Be Careful of What You Wish For

You know, we all have ideas about what the Dodgers should do with their lineup.  I want to dump Joc.  Others want to move Puig up in the order.  Some want to bench Logan Forsythe.  I must say this: Everyone got their wish when Chris Hatchet was traded, but I think we all have to remember that this team is 50 games over .500.  They are playing the best baseball I have ever witnessed.  They are the best team in the major leagues and we could be witnessing history.  I think more than anything, this is the result of playing as a team.  Yes, Joc Pederson frustrates us, Logan Forsythe has a horrible batting average, but kills lefties.  Puig kills RH pitching but can’t hit a lefty to save his life. Puig should not play against LH pitching!  Period! Forsythe should not play against RH pitching

Dave Roberts has gotten great production by mixing and matching and maybe Puig should hit higher in the order but what is the value of a guy who is within sniffing distance of 2nd on the team in RBI’s and HE HAS DONE MOST OF THAT IN THE #8 HOLE?  That means the Dodgers are getting amazing production out of the entire lineup.  Forsythe may not get HR’s and have a  high BA, but he gets on base for other to drive him in.  Joc gets a hit here and there… some big.  This team is resilient and they pick each other up.  When the stars don’t get it done, the role players  do… and maybe that’s all they need.  Maybe that is the recipe for success.  Be careful of what you wish for.  You run the risk of messing things up!

Maybe Yasiel Puig will do fine at #6 or #5, but what happens to production lower in the lineup?  Be careful of what you wish for. 50 games over .500 and playing over .700 ball is pretty special. The Dodgers can’t have too many duds in the lineup and achieve such success. The Dodgers pitching staff is half a run a game better than any other team in baseball.  They also have the lowest WHIP. They are 5th in runs scored… and withing sniffing distance of #2.  They average 5.11 runs a game and give up but 3.10, on average.

Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager have the exact same number of strikeouts (Cody has about 60 fewer AB’s), but for such a big swing, Cody doesn’t strike out excessively.  He just keeps adjusting. Is there a better 1-4 combination than Taylor, Seager, Turner and Bellinger?

Rants and Raves

  • Alex Wood.  He just keeps getting it done.  He’s a 6 inning pitcher and that’s fine.
  • Why is Yasmani Grandal’s walk rate way down?
  • Tim Locastro continues to mash at AAA as he went 3 for 4 in the leadoff spot, playing 2nd base.  He is hitting .400 and OPS’ing 1.006.
  • Henry Ramos has cooled off down to .283 after and 0 fer last night.
  • Brock Stewart threw 5 Shutout Innings last night, striking out 7.

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 48 Comments

  1. Assuming no trade for a big bat is made, this is a lineup I would like to see:

  2. Mark

    Maybe Roberts needs to get on Grandal again, and tell Grandal he has to be a little more selective with the pitches, he is swinging at.

    Grandal’s walk rate may go up, and the last time Roberts talked to Grandal like this, Grandal was the best hitter in baseball, for about three weeks.

    Good observation Mark!

    Tonight is Darvish’s first start at Dodger stadium, I hope he has his command tonight, because he could be electric tonight, even if it is only the White Sox’s!

  3. Def the best 1-4 in the league! As long as the CORE 1-4 chemistry is in place, I do not see 5-8 screwing it up. I like Rudy’s lineup above. If there was a player NOT to platoon for defense alone, it would be Puig, he made some spectacular plays last night and saved hits, maybe runs, he does it every night in RF. Although 0-2, he reached base twice on walks, great AB’s, extended the innings and we won 6-1. We are 1-0 when Puig bats higher than 8th in the month of August.

    At the end of the day, which many said over the past week or two about Puig hitting 8th- “I trust Doc and his decisions” . Doc has decided to test Puig higher in the order, trust Doc and his decisions!

    About dumping Joc, I’ve wanted it for two years now!!! He has been in a slump for literally two years, keep him in the #8 hole until AAA.

