The Science Behind Dodger Batting Orders

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought I would post scientific evidence of what led to Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal hitting 3rd and 4th.  Any questions?  Actually, what else can you do but throw darts?  The lineup is less important than the players in it.  I would like to see Toles in everyday. Let him play.  Of course, Bellinger has to be in it as well.

Cody Bellinger is not going back to AAA, is he now? Bellinger is just one of those guys who can adapt to whatever you put in front of him. He’s here to stay.  I haven’t seen “THAT” in too many players, but it’s the same thing I see in Corey.  Cody might just be the #4 hitter the Dodgers need.  Andrew Toles said this: “In the Minor Leagues, he was doing stuff like that all the time. It’s nothing new to me.”  

In just a  few games, Cody Bellinger has become part of the fabric of this team.  There is no way he is going down right now.  That certainly can solve some problems as well as create others.  The Dodgers have three left-handed hitters who are struggling mightily.  Here they are and here are my solutions:

  • Yasmani Grandal – Start Barnes for 3 or 4 straight games – forget the matchups.  He’s struggling – sit him and let him clear his mind.
  • Adrian Gonzalez – He has never been on the DL and I think he wants that to be party of his legacy, but he is hurting the team.  Put him on the DL – it’s overdue.
  • Chase Utley –  I think it is very hard for him to get his rhythm as a utility player.  Offer him a job in the front office and let him retire.  I thought Chase could adjust but now I am not so sure.  This is a hard call, but needs to be made.

This has been a Public Service Announcement. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Rants & Raves

  • A-Gon got the home winning RBI and certainly deserved it, but that changes nothing about my opinion of his decline.
  • B-Mac pitched OK – 5 innings and 4 runs is not great, but he just somewhat unlucky on contact.  It happens – still he pounded the strike zone.
  • Chris Hatchett and Tony Romo  have to go on the DL or something.  Hatchett can always be counted on that he can’t be counted on.
  • All things considered, that was a pretty pivotal game… or it could be.  A 3-game win streak and a dramatic comeback win can lead to big things.
  • Rich Hill says his blister is fine and is going to throw a 60 pitch outing on Thursday at RC and then return to the rotation the week after.  Wood back to the pen?  There’s that “depth” again.
  • F-Gut hit a 2-run HR at RC in his first at bat.
  • Spitzbarth – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K  0.79 ERA – he might bypass RC and go to Tulsa soon.  DJ Peters and Will Smith are candidates to go to RC soon.

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 41 Comments

  1. That is the offense that I expected to see. This was last year’s come from behind team that we were waiting for. They are designed for power and that finally showed through…maybe since Game 1? Sure I would like to see them manufacture more runs, but that is not how they are currently built, and I can live with that. Yes, they were 5 solo shots, but so what. Is Bellinger the spark plug? Who knows, but after his 1st, Puig got back in the HR saddle, and Turner got his 1st (okay, technically after Bellinger’s 2nd). Now let’s see if AGon can find his power stroke and Joc when he comes back. I would like to see him stick. Also leave Toles alone.
    .
    I would like to see Barnes play a more games. You do not lose anything behind the plate, and maybe it lights a fire under Grandal. OK Ryu, let’s pitch another solid outing, and go for the Phillie sweep!!

  2. Question
    Why did FAZ think that Romo would be a good idea?
    Were they not watching last year?
    We coulda resigned Pancakes who was great for us last year?

    1. Although I have my questions about Romo, have you looked how Blanton is doing? 9 IP, 4 HRs allowed, 11.00 ERA. We may have that stud righty 8th inning reliever in-house, but I was hoping for Holland during the off-season.
      .
      Great game last night! Bellinger SHOULD be here to stay, put Gonzalez on DL, let’s see what we got when we know he is healthy.

  3. Why did FAZ think that Romo would be a good idea?
    Were they not watching last year?

    Have you been watching?

    Last year Romo had a 2.64 ERA and was 4-4 in save opportunities. He averaged more than a strikeout an inning and wanted to come to LA on a one-year $3 million deal.

    Joe Blanton had a 2.48 ERA, but is two years older and wanted a two-year deal. He asked for 2 years/$12 million, but he didn’t get it! Yeah, his 0-2 record and 11.00 ERA would look good in Blue!

    Blanton has already given up 4 HR.

    The question is: Will both pitchers continue to suck?

  4. In retrospect, it’s easy to second-guess, but just because something does not work out does not mean there was not a lot of thought involved. Relief pitchers are very fickle. Last year’s flavor-of-the month may be this year big bust. The Dodgers have in-house replacements for Romo and Hatcher.

  5. I think some one already asked this, but who gets sent down when the following players are healthy?
    .
    Forsythe
    Gutierrez
    Hill
    Pederson
    Segedin
    .
    I will start with the easy one, Segedin isn’t coming back.

