Five games into the season and the Dodgers are 3-2. There’s really not much to go on, but we have seen some good things, some bad things and some ugly things. In baseball, it is all about Peaks and Valleys. Peaks and Valleys – write that down!
2.25 – That’s the Dodger’s team ERA. They are among the best in baseball. The starters ERA is 2.93 and the relievers is 1.10. Some people can only see the negative so they will say: “But we all know it won’t stay that low.” But, then they turn around AFTER TWO GAMES and say “See, same old team – they can’t hit lefthanders.” If the pitching won’t stay that good all season, why do some automatically assume that the Dodgers will not hit lefties? ESPECIALLY AFTER TWO FREAKING GAMES?
The Dodgers are 23rd in baseball against lefties. There are 7 team doing worse, including the Mariners and Rangers who are two explosive ball clubs. Now, you could be right (I doubt it, and I will explain why) that they have not improved against left handed pitching, but how can you tell after 2 games? If that were the case, Baltimore and Minnesota are both on track to win 162 games. That is just as absurd as drawing a conclusion about the Dodger’s ability to hit lefties after 2 games.
The Dodgers hit .213 against lefties last year. Right now they are at .182. If you have followed baseball for any length of time you should know that it’s a long season and is full of peaks and valleys The teams that hit the peaks at the end are the ones that win it all. To be moaning and groaning after 5 games is beyond silly. The Giants are last in baseball in team ERA with a 6.70 number. I hope they stay there, but I really doubt it. Peaks and Valleys
Why I think they will do better against left-handed pitching this year:
- Another year of Turner Ward. Just like the hitting dramatically improved the second half of last season, I believe his philosophy and changes in players’ mindsets will help improve the hitting throughout the season.
- Justin Turner is showing that he may hit left-handed pitching better – It’s a small sampling, but I see improvement overall with him. Time will tell. He has been up 8 times against LH pitching and has 4 hits. I don’t think that will keep up either.
- The team picked up Logan Forsythe and Franklin Gutierrez. Forsythe is off to a slow start against pitchers – PERIOD! But last year he hit .270 against them. Gutierrez is a known lefty killer who is also off to a slow start. Peaks and Valleys. He got off to a slow start last year as well, but saved his best month for last – In September he OPS’ed 1.054.
- Scott Van Slyke and Trayce Thompson should help, if healthy.
- Grandal has worked on his RH swing and along with Barnes should give the Dodgers better hitter against LH pitching. Grandal had a .385 OB% against lefties last year.
Ryu and McCarthy have looked well in their first starts and Alex Wood and Ross Stripling make a dynamic middle-relief core. The bullpen looks to be as good as last year… probably better! But it’s early!
The whole team is off to a bad start offensively, except for Turner, Gonzalez, Seager and 3 swings by Puig. They are 12th in MLB in hitting and it’s way too early to see any pattern… unless you want to invent one.
Rich Hill, the poster boy of The Blister Foundation is back on the DL. Allegedly, it is very minor, but they aren’t showing us pictures so who knows? He will be out at least two weeks I would say.
Several players are struggling after 5 games, including Forsythe, Grandal, Toles and Hernandez. Peaks and Valleys!
The Dodgers have seven players on the DL as we speak. One (Yimi Garcia) is out for the year, The others are in various stages of rehabilitation. The Rangers have 9 on the DL. The Red Sox, Rockies, Padres and Rays all have seven players on the DL as well. Several teams have six on the DL – THIS IS NOT JUST A DODGER MALADY. It is plaguing a lot of teams. Yes, I think there are more injuries today than ever before – that is a whole another discussion. Peaks and valleys.
What I find ugly is that when the team loses many fans blame players that Friedman has acquired: Kike, Utley, Gutierrez, Hill, Maeda, Grandal. This is their way of trying to prove to themselves that they were right about FAZ. Last year, I put up with so much crap that I had to move and lock it out. I am all for dissenting opinions – I am not for the same of circular thinking that some people apply over and over.
This team has to get better against left-handed pitching and I’ll bet anyone a thousand dollars they will. They are hitting .182 against LH pitching and I know that will improve. The question is: how much? The Dodgers will not make any “knee jerk” reactions. Peaks and Valleys! They will give it time, but due to the depth of the system, if the hitting against LH does not improve dramatically, they will get another bat or two. Count on it! They know they can win it all this year and they will pull the trigger if necessary. I really don’t want Ryan Braun but they will get him, if necessary. Never forget, it’s a long season.
Minor League Report
- OKC – BOX They lost 7-5 – Verdugo was 2-5 and Eibner hit a HR and Baez pitch 1 inning
- Tulsa – BOX Lost 5-2 – Farmer was 3-4 and played 3B
- RC – BOX – Lost 2-0 Estevez got the only hit
- GL – BOX – Lost 6-3 Nothing to see here folks, move on