet of the red y like that gay he can hit lefts and. Rights.Miguel

  4. Dodger went that far again but poor management byRobert in the world series should not bring him back ,he took pitcher out like Buehler Hill that the 2 could do better for other inn. then bringing ,Jansen well lost the last 2 yr. hopefully don’t think so think they can compete in 2019 ,good luck

  5. Didn’t every MLB player dream of playing baseball and not being a substitute player? The reality to play evety day versus the low chance of winning a WS is an easy choice. I’d pass on being a Dodger as this FO ain’t going anywhere soon.

    • Most MLB players who basically are every day players obviously won’t be in favor of being platooned. Granted nobody these days is expected to play all 162. But in this case Dodgers are conditioning their players to the point that a LHB will or can only face a RHP and a RHB will or only face a LHP. dodgers thus have way too many ‘marginal’ guys they see as only fit to hit against the opposite side of a pitcher. As I said, I cannot see too many FA’s or guys in a trade wanting to come here at all.

  6. Amazing, blame dave for players not hitting. Then say analytics does not work. Oh really..? Back to back WS appearances is NOT a good thing..? Do you guys remember saying there was no chance the dodgers make postseason..? Kenley had problems getting into game shape because of limited spring training innings. Turner gets hit the last spring game. Then Seager has to get TJ surgery. I think you guys are way off on blaming dave or analylitics. I say machado hitting .188 in the WS was a big problem. Getting no production from the catching position. And starting pitching was lacking. I thought the FO should have made a deal for eovaldi. They still should.

    • Their offensive approach…swinging for the fences instead of developing a 2 strike approach was a huge reason for Dodgers falling short in the WS. That’s just the thing, along with WAY WAY too many of them striking out constantly not putting the ball in play at all, especially with RISP. but again, the inconsistency is and was a problem as a result of most guys being in and out of the lineup daily. Situational hitting was lacking for the most part. And ya just cannot expect to survive on a HR or bust approach in the WS. Teams see obviously elite pitching when these PS games take place.

  7. Good article Tim. Point we miss is that even platooning our outfielders are barely league average. We need a complete overhaul in the outfield starting with Verdugo a switch hitter. He is either a player or move on from him. The rest of them are bench pieces not starters.
    As for the pitchers Urias has yet to show much in small samples although he seems to found his control which was his biggest problem. Strip and wood will never make it here and they seem to breakdown in the second half.

    • Hello Gordon60. Verdugo is a LHB and not a switch hitter. but in any case my first guess would be that Dodgers will basically platoon him as they do with Pederson, and even Muncy and Bellinger were being platooned later in the year. Still an issue, although it wasn’t as bad as it was in 2016, was Dodgers performance against LHP. We saw how they were so inept against the LHP of Boston. Puig had big time reverse splits, so we saw his playing time reduced.. IDK, but it just appears Dodgers are conditioning up and coming players to only face pitchers of the opposites side and that is unfortunate. Sometimes all the analytics are not enough to get the job done and until Dodgers win a WS title , it remains undone.

  8. dodgers need a set lineup and keep it no matter what, also selectiom of pitchers was not good out of bull pen,

    • Charles, unfortunately a set lineup for the most part will not happen as long as the current FO and current manager are in place. They see that it got them to back to back WS but we know that it was not the remedy to win a WS. Now going on 31 years without one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Loading…

0

Comments

0 Leave a Comment

Dodgers: Justin Turner Shaved His Beard Clean

2018 Dodgers Season Exit Interviews: Clint