  4. Seems Forsythe is not a good fit for the 5 hole. Yet he has a .370ish OBP.

    Not to mess things up, but what if we led off with Forsythe and his high obp, and moved CT3 to the 5 hole behind Belly. CT3 will be up with guys on base, and he has a knack for making things happen.

    M personal wish is for Puig to move to 5, but only if Turner Ward kisses off to the idea

    1. Taylor would be a good fit for the 5 hole but he has done a great job leading off and there is no other true lead off guy although many have been tried.

      The Nats have an awesome 2-5 with Harper, Zimmerman, Murphy and Rendon and will look good with Trea Turner at the top when he returns, and Werth would hit 6th if healthy.

      Having Ryu or Maeda or both in the bullpen for the playoffs looks better to me than Stripling and Stewart but it’s a long ways off and injuries and performance can change a lot of things for the last couple spots on the staff and for the bench.

      Cingrani and Watson have looked filthy at times but Avilan has been steady all season. There are probably only 2 spots for lefties on the playoff roster, especially if Ryu is there.

      What is going on with McCarthy? I have heard little about any rehab, bullpens etc. It looks like he has joined Kazmir in purgatory.

      1. Vegas

        Trea Turner gave us a lot of trouble last year when Hill was pitching, because Hill is so slow to the plate.

        We had a hard time slowing Trea down, once he got on base.

        I think it is going to be hard for Ryu to pitch out of the bullpen, because it takes him so long, to get ready just to pitch.

  5. Can Forsythe play the outfield? Could he be an option against lefties in place of Puig? I’d be curious to see what Puig’s stats against lefties are since the all-star break to see if he has been improving.

  6. Mr. Timmons, you absolutely hit it out of the park on your comment to be careful what you with for. I too think that once you find the combination to winning you should stick with it. That is the reason I do not want to mess with Cody or Chris. You are right, that everybody has a role and each fit to each other. Even if you think a change should help it definitely could hurt, so be careful. Enjoyed your post very much today. Thanks.

  7. One other thought. I do not like FAZ, Joc, Forsythe, or Grandal, BUT, one thing is certain, the 2017 Dodgers are 50 games over 500 and it is hard to argue with success. So I hope no one rocks the boat and let’s this team live the dream for all who are Dodger Fans.

  8. In terms of chemistry, 1-4 should remain untouched, that group as Mark stated above might be the best in baseball. Taylor I hope is our leadoff for many years to come, although he would make a great 5 spot, I think he would make a great anywhere spot. He needs to see as many AB’s as humanly possible. Forsythe/Grandal/Joc need to see the least possible, you can add Puig to that, but he is our best #5 option, against righties at least. It will be interesting to see what happens when Sir Agon comes back, hopefully he has something left in him and can help dispell the 5-8 debacle we have going on. I think the 5-8 situation pretty much proves how fricken good our 1-4 is, love TSTB!

  9. Mark touched on a couple of the minor leaguers in yesterday’s games, and I will try to add to that. There were some very good pitching performances and some not so good.
    OKC lost 1-0 to Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) – As Mark indicated Brock Stewart pitched extremely well. He went 5.0 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. And what may become a trend for potential September pitcher call-ups, Brock threw a total of only 70 pitches in those five innings. Dylan Floro allowed the sole run for the loss. Tim Locastro and his 3-4 night was the sole offensive producer in yesterday’s loss.
    Tulsa was rained out. Josh Sborz is scheduled again for today.
    RC Quakes beat the Stockton Ports (A’s) 11-9. Jordan Sheffield had another poor start going 3.2 innings allowing 6 runs on 8 hits, with 5 walks and 3 strikeouts. Offensively Luke Raley went 4-5, Omar Estevez went 3-4, Keibert Ruiz went 2-5, and Jose Brizuela went 2-4.
    Great Lakes were 12-2 winners over the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays). Dustin May returned from the DL and went 7.0 innings to earn his 8th victory. He allowed 2 runs on 9 hits, one walk, and 5 strikeouts. Third round draft choice, catcher Connor Wong, had a 4-5 night. Gavin Lux and Starling Heredia each went 2-5. Heredia hit his first Great Lakes HR.
    Ogden Raptors were 5-3 victors over the Great Falls Voyagers (White Sox). Osiris Ramirez started and went 5.0 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The lead was held by Devin Hemmerich and Francis Cespedes, before Miguel Urena pitched the 9th inning for his 5th save. Right fielder Brayan Morales had 3 hits and Garrett Hope had 2 hits including his 5th HR. Donovan Casey launched his 5th HR on the season as well.
    AZL Dodgers were not scheduled.