    1. Segedin goes to OKC
      Van Slyke to OKC
      Avilan to OKC (only because he has options and Hatcher doesn’t and they may not be ready to lose Hatcher – yet).
      Taylor to OKC (because he has options and they are not ready to chuck Utley yet)
      Gonzales to DL
      Alternate: Bellinger to OKC unless he keeps destroying the ball or if Gonzales doesn’t go to DL

        1. Well if Avilan doesn’t have options left, my mistake and he won’t be going anywhere. They will have to have another DL candidate or a small trade as I will be surprised if they give up on Hatcher at this point.

      1. I think you nailed it doubledigitmind. You sure Avilan doesn’t have options MJ? All this depth isn’t without problems.

  6. A couple of thoughts:
    1 – Romo was effective last year but out for a big chunk of the season with injury. He had given up the closer gig to Casilla but was still effective, especially against righties. His so-called “frisbee slider” is really effective against righties, but he doesn’t have much against lefties. (and it hasn’t been that good so far this year.) He is essentially a ROOGY at this point in his career.
    2 – While last night’s win was exciting, it was really a microcosm of the Dodgers’ problem on offense. Unless you are going to hit 3 consecutive HR in the 9th, you need to put innings together with several hits. So – once in a while you catch lightening in a bottle, but how often does it happen? (5 times in MLB history has a team hit 3 consecutive HR or more in the 9th or later.)

    1. We all miss Vin – there will never be another, but for me, I remember and move forward and I actually enjoy Joe and Orel. Joe is very sterile but will evolve and Orel is like your Crazy Uncle.

      I am somewhat surprised that some commenter has not combined Orel Hershiser’s name and Steve Sax’s name into one moniker!

      1. Mark

        I wish Nomar was still in the broadcasting, booth.

        He says what ever is on his mind, and he doesn’t candy coat everything he says, like Orel does.

        Nomar tells the truth.

        1. Truth,

          I just re read Mark’s remarks, after you said that.

          And he already combined both Orels, and Sax’s names, into one moniker, by himself, just by saying that.

      2. I don’t disagree about Orel (and Rick Monday for that matter) but I gladly gives those guys a pass for what they did on the field with a Dodgers uniform.

  7. I think Agone should go out on DL, and see if he is going to feel better, especially since Bellinger, can take over for him.

    But it does have to be hard for Agone right now, because most every baseball player, doesn’t want their career, to come to a end.

    And I am not saying that Agone won’t play after being with the Dodgers, but his career is coming to an end, in a few years.

    But I think he will do the right thing, whether he finally goes out by himself, or Roberts makes him go out.

    He will do everything he can, to help Bellinger.

    Agone should just look at his at bats, in the last few games, because he isn’t able to get it done right now, because of his elbow.

    Because it is obvious, that Agone is very restricted, and he is only a shell, of what he normally is, this is more, then just an age regression.

    I loved the ending of that game, but what Agone did, is what our young players, need to learn, because everyone is not going to be able to hit a HR, all the time.

    I hope Roberts and his coaches, and Agone and Turner, will teach our young players, to play as a team on offense, and do the little things, to make it easier to score.

    We have the right mix of young players, and veteran players, and that is what many who predict the Dodgers will go far this year, say is the reason, that the team will go even farther, this year.

    The only thing that surprised me about the HRs they hit last night, was the fact that Seager wasn’t one of the players, that hit a HR, it was our other young players.

    And that was good to see, because Seager can’t get it done, in every game, even if, it seems like Seager is almost always, getting it done.

    Bobby was comparing Bellinger to Rizzo from the Cubs, but I think Bellinger is more like Chris Bryant, because he is very flexible and can play more then first base, and he can be a factor on the bases, too.

    I think Bellinger is the same as Bryant, but from the left side.

    And he might eventually have more power then Bryant has, because Belllinger, is still quite young, and he is going to fill out more, as he matures.

  8. At RC, DJ Peters is continuing to do well. He is a 6’6″ CF from So Cal. Played in JUCO in Nevada. Pederson should be looking over his shoulder at this guy. Maybe too big for CF. The Pederson experiment is drawing to a close. And, he has good trade value. Maybe next year.

    1. All players realize that there are guys in leagues below them that want their jobs and are making progress to get their jobs. There are guys chasing guys that are chasing guys.
      .
      Diaz is most likely the prospect that could take Joc’s job. Puig has both Peters and Verdugo. No one owns left field yet. Barnes is pushing Grandal and Smith is making his move that has Barnes watching. If Ruiz comes on strong, he could get the nod at catcher and Smith might wind up heir apparent to Turner. We all know about the competition for the rotation.
      .
      Players have to worry about depth in an organization.

  9. One concern I have with Bellinger is that violent swing of his leading to lower back issues down the line. It’s hurts me just to watch him swing…but the results are great when he connects.

  10. Pretty amazing comeback win, and great for the team’s confidence! Bellinger now leads the team in OPS with 1.047, Turner is at .994 and Seager is at .960. Only Kike and Taylor among the others are above .800. They have needed a cleanup hitter all year to protect Seager and Turner and maybe they just found one. Roberts said Cody will go back down when guys come off the DL but even he saw the power on display last night. Puig may get back on track now also and at least bat him in front of AGon and Grandal!

