Five Changes That Must Happen Immediately

Change #1

Of these four players, only one can be in the lineup at a time:

  • Kike Hernandez
  • Logan Forsythe
  • Joc Pederson
  • Curtis Granderson

They are rally killers. Write those words down.  Live by them!

Change #2

Justin Turner moves to the #2 spot in the batting order. Corey Seager moves to the #3 spot.  Yes, I know they want to split up the lefties, but Cody and Corey don’t have issues with LH pitching.  Here’s the rationale behind my suggested move:  Justin Turner is hitting .328 with a .418 OB% but he is not a big RBI guy for whatever reason. He has 64  RBI in 454 plate appearances.  That is an RBI every 7.09 PA. Compare that to Nolan Arenado who usually hits third for Colorado.  Nolan has 116 RBI in 587 plate appearances.  That is an RBI every 5.06 plate appearances.

As much as I love Justin Turner, he is just not a big RBI guy and you need that from the #3 spot in the order. Flip Justin and Corey in the batting order.  I think the run production would pick up with Corey hitting 3rd.   This is not an indictment upon J.T. – just something that is not to be ignored.

Change #3

Chris Taylor becomes the full-time Centerfielder.  He is better, faster and smarter than Joc.  Centerfield should belong to him.  He is much more capable of running down balls in the gap that Joc is.  Alex Verdugo is too slow for CF. I would also install him as the #5 hitter.

Change #4

Platoon Austin Barnes and Logan Forsythe at 2B.  Forsythe plays against LH pitching.  Barnes plays against RH pitching.  Farmer should be back up today or tomorrow so the backup catcher’s spot is covered.  Forsythe should never see the light of day against a RH pitcher. He should have to leave the dugout and go to the clubhouse when a righty is on the mound.  He is hitting .198 against righties but is at .298 against lefties WITH A .439 OB%.  He should leadoff against LHP.  On the other hand, Austin Barnes has reverse splits against RHP.  He is hitting .361 against RHP WITH A .475 OB%.

Barnes and Forsythe should be the Dodgers’ leadoff hitters – they get on base against their pitching splits almost half the time.  Isn’t that what you want from a leadoff hitter?  Hello?  What’s up, doc?

Change #5

Yu Darvish goes to the bullpen.  Whatever he is doing or not doing – it isn’t working.  Let him come in for Maeda or Ryu in the 5th or 6th and pitch 2 or 3 high quality innings.  Give him a chance to succeed in smaller slots.  Maybe he comes back to the rotation as he works out his mechanical issues… maybe he doesn’t.  We are trying to win a World Series here, guys!  Deal with it.  We have 5 good starters without hi – Kershaw, Wood, Hill, Ryu and Maeda.  Change is sometimes good… and necessary.  Whatever he is doing right now is not working. Play it by ear.

That my five step plan.  The lineup stays the change at the leadoff spot:

  1. Barnes/Forsythe  2B
  2. Turner  3B
  3. Seager  SS
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Taylor  CF
  6. Puig  RF
  7. Grandal  C
  8. Verdugo LF (if he needs platooned, use Segedin)

Roll that lineup out there for the next 10 days, Doc! See what happens.  Let Farmer start at C against LH pitchers.  I don’t often tell the Manager what to do, but I am today.  Listen up, Doc!

  • Gutierrez will not return this year… well, his career is likely over.  Too bad.  A healthy Franklin would have helped immensely.  FAZ knew they were taking a risk and it didn’t pan out.  Not the first time… nor will it be the last!
  • It looks to me like A-Gon is Gone.  His back is still flaring up.  The experiment is likely over.  There’s a pretty strong possibility that he won’t play next year.
  • Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson as looking very strong.  I have more confidence in them that than Avilan.

The Dodgers “flipped the switch” for a while last night.  Darvish didn’t deliver.  We wait for another game for the wins that will start again.  .715% was unsustainable, so is .000!

 

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 54 Comments

  1. I agree with all except the last one. I would change that to scrapping the 6 man rotation. Darvish didn’t throw poorly last night. He did let his pitch count get high. Joc not catching a ball that should have been caught is a bigger problem. Granderson playing soccer with a ball in LF didn’t help either. Roberts said the same thing. The walk to Lucroy was bad but other than that the only ball hit hard was by Blackman.

    1. Hawkeye

      On the Dodgers post game show, those guys said the same thing, you said about Darvish, last night, and what you just said today.

      I think the issue the Dodgers need to addresss with Darvish, is he going to be able to make this adjustment, and be able to pitch well, before we reach the post season.

      Because Darvish tends to be in his head at times, when he is out there pitching, and he looks like he is making sure he is adjusting his delivery, accordingly.

      Last night he did seem like he was pitching more freely, but the fact he has not pitched as well as he did, in his very first start, is concerning, especially with less then a month, to go.

