Shake it Up!

I am all for trying new things, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned. For instance, Yasiel Puig is arguably the best Right Fielder in baseball and has played CF at times, but has not played it very well. From what I have seen, he does not have good instincts in CF.  In my opinion, the centerfielder should be the fastest runner. Puig isn’t, although he is faster than Pederson. Chris Taylor is the fastest outfielder on the team. He has taken to the outfield like a fish in water.

I don’t know if anyone remembers, but Chris has played 2B seven games this year and I remember thinking that he looked very uncomfortable there… almost like he didn’t belong. I looked up his career record and he has played 33 games there with a .941 FIELDING PERCENTAGE! Could he learn 2B? Probably, but I am very impressed with his ability as an outfielder.

Why move a Gold Glove RF to CF and weaken 2 positions? I am not in love with Logan Forsythe but he has a .980 fielding percentage at 2B. While he has never won a GG, he is close to that caliber and the team has played well with him in the lineup.  2B is a straight platoon this year with Utley and Forsythe.  I wish Chase hit RHP better (he’s only .235), but Logan hits .303 against LHP, so at least part of the platoon works.

Where does Adrian Gonzalez play and hit?

A lot of fans are asking that question.  From what I can see, it’s likely that A-Gon’s decline has been due to injury as much (or more) than aging.  He has been battling back issues for several years.  I do not think A-Gon will be back unless he is healthy and assuming he is healthy he could very easily be the .300 clutch hitter he used to be. The Dodgers will not bring him back to be a .250 singles hitter.  So, assuming he does make it back, you also have to assume he is the 1B we used to know.

As Much as I like Cody Bellinger and his defense at 1B, the Dodgers could use A-Gon’s bat in the lineup… preferably in the #6 hole. That still leaves the #5 spot open and it has been suggested that Puig be moved there.  Again, I am all for trying it, but he has thrived in the #8 spot and his psyche is always an issue.  Little things have been to known to create issues with Yasiel.  Moving him to 5th could be a good or a bad thing…depending upon his mindset.  When you move the knucklehead, you are playing with fire… and it might backfire.

Adrian could hit #5, but I am still begging FAZ to give Henry Ramos a shot.  He deserves it. He has been an absolute beast in the minors this year and while it is the “minors,” It does give us somewhat of an idea how he can do in the Show.  Yes, they have to clear a spot, but he could be the LF and #5 hitter – no platoon required!

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 125 Comments

  1. With the Dodger’s foot on the gas pedal and running stronger than they ever have in their history, I do not think it is time to make a change and move Adrian into Cody’s spot at 1st base. Sometimes that kind of change will upset the applecart. Both Cody and Chris are entrenched in their respective postions and their places in the batting order. Why say OK, let’s put Adrian back into his old spot. It is now Cody’s position to lose. It is more important to give confidence to Cody than massage Adrian’s ego. Cody is a better player than Adrian. This year is very special and I do not think the Dodgers should do anything to lose their magic.

    I have not followed Ramos closely. Can he play centerfield as I do believe that Joc is a weak link?

    1. Package

      Mark is just saying what he thinks is best for the team!

      He has never been big on Agone, in these last couple years, but he is smart enough to know, that Agone is a very good hitter, when he is healthy.

      And if Agone is not healthy and not making a difference, he won’t be playing that much.

      And with this big of a lead the Dodgers have, they have luxury to see what Agone can do.

      We have a lot of players in our line up, that can hit one out, but we don’t have to many good RBI guys, that can hit in a run, against good pitching, or in tough situations, like Agone can do.

      And Roberts and this team, have always welcomed any player, that can help the team get better, and Agone did the same with Cody, earlier this year.

      Agone and Ethier, are not going to pull anything, to mess with the team.

      They both respect Roberts a lot, and want to do what is best for the team, and they both just want this team, to win it all!

  2. Why say OK, let’s put Adrian back into his old spot?

    As I said, I do not put Adrian back there unless he’s healthy and can produce (over a full season) a .300 BA, 30 HR and 100 RBI. However, if he is healthy and can put those numbers up, the answer is obvious.

    How do you integrate him back into the lineup? Slowly, let him start a couple of times and see what happens. The results will dictate where you go with this. There has been no one more vocal about A-Gon’s decline than me. I have been saying for 3 years, but if his decline is due to his back and he is now healthy, I give him a shot because there in not a team in baseball who couldn’t use that kind of bat.

    Ramos is playing CF at AAA and might be able to play in the Majors, as he has played CF just a little less than RF, but I am sure CT3 can play CF.

  3. I can see Agon giving Cody a breather ever now and then and also playing 1st when Cody switches to LF to give Taylor a day off. But, for the most part, I see him coming off the bench so as not to disturb a good thing.

  4. “I do not think A-Gon will be back unless he is healthy and assuming he is healthy he could very easily be the .300 clutch hitter he used to be. The Dodgers will not bring him back to be a .250 singles hitter. So, assuming he does make it back, you also have to assume he is the 1B we used to know.”

    This is what needs to be figured out over the next month and a half. I agree with Mark, they do not bring back the .250 singles hitter. I am OPTIMISTIC he will be the .300 guy we used to know, in that case, he has to play.

    1. FYI, a healthy, motivated and returned to form AGON is not going to HURT this team, we should all be hoping AGON is back!

  5. I have no idea which Agone we’ll see upon his return, but he deserves an opportunity to show us. I think it’d be amazing if he has his stroke to all fields working.