  10. I actually wish Hatcher would have lived up to what FAZ thought he’d be. Oh well, if FAZ gives up me too. Guess no one is successful 100% of the time.

  11. When Agon comes back maybe he should be given a chance to start at least vs rights. Juggle the lineup however to see if Agon can hit close to what he used to. We know what we’ll get on defense. I’m sure FAZ already has a plan.

  12. Truth stated…”At the end of the day, which many said over the past week or two about Puig hitting 8th- “I trust Doc and his decisions” . Doc has decided to test Puig higher in the order, trust Doc and his decisions!” I said it yesterday and I will say it again today. I do trust the lineup that Doc sends out, regardless as to whether Puig is batting 5th, 6th, or 8th. As long as Seager & Bellinger are in the lineup I am happy. The Dodgers are 50 games over .500. It seems unlikely that Doc has made many poor decisions in his lineups. You and others like Puig batting 5th, and I prefer that he bats 8th (especially against lefties) where he has been successful. I certainly do not wish Puig to get out to prove my point. Maybe it is because of my CPA background, but I beleive in numbers and trends. If I am wrong, great for Puig and the team. Carlos Rodon goes tonight for the Chisox, so it is likely that Joc will not be in the lineup. It will be interesting to see where Puig will be inserted against Rodon. If he is 8th, I hope you will accept it as I would accept him batting 5th.
    Truth also stated…”About dumping Joc, I’ve wanted it for two years now!!! He has been in a slump for literally two years, keep him in the #8 hole until AAA.” I understand the acrimony towards Joc, I just do not agree with it. I am not a member of the Joc Pederson fan club, but I really do not like double standards. You believe Joc has been in a slump for two years. Last year Joc batted .246/.352/.495/.847 (not a bad OPS). For the second half, Joc’s slash line was .260/.380/.520/.900. You consider that a slump. I do not consider a .900 OPS for the second half a slump. You and I may differ. Puig’s 2017 numbers to date are .252/.336/.463/.800, while his 2nd half numbers to date are .256/.378/.500/.878. Neither of those lines are bad; however if Joc was in a slump last year, why isn’t Puig in a slump this year? Joc’s numbers were better. I am not talking defense, strictly offense. I have never been an advocate for Joc’s defense. I consider it average.
    Should Joc go down to AAA to work with Shawn Wooten? Perhaps he should. He seems to work very well with Wooten. Maybe a change is what is needed.

  13. I agree that Puig’s bat should not be in the lineup against a LH pitcher, but he is an incredible RF’er, so maybe that gets him a free pass?

    1. There is a much better chance of Puig reverting back to his norm against lefties than Joc finding a swing against lefties. Hopefully, a hit or two by Puig will get him some confidence against lefties.

      1. Hawkeye

        I agree with you, about Puig having a better chance to start hitting lefties, then Joc.

        But Puig’s batting average against lefties, has went even farther down then he 176.

        He is hitting 146 against lefties now, and his slugging percentage is like 220 or something like that.

        I think that because Joc has never hit lefties much at all.

        And with certain lefties, Joc can barely make contact.

