The Los Angeles Dodgers’ platoon lineups of 2018 may have been successful. However, they weren’t largely popular amongst the fan base or players.
Now, Dave Roberts shares with Bill Plunkett of the OC Register that they weren’t popular with the manager himself. Furthermore, Roberts has some good news. The platoon lineups may be less necessary in 2019.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 17, 2019
Roberts sounds like the nightly maneuvers of the lineup stressed him out.
“Yeah. It was the toughest year for me,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the aggressive platooning the Dodgers adopted down the stretch and into the postseason last year.
“There was a lot of trying to find consistency with at-bats for players and there was a lot of trying to keep guys active and relevant. There’s no exact science. For me to find whatever gives us the best chance to win, I have to default to that every day.”
While Roberts has stopped short of saying there won’t be platoon lineups at all in 2019 – it has the sounds of a different approach. Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Dodgers will give players every opportunity to be everyday players this season. Or at least give them a longer leash to show what they can do.
“There was a certain narrative on us platooning last year,” Roberts said. “That was kind of for survival. … The model isn’t necessarily to platoon. It’s just the way it worked out last year.”
A handful of Dodgers will jump at this. One of the most interesting reads thus far of the spring has been Cody Bellinger saying he wants to play every game. Equally important – Roberts has said he expects Bellinger to lead the team in plate appearances.
It would make the fan base and roster happy, and it’s worth an attempt.
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