    Right now, Forsythe doesn’t cut it batting 5, and neither do Joc or Grandal. Puig would be ideal, but who knows if it would work. Maybe Turner Ward knows. But Agone wouldn’t need any power batting 5. He’d need to continue rallies and get clutch hits to al fields. That’s the ideal #5 hitter for us. Get those guys in!

  6. AGON will be a nice LH PH piece in the playoffs and nothing more I suspect, unless he absolutely rips the cover off the ball. Once activated Doc will play him to see what he offers and if we’re a better team with him in the starting line-up, Cody goes to LF and moves CT3 to CF. If not, AGON stays on the bench and is used as a PH, veteran status and ego aside. WS or bust and I suspect AGON has privately accepted his plight and will be an excellent teammate. He wants a ring and will do anything to get LA one.

  7. Mark

    I think your right about Agone, and if Agone is not right, I don’t think he will want to get in the way, but we have to see what he can do, because he would be valuable, if he can hit like he did last year, in the second half.

    I don’t think your being fair to Chase about his batting average, because he is not getting consistent at bats, and playing almost everyday, like Forsythe is.

    And I would bet that Chase has more extra base hits, then Forsythe.

    And although Chase didn’t get a hit yesterday, he hit the ball hard, and that is something that Forsythe doesn’t do to often.

    How many times has anyone seen Forsythe even hit a ball to the warning track, this year?

    I have not seen him hit much beyond a grounder up the middle, and if he has hit a extra base hit, it was probably a double down the rightfield or leftfield line, but I don’t remember him hitting many, extra base hits.

    But I do know Forsythe does much better, against lefties!

    I do think Roberts should give even our young players, a blow down the stretch.

    Corey said last year, his legs were getting tired or weak, from playing so much.

    Since these kids don’t play as many games in the minors, they don’t know how the long season, will play on their body, so I think definitely, that Cody, Corey, and Taylor, should get some rest down the stretch to keep them strong and fresh , for the post season.

    But I know Roberts will do that!

    1. Chase got consistent AB’s last year and completely ran out of gas. He should start about twice a weak if you want him contributing come playoff time. His defensive range is significantly worse than Forsythe.

  8. I hate to be the one to break this to you but Adrian will never, never, again produce to a .300 avg 100 RBIs, 30HRs. Cody only needs a very few breaks before the end on the season. I just say that I think it is a very bad move. Let Cody continue unless there is a good reason to remove him. Yes, you have commented many times on Agons performance. I enjoy your posts. Thanks

    1. Package

      No one is saying to limit Cody’s playing time, he will still be in the line up, almost everyday!

      And Cody is very comfortable playing in the outfield.

      Only Joc or Forsythe might have their playing time cut a little, by Agone being in the line up, not Cody!

    2. Pretty safe bet considering he’s hit over .300 only twice, the last time when he was with the Bosox. Cody should and will be our 1B the next 10+ years. Agon was a wonderful player in his prime but it’s time to step aside and accept a lesser role. He’ll be an excellent hitting coach one day, possibly even a manager. It’s Cody time.

      1. Rudy

        Agone hit well in the second half last year:

        And he hit in the highest percentage of runs, then anyone on the team last year.

        This isn’t it is either Agone or Bellinger.

        This is Agone being a better option if he is healthy, then Joc or Forysthe.

  9. Utley is at .235 as Mark notes, but he has been making hard contact lately and is about to get those line drives to fall in for hits or go over instead of to the warning track. I’m sure Roberts has noticed the weak swings Forsythe has had against RHP and Kike too for that matter. Both have been sitting against RHP lately.

    AGon will probably only start against RHP so Cody will move to LF to spell Taylor or Taylor moves to CF and Joc sits. Joc has started every game he has been healthy this year against RHP. It would be swapping AGon for Joc and I’m ok with that. Cody will still hit playing in LF and Taylor can handle CF. Kike probably still starts against LHP in CF along with Forsythe at 2B.

    The schedule is still so soft with 2 off days sandwiched around the last place White Sox. They go out on the road to face the second to last place Detroit Tigers then to Pittsburgh who are currently 2 games below .500. Then back home to face Milwaukee who are just 2 games over .500, then an off day before traveling to Phx for a rematch with the Snakes.

    I am rooting hard for the Cards to pass the Cubs, I think they are a much easier match up in a potential playoff series. The Nats have to be hoping that their injured players: Harper, Strasburg, Turner and Werth come back to contribute. With no Strasburg their rotation falls off a cliff after Scherzer and Gio. Old friend Howie Kendrick is raking for the Nats and just had a walk off grand slam. He would love to do some damage to the Dodgers. The Dodgers would face the winner of the wild card playoff in the 1st round, and either the Cubs, Cards or Brewers face the Nats. So should we root for the Cubs who on paper might have a better chance to beat the Nats in their series or the hot but flawed team who would be an easier match up if they knock off the Nats? I am sure the Dodgers will say they don’t care who they face but I am sure they would rather see the Nats knocked out. Greinke in a WC playoff might get the edge but only if it’s in AZ and not Coors. I would prefer to face the Rocks with their pitching but the Dodgers have proven they can beat both teams. What say you?

    1. I want to eliminate the Cardinals first, the team that deserves payback the most, then take out the Cubs, payback for last year and the WS champs.

      If we are going to do it, lets do it right!

      1. Truth

        All of that sounds really good to me, and that will feel really rewarding, once they get that done!

    2. Vegas

      I agree with every point you made, and I have been thinking the same way!

      And I even thought about Howie wanting to come back, and hurt us too!

  10. I am only willing to have A-Gon back, if healthy and part of that could be against RH pitchers only, but you have to give him a chance, the same as you have to give Andre a chance!