  14. Sitting Cody and batting Kike 4th and Logan 5th is the kind of luxury an 18.5 game lead gives you. I bet the kid pinch hits and stays in the game once Rodon is done. I believe Taylor is potentially a better CF than Kike and can play against all pitchers. It would be easier to platoon in LF with the current OF and the likely call ups and activations. Segedin can play 3B and corner OF too.

    1. I know Segedin is getting some love but I’m not sure he has earned it. His bat MIGHT play but I don’t believe that his defense will over the long haul. Would be happy to be wrong but I have seen just enough of his fielding to be doubtful that he has a major league glove.

        1. They had an article in Mark’s favorite blog, ThinkBlueLA, about one game that Agone played in, where he was zero for four.

          But in the article it said Agone hit the ball hard in all four of his at bats, and one of his hits, would have went out, except for a really good, defensive play.

  15. AC, if he hit 8th tonight I would be fine with it, it looks like he is batting 7th tonight which is fine to, I do agree his numbers this year against lefties are VERY bad. BUT, he is a lifetime .258 hitter against lefties, and a career .281 hitter. Against lefties:
    14- .258
    15- .279
    16- .261
    17- .146
    I am not ready to write him off against lefties totally, this year is certainly not his norm.
    Joc is a career .181 against lefties and a career .222 hitter, against lefties:
    15- .216
    16- .125
    17- .191
    Bad on all accounts. My point is….
    I do not compare Joc to Puig, not even close. Using the eye test over the past two years, Joc has been the most frustrating at bat I have ever seen. Even when he went to the All-Star game he was in decline and I felt bad because the media had already hyped him up to be the next Barry Bonds, it was not fair to him.
    The talent and potential with Puig is undeniable, I just want to see it again. What we saw in 13/14 was Manny-esqe of 2008, like something no one had ever seen, Vin Scully had to call him the Wild Horse as we know. Am i living in the past? Maybe. But THIS YEAR hope springs eternal, we are seeing a maturing Puig, can he revert back to the 13/14 star? Maybe! The potential impact he can give our lineup at #5 is something I am willing to roll the dice on over our other options, that’s all.
    I respect your opinion and I have been wrong on many things and could be about this. If the Puig ship sinks, I am obviously going down with it! LOL

    1. I think your points are valid on Puig and I ride the same boat. While he has not yet lived up to the enormous potential he once displayed, his upside is worth the time and effort to see if he can again climb that ladder. He is making progress and I believe that warrants additional time and opportunity, even if it is a slower track than we hope for.
      The Dodgers once rushed off a pitcher by the name of Pedro for what turned out to be a bag of balls and a hot dog and we have never heard the end of that bad trade. It’s far too early to give up on Puig’s potential. He is only 25 and I would wait out the frustration for now.

    1. Suspect Cody will be a regular still when Agon returns. He’s due for a rest day.

      Per Eric Stephen ‘s blog post, “Bellinger has played all 98 games since getting called up to the majors on April 25, including 95 starts. He started the last 31 games at first base”

      I want him fresh for October

  16. I couldn’t get the game locally or on, so I had to use HideMy and log in from London. Now I am watching on my computer.

    Cody is just resting. He will not be out of the lineup-PERIOD!

    Segedin’s glove looked pretty good to me.

  17. Kike doesn’t do much: Just fields wherever he plays and hits home runs.

    That’s about all….

  18. Unreal! The team looks flat and they still pull one out. Happy for Puig. That’s a confidence booster.

  19. Whatever buttons Roberts pushes seem to click, and the 4 straight hits for a walk off win have to leave the White Sox shaking their heads for the second night in a row. The Dodgers bullpen wins most match ups and the scrappy bunch does it again!

  20. Happy for Puig. He’s starting to remind me of how Beltre became more patient in 2004, and it finally clicked for him.

    Time to give him the #5 job behind Bells. Such awesome at bats the last few nights.

  21. I just couldn’t see it happening again last night, but it really was incredible to watch unfold.
    Wonderful season.

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