I’d Rather Have Austin Barnes at 2B Than Dee Gordon… as long as I have Kike Hernandez as one of the best supersubs in baseball. The Dodgers got a nice return for their former second baseman. That is notwithstanding the obvious fact that Chris Hatcher has been a huge disappointment. In case you forget, the trade was Gordon, Miguel Rojas and Dan Haren to the Marlins for Hatcher, Hernandez, Barnes and Andrew Heaney, who immediately became Howie Kendrick, Kendrick played a big role in the 2015 success of the Dodgers.
I have said for quite some time that I would not be afraid to start Austin Barnes at 2B, even though he is a very good catcher. Physically, I am not sure he can hold up as an everyday catcher, but he could hold up as an everyday second-baseman. I have seen him made some great plays at 2B – he has way above average speed and awesome footwork and is just a baller. We are finally seeing how good Austin Barnes can be this year.
Austin Barnes is hitting .287 with and OB% of .410 and is OPS’ing .904. That’s not chump change! I am always thinking ahead… what if? So, what if, Logan Forsythe finds his swing and gets hot? There are several teams that need a 2B or 3B – would they over-pay for a Logan Forsythe? You see, there’s this guy at AAA who, in 97 AB’s is hitting .351 with a .388 OB% and OPS’ing 1.007, who happens to be a pretty good catcher and also plays 3B (and can play 2B and 1B in a pinch). His name is Kyle Farmer, and like Austin Barnes, he is somewhat of a late bloomer. He will be 27 in August (Barnes is also 27) and I think he can play at the next level.
So, if the Dodgers had a need and a player like Logan Forsythe was wanted by another team, I would not be afraid of Austin Barnes as my second-baseman. He would be a solid leadoff hitter with a high OB% and is a guy who can steal 12-15 bases… maybe more! I have liked Austin Barnes for a long-time and no matter what position he plays, he has shown he comes to play
I liked Dee Gordon – followed him through his minor league career – and I was excited when he came up. However, he is what he is: a soft-hitting, low-OB% , average-fielding second-baseman with a career OB% of .327 (he’s at .339 this year). Even with Kendrick gone and Hatcher a bust, I’d do that deal 10 times out of 10! The thing is: Hernandez and Barnes will get even better! Dee Gordon will be 30 next year and is headed for decline. His only game is his speed and he is not getting faster… he’s getting slower.
As vilified as Kike was last year (which was completely insane because he hot .307 the year before), he has been instrumental in winning many games for the Dodgers this year with his bat, glove, legs and speed. While his BA is not great (.233) he is OPS’ing .818 and his play has been timely and he has played 7 positions very well. Take Kike off your bashing list – he’s been key to the Dodgers success.
Dodgers Rants & Raves
- Let’s hope McCarthy’s Yips are just a blip! That’s all you can say… but what a comeback! This is very much fun!
- The Rockies are in full free-fall right about bow as their pitching staff has surrendered almost 100 runs the past 15 games! Now, they are falling back to where they will likely stay. They have improved, but they do not have the pitching or pitching depth to hang with the big dog. The D-Bags are next to fall…
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
“Puig is on pace for 30 homers, he’s playing Gold-Glove defense in right field, and the Dodgers are on track for 106 wins. So it’s difficult to make the case Puig is hurting the team. Quite the contrary, he’s helping the team. Now, would the Dodgers trade him? Absolutely they would, if they could get full value. They’re not going to accept 50 cents on the dollar.”
- Cody Bellinger has adjusted after the league adjusted, and is taking what the other teams give him while Chris Taylor is trying to adjust. He’s taking more pitches and walked 3 times Sunday, so that is a good sign. I think he will pick it back up – every player goes through slumps. He now has 10 SB’s.
- I have a feeling that Franklin Gutierrez is finished.
- Alex Verdugo was again 2-4 (.344 BA) and so was Willie Calhoun with his 16th jack (.300/.916 OPS)
- Justin Masterson won his 6th and struck out 9 in 5.2 innings.
- Younginer got his 6th save for OKC (2.16 ERA) and Broussard has a 1.53 ERA.
- Walker Buehler pitched 5 innings and struck out 10 while walking 1 and allowing 2 runs for Tulsa. Buehler hasn’t allowed more than two runs in his 13 starts this season and now has 71 whiffs in 52 innings
- Yusneil Diaz is on fire! 3-5 with a HR (.293) – he’s a candidate for a promotion in the next month, if he can keep it up.
- Dennis Santana was dazzling as ge went 7 with 8 K’s and allowed only 2 runs. Another move up likely for him as well.
- Not to be outdone, Dustin May pitched 6.1 shutout innings at GL and struck out 5.