    1. I think AGon will be healthy and will contribute RBI wise and will probably hit close to .300 facing mostly RHP but I doubt his power returns. I like Truth’s idea of having Puig ahead of AGon so you don’t bottle up his speed on the bases. Teams are starting to pitch around Puig more in the 8 hole to face the pitcher and I think he’s ready for a move up in the batting order.
      HR’s: Cody 34, Puig 21, Seager 19, JT 17, Taylor 17, Grandal 15
      RBI’s: Cody 79, Seager 57, Taylor 56, Puig 55, JT 55, Grandal 43
      Agon or Grandal hitting behind Puig protects him and does not bottle up his speed.

      1. Vegas

        I don’t know if Puig is ready to do that, but maybe Roberts, will try Puig up in the fifth position, and put either Joc or Forsythe, in the eighth position.

        That might be best, for all of these players.

    2. Mark

      I don’t get the reservations from some, because there is nothing to lose by trying this, because we are not in a pennant race.

      And I agree with all the criteria that you made, concerning Agone and Ethier.

  11. Taylor should take a lot of balls in center field in the off season. Right now he looks real comfortable in left. As good a source as Rick Monday said Taylor looked very good in center when he played it earlier this year. Right now the Dodgers don’t seem comfortable with that. I’m comfortable with whatever the Dodgers think. They’ve made quite a few good calls lately. Might say I’ve ingested FAZ flavored kool aid.

  12. I can see management calling Bellinger and Taylor into his office for a little brain storming session. If Taylor agrees to move to CF and Bellinger agrees to move to LF and if AGon can step back into his old role of hitting while playing first base, it might be worth a try.
    CF Taylor
    SS Seager
    3B Turner
    LF Bellinger
    RF Puig
    1B AGon
    C Grandal
    2B Logan / Chase
    This would be the best option I see but would the chemistry be lost?
    That’s the million dollar question………………………

  13. Puig is not the same hitter he was in the past. Less anxious and isn’t pressing as much. He’s won some battles in clutch situations the second half of this season and to think he can only do that in the 8 hole is ridiculous. I hate seeing innings or games end with Puig on deck because Utley, Forsythe, Grandal, or Joc are getting more AB’s.
    If it’s not broke don’t fix it, right? Well, the 5 hole is broke. I’d rather see Forsythe drawing walks there than what Joc is doing, but I’d rather see Puig there and I find out now if he can handle it or not.

  14. Maybe Ramos is this year’s Toles but his previous 7 years of minor league ball would suggest differently. Yes, I know he picked up baseball late in life. However, with the Dodgers history of babying players they would probably put him in the 8 hole not 5th.

    Let’s put Eibner on the 60-day DL and find out what Ramos has to offer. I will say some are going to be disappointed by some players who won’t be called up. We recently talked about players who might be DFA’d or moved to the 60-day DL to make room for additions to the 40 man roster. Let me remind people that putting Urias on the 60-day DL counts as major league service time so I don’t think the Dodgers want him sitting on the major league DL this year and next year and then lose him to free agency earlier.

    1. Hawkeye

      The walks and the high OBA from Forsythe is deceiving, because he has struck out 83 times.

      And Chase has only struck out 43 times, and that is only the strike outs that Forsythe has had, playing only second, so he has even more strike outs, then the 83 he has, just playing second base..

      And Forsythe has not hit with any power, most any where he has played on the field, to justify all of those strike outs!

      Chase has more extra base hits, and has hit 5 more HRs, then Forsythe has too.

      And Forsythe has played third 29 times, so that batting average that he has, from when he played second, is also deceiving, along with the fact that he is hitting under 200, against righties!

      And like I already said, Forsythe is the only one of these two, getting consistent at bats!

      1. Forsythe should get more AB’s than Utley. Utley is too old to play more. There is nothing deceiving about his .OBP and his defense. I absolutely wish Forsythe would get more hits especially extra base hits, nor am I a fan of him hitting 5th, but his .OBP is what it is and his lack of hitting isn’t because he works the count. Despite hitting into a weak 1-2-3 DP the other night, I liked that he worked the count there, fouled off some balls and put pressure on a pitcher with a 3-2 count and the bases loaded. The Dodgers have guys like Puig and Seager who are notorious first ball hitters so having a couple players work the count is a good thing. I tell my son that I wish he played ball like Chase Utley, but we need to remember how awful he was down the stretch and in the playoffs last year because he was worn out. There was a hit yesterday by SD that Forsythe gets too. If Joc snaps out of it or Gonzo slides in a provides some offense no one will give a damn about are second base problem. Whether or not Logan played a bunch of games at 3rd doesn’t change the point of the article which is the production at 2B has been fine overall. Logan is pressing and hopefully the last few days off will help with that.

        1. Hawkeye

          I just thought since Chase hasn’t over played this year, it might be better to give Chase a little more playing time, against righties.

          Because Forsythe has been terrible against righties, this year.

          But I didn’t know that Chase was an issue, on defense.

          I hope Roberts moves Forsythe down in the order, because he is to submissive at the plate, to be hitting fifth.

          1. Chase is okay on defense. Just less range at this point in his career and a much weaker arm on the pivot than Logan. I love Utley but any more than 10 AB’s a weak is probably too much.

      1. Hawkeye

        Ok I didn’t know all of that.

        But I did wonder why we didn’t get some of the double plays we should have, last year.

      2. Hawkeye

        Forsythe played 29 games at third, and that is eliminating almost one hundred at bats, and that makes a big difference with stats.

        That is why his batting average is 300, when he has played second base, like in that article.

