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Report: Brian Dozier Played Through ‘Severe’ Bone Bruise During 2018

Dodgers

Brian Dozier’s short tenure for the Dodgers didn’t go as one would hope. It seemed like Dozier aged several seasons all in a few months – which led to a stunted performance over 47 games in Los Angeles after the deadline trade.

Perhaps now we have reason for Dozier’s struggles in 2018. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports recently provided an interesting report that had not previously been mentioned anywhere. As Heyman tells it, Dozier was playing hurt.

Brian Dozier toughed it out and played with a severe bone bruise all 2018, which explains his uncharacteristic season …

Still, it is fair to call Dozier’s 2018 ‘uncharacteristic’. Dozier did manage 21 homers and 12 steals over parts of the season with the Twins and Dodgers. However, his .696 season OPS was the lowest in any full season he’s played in the major leagues. What’s more, it’s important to remember that Dozier will still just be 32 years old in 2019. In many conversations I heard Dodgers fans say he was towards the back nine in his career – believing he was in his late 30’s. Not the case.

Injury can make a player perform unlike their normal self. It would be interesting to learn when the bone bruise occurred and how long Dozier was playing with the injury. Moreover, it would be great to see what Dozier could do over a full season when healthy. During the 2016 and 2017 seasons combined, he hit 76 home runs and stole 34 bases.

Dozier remains a free agent, and there has been little said of his future with the Dodgers or another team thus far.

Analysis

One must appreciate Dozier’s willingness to quietly play through the injury for the Dodgers. This shows a player’s true grit and toughness. It should never be questioned how important it was for Dozier’s first act with the Dodgers to go well. It would have been easy for Dozier to give an excuse for his poor play, but he never did that. Nevertheless, his first season as a Dodger should be remembered with some fondness for this act of selflessness for his teammates and the organization. In a game with lagging disabled list stints at every turn, Dozier left everything he had on the field in 2018; literally.

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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. Excellent point; in an age of immediate gratification, selflessness is often ignored. It would be great to be able to pick him back up if it’s not cost prohibitive.

  2. This isn’t new news. We knew about the bone bruise. He had mentioned it right after he started really struggling with the dodgers after his first week with the team. When he made the LCS roster I was shocked .. I have no idea why the FO allowed him to play hurt and slumping so badly.. I love dozier don’t get me wrong.. but he hurt the team more than he helped it. We could’ve rostered Verdugo or Farmer or another pitcher.

  3. Dozier should be signed by dodgers those are the players that help you win championships.anybody heard of Kirk Gibson 1988.Keep Dozier regular second baseman and gold glove

  4. Great points by Clint, and the commenters. I have a certain admiration for the aggressive way Brian Dozier plays the game. I never paid attention to him before he became a Dodger. But wow, he blew my mind on the field early on. I have said repeatedly (and why not one more time?)…Brian Dozier “lives in the dirt.” This is a point of admiration, and meant as nothing but the utmost compliment. I have been stunned at how Dozier body slams those diving catches…in the dirt…not the grass…but the dirt. Also, the way he does those full body slides on his stomach side, fingers to toes, parallel with the ground, right into the bases. He SLAMS his body like no other. My earliest thoughts were…how the heck does his body survive all that he does…time and time again, in every game, for years and years? How the heck is he not in a full body wrap by now? Brian Dozier is at his absolute best when he “lives in the dirt.” I will say it forever. He loves the dirt! He thrives in the dirt! All numbers, statistics, good seasons, bad seasons aside…Brian Dozier is fascinating to watch when attacking that dirt. But it’s amazing how he survives. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm-jM2lFWCBYsVY8VeZErmecisX2yES-qWpKD40/ (credit included: https://dodgers.mlblogs.com/photoblog-8-26-vs-padres-6b309cdaf89d?sf91951882=1)

  5. Dodgers are truly crowded at 2b. With the screwed up platoon approach, there are too many good players to keep one with an excuse. Dozier should not have been on the WS roster let alone the playoff rosters. He starts at leadoff in two WS games with a sub .200 BA and Bellinger, Pederson and others on the bench! Unbelievable!

    • Hey there Chris and I concur as to this screwed up platoon to an obsession it was. In part that was one reason why the offense fell short in this WS, along with other factors. One other thing that I am sure you were aware of, and that was during the first 2 WS games because of a LHP starting , Bellinger, Muncy and Pederson were on the bench and a COMBINED 85 HR’s sitting with them!

  6. The Dodgers should sign Brian Dozier to a two year contract and install him as their regular second baseman against left handed and right handed pitching. Forget the platooning. When he’s healthy, Dozier can hit no matter if a lefty or righty is on the hill. The Dodgers wanted him just a couple years ago and were willing to give up some good young talent, but the trade fell through. Now when he’s coming off a season where he played through an injury and still hit 21 HR’s, they are willing to let him walk??? He’s another guy in the Chase Utley mold who will give everything he has to win a game. Why wouldn’t the Dodgers want a guy like that on the roster

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