    Glad to see some others on the DJ Peters train, he could be Braun before he’s Braun but reminds me of Jaysen Werth. He is still 2 years away and has a lot to prove but can rake and has a cannon in the OF and bats RH. They might leave him at RC all year or promote him to Tulsa mid season if he keeps it up.

    Avilan does not have an option and would be lost if DFA, Hatcher at this point might be lost as well, he shows enough potential to be kept around but scares everyone in high leverage situations. Keeping 6 starters shortens the pen or the bench. Even Roberts is surprised so many arms are healthy.

    The problem with sending both SVS and Segedin down is who handles the RH part at 1B when Gonzales sits? Gutierrez plays only OF if he is the choice. Kike and Taylor both deserve to be here and Forsythe can move around as well. Who deserves it may not matter though, Roberts has a plan.

    Rockies take first 2 in Az and Dodgers are 1.5 out of 2nd place. Shelby Miller to have season ending surgery. The DBacks just don’t have the pitching but the Rockies are for real and will take some beating. They are starting to feel the injury bug though and don’t have the Dodgers depth. Ryu closing out a sweep and the bats holding up their end would be a nice way to spend Sunday.

    1. Vegas

      Because Bellinger, does hit lefties, so he is able to play for Agone, when we face lefties.

      But now that I think about it, really what has Scott did, with his bat, up until now?

      It is so unbelievable, that that Shelby Miller trade, just continues to get even worse, when you thought, nothing worse, could happen.

  11. With the Phillies having stacked the lineup with LH hitters, why didn’t we bring in LH reliever when McCarthy came out? If the Phillies responded with RH hitters then bring in Stripling.

    1. That would have been too much like platooning. With all the grief they have gotten over platooning, how could they?
      .
      Actually, I was wondering the same thing.

  12. Lineup:

    1. Toles CF
    2. Bellinger LF
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Gonzo 1B
    5. Puig RF
    6. Grandal C
    7. Taylor 2B
    8. Hernandez SS
    9. Ryu P

    1. When Bellinger fully acclimates to MLB, I would not mind him hitting 2nd with Seager batting 3rd. He runs the bases well and would get more pitches to hit with Seager up next. I like JT batting cleanup over AGon. I actually think Puig’s improved approach at the plate will stick and he will wind up being a productive player in RF. I’ve noticed that one way to curb his wild base running tendencies is to have bat behind AGon. Eventually, Puig should be able to figure it out so I don’t see a place for AGon in a dodgers lineup firing on all cylinders.

  13. You know my problem here, sitting Seager after last night sitting Turner. They are getting as many days off as Gonzo! And hitting Puig behind AGon almost makes my head explode! Bottle up the Wild Horse when he wants to run free! I do like Cody in the 2 hole taking Cory’s spot today and Taylor and Hernandez playing together is also fine. I think this lineup will score enough today for Ryu to get his first win against a pitcher making his first ML start.

    MJ I am fine with sending SVS down and playing Bellinger at 1B as well as outfield, Roberts has just indicated otherwise but another game or two likes this might force him to reconsider. SVS has been pretty bad all year. The return of Forsythe could force a similar decision: Taylor or Utley? For now Utley wins out. Kike is too versatile to go down. The return of Joc means: Cody or Toles? (Or Gutierrez) The return of Hill is another issue, may need a 10 day DL for someone because only Baez and Dayton have options (plus Wood and Stripling), or make a decision on Romo or Hatcher. Interestingly Maeda has options too but don’t see that happening. I don’t think they risk losing a pitcher with Hill’s delicate fingers a constant issue. $48 million is a lot for a bullpen guy, so he starts if healthy.

  14. Roberts said Bellinger would be sent back down. If Bellinger keeps hittering that will change.
    De Jong got hit .
    Toles is heating up.
    Taylor just looks good.
    Puig is hitting a lot of ground balls. He needs to get some air under his hits. He does hit the ball hard, but on the ground.
    Now Agon and Grandal. Barnes needs to play more. Agon needs to rest. Hatcher and Romo need to go , but will not.

    1. I liked Chase De Jong, but had no high expectation about him. A #5 was his ceiling… in my opinion.

      I hope he does well, but today he pitched 2.2 innings and allowed 9 hits and 6 runs.

      What kills me are the people who live to find something… anything… that they can use against FAZ.

      In particular, I remember a couple of years ago when the Dodgers acquired Jose Peraza. I wrote that he had some nice upside to which one FAZ-Basher said that he was an AAAA player…. EXCEPT when the Dodgers traded him, then that same person said it was a stupid move to trade away such a great prospect.

      I have no tolerance for that type of lunacy.

  15. OK, that’s what Romo is. He should not come back out next inning. He’s not that guy. Use him like that and all is well. He is not the setup man.

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