        He is hitting 237 overall right now, and is hitting 199 against righties right now.

        I knew that 300 average didn’t sound right.

        I wasn’t thinking right this morning.

        If he has played 29 games at third, and you Times that with four at bats, that is an extra 116 at bats!

        And that is going to change stats by a lot!

  15. Agon can definitely help if he can hit at close to his regular ability. If he’s healthy we know what we’ll get on defense. Can’t know unless it’s tried. At least vs rights. Belli a very good outfielder. Seems like something the Dodgers are probably already brainstorming.

    1. Don’t think Joc or Joc fans will be too happy. Kinda leaves jock in the corner if Agon comes back hitting. Either Taylor or Belli in center vs rights. And we all know Joc’s futility vs lefts.

          1. Mark

            Forsythe is only hitting 199 against righties, and OPSing 546.

            That tread was only about when Forsythe played second.

            You know I agree with everything you said here, but that is the truth.

  16. Doc is going to give Agon a chance to show us what he can do. They are going to give Hatcher a chance. That is what Doc does. If they fail, it will be on them. Either will be given a chance to see what he can do as a pinch hitter. It is what Doc does. It is what Doc does. They have the time to do it this way. He will give every pitcher a chance to prove themselves. The competition within the team is great for this team.

    They will have that conversation with Taylor and Bellinger about playing different positions. However, those two are going to play. I will bet, no proof, those two will approach Doc before Doc approaches them. Taylor and Bellinger room together. They are good teammates. Joc is the problem. They will not let him into the playoffs batting like he is now. Let Forsythe and Utley platoon at second. If Ramos comes up and plays well, move Taylor to second.

    Why do you want to move Puig to 5th in the batting order? Doc has already tried it. It did not work. If it is not broken, leave it alone. Bat him 8th.

    1. I am not against trying to improve the team, Puig has a higher OPS then any of our other 5-8 candidates, plus some of us here have seen a level of maturity from Puig throughout this season and feel he deserves a chance to show what he can do a few places up. If batting 5th failed earlier in the year based upon 30 AB’s, it should be noted he hit .333 6th with 18 AB’s, .270 hitting 7th with 63 AB’s, .273 hitting 4th with 33 AB’s, so I think we are looking way to far into him batting 5th off 33 AB’s.

      There is also one more thing about Puig, he is EXCITING, he makes things happen others don’t, whether bonehead or not, everyone is watching every time he comes up. Let him see pitches in front of an AGON and not starting pitchers and give the Wild Horse a chance.

      I believe in Puig!

      1. Based on overall production the only players who would do better at 5th than Puig are the guys hitting 1 through 4. The only part timer with an argument would be Barnes and he can do it vs LHP and Puig against RHP, and also runs well.

      2. Jonah,

        Strike two!

        If you say dumb stuff like that, you shouldn’t be here.

        Three strikes and you are out!

        1. Mark

          I lean with you and Al, about that, but what would it hurt?

          If he doesn’t deliver, Roberts can always move him back.

          Cody needs some more protection, so they won’t pitch around him.

          And this is just like trying Agone.

          Our lead is so large, it is worth a try!

          And Puig is getting less at bats then Joc, hitting eighth.

      3. If they are going to move Puig up I think they should move him up one spot and let him settle in for say a week and then move him up another spot if it goes well. I think part of the problem Puig had when he got moved from 8th to 5th earlier in the year was that he started pressing.

  17. IF Gonzo is healthy he can give Bellinger one day off per week until October, pinch hit, and then DH in the World Series.

  18. I am continually amazed at the double standard when it comes to Yasiel Puig. I do not remember anyone calling for Puig to be removed from the Post Season roster for either 2015 or 2016 as some are calling for Joc. So Puig gets a pass for 2+ years of under production and poor demeanor/attitude. Too bad Joc and Logan do not get the same pass (without the bad attitude). Now some want Puig moved to hit 5th where he is batting a sterling .033/.094/.133/.227 vs. 8th where he is successful batting .278/.362/.546/.908. While batting 5th he has 1 HR in 32 PA, while batting 8th he has 1 HR/16 PA. Even batting 6th his slash line is .333/.400/.333/.733 (6 singles – no HR in 20 PA).
    In the scenarios I have read, none have included a Puig platoon. Joc is rightfully criticized for his .191/.283/.298/.581 splits against LHP. But nobody wants to hold Yasiel to the same standard as Joc, as his splits against LHP is worse at .146/.280/.202/.483. Yasiel has 21 HRs, but only 1 against LHP. If those calling for Joc to be platooned (no argument from me), then why isn’t Puig also being considered a platoon option.

    With respect to batting 5th over Logan, I repeat that Yasiel is batting .033/.094/.133/.227 batting 5th while Logan is batting .266/.385/.316/.702 while batting 5th. Batting 7th – 9th Forsythe is batting .158/.288/.158/.446. I am not sure why some are calling for Doc to mess with the lineup order. The team seems to have better offensive production with Logan batting 5th and Yasiel 8th. I am not emotionally invested in any of Puig, Pederson, or Forsythe, so whatever happens with the lineup as long as the Dodgers win I am okay. So far, Doc seems to be doing okay with his lineups. I will keep trusting his judgement.

    1. AC

      You know I have no bias to any of these players, but I don’t think Forsythe should be hitting fifth.

      He is far to submission at the plate, to be batting fifth.

      He is only hitting 199 against righties, and his OBA is only 316 against righties, too.

      And he is slugging a terrible 230 something against righties, and his OPS against righties is in the middle 500s.

      Forsythe may be drawing his share of walks, but he is also striking out way to much, for a player, that has not hit with much power, at all this year.