      It is so frustrating watching Darvish pitch at times, because he has such a good fastball with movement, and he has good off speed pitches, to keep hitters guessing, but he doesn’t attack hitters, like Kershaw does, and because of all of this, he throws to way to many pitches.

      1. He needs to observe how Kershaw is efficient with his pitches. He was cruising, but high in the pitch count. Orel said he didn’t mind pitching behind in the count, but that is a problem because after two flairs with some outfield follies and walk his pitch count was up in the high 70’s already and by the time DJ hits he’s in the 80’s.

  2. Yu looked better. He got a bit unlucky in that 5th, but at least he looked better than before. Let’s see how he improves on that.

    At this point, Granderson is providing no value. I’d rather give Verdugo experience and he can’t do worse than Granderson.

    Last night, Doc showed stubbornness again. Kike on 2nd, nobody out, and Granderson up. Why not have him bunt Kike over to 3rd?? Why let him flail away. Horrible manager move, or non-move.

    Baez came back after his walk. The fans also came back after the boos with cheers. Let’s see how Baez does today/tomorrow.

    Barnes is a player. He must start every day now, either at 2b or C. Start CT3 at CF every day, and let Verdugo or Etheir get a shot at LF. It’s clear Granderson hasn’t earned any more playing time

    1. Or Granderson supposedly being a professional knows there is a shift on drops a bunt which results in a hit or sac. I’m with you. I would rather see Verdugo or even Ethier.

      1. I guess it is a well known fact that Granderson doesn’t know how to bunt well at all, and he hasn’t made a bunt attempt, since 2013.

        Roberts just needs to place Granderson at the back of the line up, or play Verdugo in left.

        1. He hasn’t sacrificed. Has he bunted for a hit? With a shift on he could have put it damn near anywhere to move the runner over.

          1. Hawkeye

            I think everyone on a team, should know how to bunt!

            So when you they are asked to bunt, they can.

            How many surprise bunts, have turned a game around, or a series around, in the post season?

            How many pitchers have we seen, throw a bunt away, in the post season?

            And your right, of course these 220 hitters, should take advantage of anything they can, including the whole left side of the infield, they are only hitting, just above, the Mendoza line!

  3. I agree with you Bobby. I could not understand why Granderson did not bunt Kike over with Cory on deck. I don’t know if it were Doc or Curtis, but it sucked that we could not play small ball when we needed to.

    Brooklyn has said for years that a team is never as good as they look when things are going good, or as bad as they look when they are playing like we are now. While this is true, it seems like our offense has lost its way. We are no longer stringing good at bats together. Where is the selectivity and patience we showed during our run. We have gone from a strong relentless offense to the offense we had in the early 60’s without the pitching.

    I believe that we will eventually come out of this funk and maybe we were bound to go through something like this just because of the law of averages. In any case we need to start winning again and soon.

  4. I like your lineup but I would put Turner 5th and Taylor 2nd. I’d rather have Taylor’s speed near the top of the lineup, while Turner would be good protection behind Belly.

    1. Rudy

      I hope you are hanging in there!

      It’s the Dodgers, they don’t do anything easy, that is why that run was almost so amazing, but this other stuff, is just par for course

  5. When you come back to reality, you MAY find:
    Bunting is for morons.
    Barnes’ glove isn’t to be trusted at 2nd evidently.
    You don’t give up on talent like Darvish, especially when you have the best record in the land.
    It looks like the Verdugo experiment is over.

    1. I generally agree with you on bunting but the other night when it was first and second no out and Forsythe is hitting against a righty with Seager and Taylor following him, I’m bunting

    2. I would not bunt in that situation. I would hit to the right side – it might find a hole.

      Barnes is not the defensive equal of Forsythe or Utley, mostly because of experience. I think he’s a plus defender there and his bat is better .

      1. Mark, he was trying to pull it and was having some very lame swings. He may as well squared around and had better odds of getting the job done.

      2. I watched Forsythe a lot in ST and he could go oppo at will. Right now he’s just swinging and hoping against righties. No reason for him to swing at all in that situation. Pinch hit or bunt.

  6. Granderson has been hitting less than .100 in his last 68 at bats. The smart move last night would have been to have him bunt Hernandez to third. Seager’s deep fly then ties the game.

    Obvious move!! What the hell is wrong with Roberts? Why is he even playing Granderson? The guy is a horrible outfielder. Are his hands tied by the front office? Then show some balls and defy them. Right now he looks like a manager that has no brains and no balls! Bad combo!!!

    1. Dave Roberts makes out the lineup he wants. FAZ gives him intel and he uses it as he sees fit. I think it’s a matter of opinion as whether to bunt or not. My opinion is NO.

      You have much better odds when you DON’T bunt!

      1. You have better odds when not hunting…in most cases. That is NOT the case when you have a hitter like Granderson who is hitting less than .100 with the Dodgers.