      And Forsythe doesn’t provide any protection for Cody in the line up, so pitchers may start pitching around Cody, to get to Forsythe, who is only hitting 237 overall, and hitting that, with no power at all.

      I know Forsythe does have value because he hits lefties well, and he is as sure handed at third, as he is, at second.

      And that is important, because Turner needs more days off, then most everyday players, to keep Turner healthy, and fresh.

      I am not sure who should hit fifth, and I have reservations about moving Puig up to fifth, but I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to see what Puig did hitting fifth, because he could be moved back down, if he is exhibiting the same behavior, where he gets anxious, and over swings, in clutch situations.

      About the platoon thing, Roberts continues to play Puig against lefties, so I can see why some people here, don’t have a problem with Puig, not hitting lefties.

      I guess part of the reason is Puig’s defense in right, and that Puig is hitting more consistently then Joc is, and Puig can be a force on the field, and on the bases.

      And I think if we weren’t winning, people would be more concerned with what Puig is doing, against lefties..

    2. Answer me this question. Two guys on and two out. Who would you rather have up RIGHT NO W, Joc or Puig? Puig was sent to AAA last year to get his act together. Wouldn’t hurt Joc right now.

      Puig has great numbers batting second but right now those numbers aren’t relevant anymore than his numbers hitting fifth. Puig’s numbers against lefties this year is an exception. Joc’s numbers against lefties is the norm.

      If the Dodgers have the luxury to tinker with bullpen roles right now then they have the luxury to tinker with the batting order because Joc is a mess right now. I hope it changes but he’s a mess.

      1. Hawkeye

        You know I am not a big believer in Joc.

        Just like with Agone, it is not a big risk,, to see what Puig can do, hitting fifth.

        Because if Puig can’t step up, Roberts can always drop him into the eighth position, again.

        Like you already said, Forsythe and Joc shouldn’t be getting more at bats, then Puig!

        Pitchers are going to pitch around Cody, to get to Forsythe, so we do need to try something different.

        I respect the Cubs for sending Schwarber down, when he wasn’t hitting.

        And I think Schwarber is a much better hitter, then Joc is.

        But I don’t know if there is enough time in the AAA season, to send Joc down, at this point.

  19. The question is, has Puig reached a new level of maturity as the season has progressed that will enable him to hit sucessfully higher up in the order, past stats notwithstanding? I don’t know, and probably no one else here knows. That’s a decision I leave to Dave Roberts and the coaching staff. I trust that they know best.

  20. AC
    I agree with you on Joc and Puig. However, I believe Puig gets a pass because he is an elite defender and Joc is average. Early this season I felt we could have better options in centerfield and right field. As the season has progressed Puig has gotten better at the plate and Joc has not. In fact, I think Pederson has regressed. I think it may be a case where both players are at right now late in the season.

    I do not want to move Puig from the 8th hole to the 5th. It has been tried and did not work. Second, I am afraid of Puig’s mental side. What will happen to him if he goes to the 5th spot and fails. Will he be the same player as now back in the 8th hole. I am not sure. That is why I would not change Puig. He is happy right now, do not mess with him. Puig has all the physical tools to be a great player. Mentally, he is very fragile.

    1. They have the luxury to find out. This idea that he can only hit 8th is ludicrous. Give him a week hitting 5th a see what happens. Can’t look any worse than JoC going 1-30.

      1. At the moment yes, but I feel that Logan will figure it out if we persevere.
        Perhaps it’s best not to mess too much with the chemistry of the team, but I guess that is the dilemma.
        Move Joc or Logan, bring back AGon & move Cody, or slide Puig from 8th to 5th?
        Maybe this makes this team even better?
        Maybe not?
        Personally, I stick & not twist.

        1. I’m hopeful Logan can figure it out too, but I just don’t see him a 5 hole hitter though. Hell give it a couple games before Gonzo comes back and then maybe a couple with Gonzo in the 6 hole. Nothing to lose right now.

        2. Watford

          Forsythe is slugging 234 something against righties, and his OPS is 500s , against righties.

          He has mainly been a singles hitter, when he has hit!

  21. I consider Puig’s major league career to have begun a short time ago when he bonded with Turner Ward. Earlier, he was learning things he should have learned in the minor leagues. Quite a contrast now from the past couple of years when every trade proposal suggested by fans seemed to include Puig. I like to see Puig’s name in the starting lineup because it suggests that I am going to see something amazing during the game–win or lose.

  22. I completely agree Harlan, it is simply those that see the maturity versus those that don’t, us that see Puig growing as a player with Turner Ward versus those that say he can’t bat 5th because of a whopping 30 AB’s back in April, the same that have wanted him gone for years because of his “clubhouse demeanor”, when the kid took a boat here from Cuba, didnt speak a lick of English, knew nothing of American morals but compared the same way…..look at at his English and club demeanor now? What do you say?
    You either like him or you don’t, any other player not named Puig with his stats would be higher in this batting order
    Talk about double standard, want to bat Joc 5th and his .216BA? No problem! Utley? No problem! Forsythe? No problem! Grandal? No Problem!
    Wait, you say try Puig?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    Call the National Guard!!!!!!

    1. Truth

      I like Puig, but I don’t feel sorry for him, because he should have got his act together sooner.

      I feel that is on him!

      There has been plenty of players from Cuba, and other countries, that had to go through what Puig did, and they did what they needed to do.

      In fact when I found out last year, that Puig wasn’t taken advantage of Roberts being the new manager, I was upset with Puig!

      Because Roberts went out of his way for Puig from the start, and Puig took advantage of Roberts, and Robert’s valuable time last year, because Puig wasn’t doing what he was suppose to do.

      And because of that, Roberts had to babysit Puig, to make sure he was doing, what he was suppose to do.

      And that is part of the reason Puig was sent down, among other things, so I don’t feel sorry for him.

      But I am glad he finally got his act together this year, but I can also see where AC is coming from!

      I am not one of those people that get entertained, with anything Puig does.

      But I like what Puig is doing this year, but I am not entertained or feel that Puig should catch balls in the outfield nonchalantly, especially after Albert Pujols schooled Puig, on why he shouldn’t catch balls, that way.

      And I don’t think Puig needs to go out of his way to look good, because I think what he has done on the field this year, makes his case.

      And that is more important, and that is how it should be.

      1. You need to let things go. What Poohole did to Puig was 3 or 4 years ago and it hasn’t happened with guys on base again. It’s not just about Turner Ward either. Puig has surrounded himself during the offseason with guys like Albert and Cano.

        As for other Cuban players I disagree that the others have been through the same thing. How many were held captive at gun point and then months later thrown into a major market team’s lineup to save their season. Not only did he not get the typical minor league time of a 21 year old, he got very little baseball experience in Cuba. Should he have matured sooner? Yes

        However, The maturation process from his demotion last year up to now has been evident. Those who don’t see it don’t want to. It’s also obvious that his teammates have rallied around him. If they have forgiven his transgressions so should everyone else. The more he succeeds in big moments the less he will press. Let’s give him the opportunity considering the other current options.

        As for Joc I agree with Mark that he is also a knucklehead and I find him as a ball player to also be immature. I was hopeful after his rehab stint that progress was made because he was showing a bit of a two strike approach and using the opposite side of the field. Now it’s just back to him yelling, F*** and doing the same thing over and over again.

        1. Hawkeye

          I was aware that Puig was hanging with these other players, and that was even before this year, too.

          There have been other Cubans to go through that kind of stuff, because that is the only way, they were able to get here, at one time.

          And a lot of the kids that come from the DR too, and that is a third world country also.

          I do think that Ward might be a father figure, for Puig.

          I have never heard much about his father.

          To me, it just doesn’t make Puig look good, when he does that!

          I feel embarrassed for him.

          And you know that is

          And that is mainly, why Albert said something.

          It isn’t that I am worried, he will drop the ball..

          Good players just don’t have to do stuff like that.

          They let their play on the field, do their talking.

          And I feel when he does that, it takes away from what he does on the field.

          Like you, and Mark, I just don’t think Joc listens to what he is told, especially when it comes to his hitting.

          And he seems to never stick with something, when it is working.

          1. Those kids in the Dominican are just as poor but have played a lot more baseball than Puig did and generally have much more time in the minors to assimilate. Yes, other Cubans have had to sneak their way out but most had been playing A LOT more ball than Puig did. The ones who haven’t spent much more time in the minors like the Dodgers current Cubanos. I’ve yet to hear another story of someone held captive by gunpoint in a hotel then be thruster into a big league lineup less than a year later at the age of 21. I like listening to Ned talk about his history.

          1. Hawkeye

            I have heard other stories, but some people, just don’t like to talk about it.

            And I think Puig was like that, for a while too.

            I like listening to Ned talk about Puig, as well as the other players too.

            He is on the Dodger pregame show, and the post game show.

            He can give a interesting and difference perspective, about the players, and other things!

            He is really happy with what he is doing now, and he seems to had no issues, with the current front office.

            I just read a article in USA Today, yesterday, about the Dodger front office.

            It was written by Bob Nightengale.

            You should look the article up.

            It talks about what Ned told Friedman, when he first came to the team.

          2. MJ, I will look for that article. Joc has so many check swing strikes compared to others. I really want him to do well because he’s my son’s favorite player, and I thought he would keep improving this year, but he hasn’t so far.

      2. MJ, when is the last time you saw Puig drop a fly ball? He is a gold glover, best RF in baseball, until I see a dropped ball, it is a non-issue for me

        I don’t feel sorry for him either, I just think he has matured this season and that should be acknowledged

        “I am not one of those people that get entertained, with anything Puig does”- HUH? I will have to respectfully take the other side of this comment, he is one of the most entertaining players I have ever seen, bonehead or not!

        1. Truth

          When you talked about his experience, I thought you were making excuses for some of the things, he has done before.

          You were the one, that said, either people like him, or not.

          That isn’t me, because I like Puig.

          But I am not one of those people that are entertained, with anything, Puig does.

          And there are people out there, that do get entertained, with anything Puig does, just like you just admitted, today!

          I just don’t think Puig looks good, by catching the ball, like that.

          It isn’t that I think he will drop it, it is because that doesn’t make Puig, look good.

          Good players, don’t have to go out of their way, for attention like that.

          They let their play on the field, do there talking, like Corey and Cody do.

          I feel When Puig does that, it takes away, from what Puig does on the field.

          Puig is good defensively in right, but you better take a look, at Mookie Betts.

          Betts does it on both sides of the field, and Betts was the defensive player of the year, in all it baseball, last year..

          And he already has 25 runs saved this year.

    2. I have to agree, and the reason is the #5 spot has not been producing consistently. That spot has to protect Cody and drive in runs when the table is set. Also Puig should not bat behind slow runners like Grandal or AGon. Barnes would be ok there against LHP, his numbers are good and he has speed. Puig could be platooned but who is the RH bat playing RF? All they have now is Kike and he is playing CF for Joc against LHP. Over his career Puig has hit LHP so maybe he breaks out eventually. Right now Joc can’t hit lefties and is struggling with righties. Roberts is giving him every chance to work out of it. I certainly don’t see Joc off the playoff roster but think he might be moved in the off season, as his contract, youth, power, defense and upside have value. Or they give him more time and see what Verdugo and Toles offer and let them decide on the field next spring. Joc still has options left too. The real question is who sits when AGon plays and who goes where which has been discussed, and what to do to fix the #5 spot. Roberts may just hit AGon 5th, base clogging or not, but I trust his decisions.

      1. I look at Joc and have always been worried about him turning into a LH Drew Stubbs but with less speed.

  23. On a different subject, what is everyone’s thoughts on the Dodgers expanding their retired jersey list? Off hand, I think Hodges, Wheat, and maybe Wills and Fernando are deserving. Even O’Malley (although there would be no number, just a plaque like Vinny’s). Interested in reading your opinions.

    1. I think Fernando’s number should move from unofficially to officially retired. He’s been broadcasting for the Dodgers too for some time now. Seems like the right thing to do.

  24. Their policy of Hall of Fame only (only Jim Gilliam is the exception) and retiring as a Dodger makes some sense, keeps it exclusive. Don Sutton returned for his final year as a Dodger. Piazza decided to go in as a Met and Beltre will probably go in as a Ranger. I think Fernando has proved his Dodger roots and loyalty. It bothers me to see Joc wearing Piazza’s 31 but that’s life, and he has shunned the Dodgers after his trade. I look forward to seeing Kershaw’s 22 retired some day.

  25. I just fixed the 5 hole
    Winning Pitcher

    The Marlins sound open to taking a bad contract to lower the value. Send them Gonzo(before his 10/5 rights kick in), McCarthy, Joc, Kazmir and a pitching prospect not named Buehler. You have just bought down Stanton’s deal by about $41 million.

    Gonzo-$21.5 million
    McCarthy-$11 million
    Kazmir-$8 million
    Joc-$1 million

    Marlins add Joc, McCarthy, and a pitchig prospect. Probably release Gonzo or trade him. Don’t need him. Joc would be under team control for 3 years. McCarthy cheap for two years plus a pitching prospect for a SP starved franchise. Dodgers still have Toles and Verdugo for OF depth and if they want to move Taylor to 2B. The Dodgers also reset their luxury tax by ridding themselves of more money than they’re taking on for 2018. They have also bought down to the total package of Stanton’s deal to an affordable amount by not only ridding themselves of salaries, but also luxury tax penalties on those salaries.

    1. How weird. I penciled a trade on a notepad this morning after seeing Stanton cleared waivers of Stanton for Gonzales, McCarthy, Kazmir, Joc and Stripling. And was pretty sure that trade would never happen.

  26. MINOR LEAGUE REPORT – 08-14-2017
    OKC beat Round Rock Express (Rangers) 9-4. Eddie Gamboa started and went 6.0 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. Josh Ravin & Edward Paredes each pitched one inning allowing 1 walk and 2 strikeouts each.. Offensively, O’Koyea Dickson went 3-4 (double), Edwin Rios and Tim Locastro each went 2-5 (double), while Alex Verdugo went 2-3 with a double and his 6th HR. Rob Segedin got another hit and is seems to be settling into a solid routine, and is just about ready. He will probably have to wait and get that September call up, and then fight for a Post Season roster spot (although unlikely).
    Tulsa did not play Monday. Josh Sborz is scheduled to start today against Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros).
    Rancho Cucamonga lost 7-6 to the Stockton Ports (A’s). Devin Smeltzer started and went 6.0 innings. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 7 strikekouts. He was in a position for the win until his bullpen gave up single runs in the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings. Offensively Keibert Ruiz had a three hit night. He now has 98 AB (just about at that magic 100 AB mark), and is batting .327/.358/.551/.910. Not bad for a 19 year old catcher at A+ level. Including his time at Great Lakes, Ruiz is now batting a combined .320/.368/.462/.830 for the season. Andre Ethier went 2-3 including a 2 out RBI single. AGon went 0-5, including leaving runners in scoring position with 2 outs twice last night. Arie Sandoval &Brandon Montgomery also got 2 hits each. DJ Peters smacked his 23rd HR. DJ has had a fantastic year at A+ after skipping an entire level (full season low A at Great Lakes).
    Great Lakes lost 5-0 to the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays). Melvin Jimenez was touched up in his 4.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits, 0 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Gavin Lux had another multi-hit game. Gavin has hit .333 over his last 10 games and seems to be getting better acclimated to this level. Hopefully this bodes well going into the off-season and 2018 (probably at RC as a 20 year old).
    Ogden beat Great Falls Voyagers (White Sox) 5-2. Christian Stolo started and went 5.1 innings allowing a single run on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts. Patrick Duester pitched the next 3.1 innings also allowing a single run on 1 hit, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. Austin Hamilton got the final out for his 2nd save. Rylan Bannon went 2-3 with his 5th HR, Romer Cuadrado 2-4 and his 6th HR, and Brock Carpenter 2-4 and his 4th HR.
    AZL Dodgers beat AZL Brewers 4-2. James Marinan started and went 2 innings (his longest professional outing). He did not allow a run or hit, issued 2 walks, and one strikeout. Ike Davis and Stetson Allie continued their quest to become pitchers. Aneurys Zabala pitched his 4th consecutive scoreless outing. I like to follow Zabala because he came with Drew Jackson in the Chase DeJong trade. Luis Pasan pitched the final 2 innings allowing 0 runs on 1 hit, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts notching his 4th save. Shakir Albert and Jair Camargo led the offense with 3 hit and 2 RBI nights. Albert hit his 1st triple and 1st HR on the year. Eric Meza and Marcus Chiu had two hits apiece. After a very slow start, Chiu (15th round draft choice) is starting to get very comfortable at the plate. In his last 10 games he is batting .444 with 15 hits, including 1 HR and 3 doubles raising his season average from .203 to .279.

  27. AC makes a good case for Puig not hitting against LH pitching. Call up Ramos. Platoon Puig – he’s horrible against LH pitching.

    One final thing: With all the issues with Pederson, Puig and Forsythe, the Dodgers are the best team is baseball and could set the all time win total. What is there to fix? It’s working.

    I’d do the Stanton deal Hawkeye suggests but I think it would have to include PTBNL (Puig) and Alvarez, Verdugo and Diaz.

    1. I was thinking Alvarez if necessary but the Marlins want out of the deal. Puig isn’t going back to Mattingly.

  28. I don’t understand all of the fulminations over Puig’s maturity or lack of it. We aren’t in the clubhouse so we don’t know. I haven’t heard the press leak the kind of complaints that his shenanigans lead to in the past. He isn’t making the kind of mistakes that he made before either. Maturity? Who knows, but maybe.

    The batting order doesn’t really matter as much as we fans think that it does.
    That being said, I tend to go with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” theory. Move Puig up? Maybe – but if he’s hitting well where he is, do they move him? I agree that the Dodgers need to look to protect Cody in the 4th spot. I’m not sure whether Puig is the answer.

    Agree that both Joc and Forsythe are not contributing offensively. For those who say that Forsythe has a high OBP, I would note that his SLG is .312! He doesn’t have enough AB to qualify but if he did that would be third to last in all of MLB. And that’s with a platoon that favors his splits. Do the Dodgers need to make a change? We wouldn’t be talking about it at all except that Gonzalez is returning.

    Why would the Marlins take on a bunch of salary for players who won’t contribute in trade for Stanton? That’s never going to happen.

    1. They want salary relief. Joc, MCCarthy, and prospect contribute. The Marlins are going to have to buy down that contract some to move him whether it be taking a bad contract or including cash.

      1. Highly unlikely it gets done, but it would be nice. Joc wouldn’t clear waivers I imagine or get to the Marlins at least. I’m not sure if he could be used in a PTBNL.

    2. I quit worrying about Puig and the clubhouse when I saw his picture with VanSlyke and Turner at Kenley’s wedding. That’s the VanSlyke of the Kershaw rumor and the Turner of the bus altercation. When all those guys let the past go, I figured all was well.

  29. Chris Hatcher is no longer a Dodger. He was traded to the A’s for $500K International bonus $$$.

  30. The Dodgers traded Chris Hatcher to Oakland for international amateur signing bonus pool space. IF/OF Rob Segedin reinstated from 60-day DL

    1. They will do everything they can to free up the necessary 40 man spots without moving Urias to the 60-day DL.

    1. They should have two spots open on 40-man now. That takes care of Adrian and Segedin. They will need room for Andre, Font, and Buehler.

  31. Taylor

    Uh oh, Puig batting 6th!!!! Looks like some of our cries were heard after all!

      1. Hawkeye

        Just saw that Stanton is hitting 500 against Bumgarner.

        Stanton was 9 for 18, and now he is 10 for 19.

          1. Hawkeye

            That dominance of Bumgarner would be great to have, along with those very very long HRs

            Bumgarner is such an unpleasant, individual.

  32. Brock Stewart draws the start for OKC tonight. Kyle Farmer will be playing 1B just to add to his repertoire.
    Josh Sborz does get the start for Tulsa.
    Jordan Sheffield will get his second Rancho start this evening.
    Dustin May was reinstated from the DL to start tonight’s game for Great Lakes.

      1. MJ, he has not pitched that number of innings this year, so I do not anticipate it. But he probably has another 9 starts (including tonight) and if he averages 6 innings per start, he will qualify. That will give him 164.1 innings, and he needs 162 to qualify. If he has one of those 10 day DL stints, he will not get there. But it is more important that he is well rested for the playoffs than win the ERA title. Scherzer can win ERA title, CY, and any other pitching award as long as the Dodgers beat the Nats in the playoffs and get to the WS.

  33. I’m watching the White Sox feed and when Forsythe singled they called him “an on-base machine.”

    Maybe not a “Machine” but his OB% is close to .370, and .422 against LH pitching.

    1. Ugh, I’ve been blacked out tonight. Can’t get the White Sox locally do to them being on some goofy obscure channel that DirectV doesn’t carry here. So, they won’t give me the White Sox or Dodgers feed on MLB Extra Innings or my laptop. Having to listen to Charlie. Sounds like the Dodgers have hit a bunch of balls to the wall and Grandal just messed up a potential big inning with a base running gaffe. He is the worst base runner on the team. Not just because of speed just not a good base runner.

        1. Could be. A couple of years ago I remember Turner and Grandal making a lot of gaffes on the bases. Have only noticed one out of Turner this year.

      1. I just found out I can stream Dodgers on ‘Made In Canada’ on KODI. So long spectrum. Hate em.

  34. I think I wrote this a few days ago, but man, Cingrani has some filthy stuff. Next year, he will be a ridic valuable piece in the pen. Honeycutt is going to make this guy our Andrew Miller/Brad Hand. Thank you Farhan!

  35. Dodgers now 50 games over .500. Can’t remember the last time that happened this early in the season. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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