        Then Roberts sends him up to pinch hit tonight when he has better sticks on the bench. What a f___ing moron!!!

  7. Mark

    Just like Hawkeye said the same thing that the guys said on the Dodger post game show last night, you also said some of the things, the guys said too.

    They too, said that they would move Taylor to fifth in the order, to protect Cody.

    I am not sure that I feel the same way, but we still have not found anyone, to bat fifth in order, to protect Cody, so I do have an open mind about this, but I also think Taylor has been a very good lead off hitter.

    I don’t agree that Turner is not a hitter, that hit in runs, because he hit in the most runs, on the team last year, and he has tended to hit in important runs, when they were needed, through the years.

    But Turner was very much unlike himself last night, when he struck out twice, when runners were in scoring position, but I wouldn’t bet against Turner, not coming through, in the future.

    But I am not sure that the best hitter should always bat second, like sabers like, because I think they do miss out on more RBI situations, so I am open minded, about Corey hitting third, but I do have a little concern, about getting away, from what made us successful, on that great run.

    And tonight, will be the first time our top four, will be in the line up together for quite a while, so I think we need to give them some more time, to gel.

    And I more then agree with your assessment, that Joc, Granderson, Forsythe, and Kike, should not be in the line up together.

    Because Kike, Joc, and Granderson are classic all or nothing hitters, so they are not conducive to a productive offense.

    Because they don’t make enough contact to depend on them, to move runners over, and they don’t hit for a decent enough average, to count on them, to hit runners in, when runners, are in scoring position.

    And our team has a problem with these things, and these little things are what is needed right now, because the offense, has been struggling.

    We were one for eight with runners in scoring position, last night, and the Rockies were three for seven, so that was the difference in that game, last night.

    And although Forsythe is not a classic all or nothing hitter, he has many of the traits, all
    or nothing hitters have, but with out the power, because he hits very few HRs!

    But Forsythe is only this type of hitter, against righties, so he should only be put in the line up, when a leftie is pitching, like Mark said,, and he will probably do fine.

    Of course I agree that Taylor should play center, because not only is he much faster then Joc, he will only get better, because he has all year, out in the outfield!

    And although centerfielders have to cover more ground, they also get the best read on balls, because they are in the center of the field, so that along with Taylor’s speed, will make Taylor’s job easier then most think, but the only way he will get better, by being out there, everyday.

    And since Joc has just not been the same on defense this year, it doesn’t make sense, to wait for Joc’s bat, and it isn’t like Joc, has not been given, plenty of chances.

    And Taylor needs to play centerfield everyday, to get better on defense, and to get ready defensively in center, for the post season.

    Taylor might make some mistakes on defense, but he is a fast learner, and it isn’t like Joc, doesn’t have his own limitations.

    Because Joc isn’t good on balls hit into the gap, or balls hit in front, of him.

    And there are more balls, hit in these areas, then hit over an outfielders head.

    Joc has never had the speed of a true centerfielder, so he has always had to be perfect, with his routes, and becaue of that, he couldn’t afford to lose any of the speed he had.

    But Joc has gotten slower, since he first came up, and some have said that Joc had gained weight, and even Dodgers Digest made a reference that Joc had gained some weight in the off season, during spring training, so I looked to see what Joc weighed, in the first season he came up, and he weighed 185.

    And Joc currently weighs 225, so he has gained quite a bit weight, since 2015, and it could be some more muscle, but even to much muscle, is not good for a player that needs to be agile and quick, like a centerfielder.

    But if this is Joc’s issue, at least he can do something about this, in the off season, much like Puig did!

  8. Mark I think the lead off and 2 hole is a great idea with 1 tweak. I would leadoff Barnes period. I would start Barnes at catcher or second. If Forsyth plays against lefties bat him in the 8 hole so we have a good on base guy there and less pressure on him. I would add grandal to the rally killer list. He can’t hit good pitching he either strikes out or it’s a double play and he is a passed ball machine. In a short series I would have Barnes in the lineup. Secondly turner leads us in obp he has good at bats and can hit good pitching. I think his patience keeps him from more RBI. Seager not great RBI guy either but you can’t deny his production and has good obp. Bellinger is the RBI guy and I agree on Taylor in the five hole. Puig bats sixth grandal 7 vs. rhander and granderson/verdugo 8. Versus lefties Barnes c, turner 3, seager ss, bellinger 1, Taylor 8, Puig 9, Hernandez 7, Forsyth 4. Totally agree with number 3 and I would just let darvish continue to start. My platoon pitchers right now today would be kershaw, hill, ryu,darvish with maeda in long relief. I agree on Watson and cingrani who is hot right now. If verdugo would get hot he might be the left fielder.

  9. If JT had Turner batting ahead of him he’d have more RBI’s. At any rate JT is the least likely player to make an out and the nearer the top the better simply because the better chance on one more at bat. It’s been pretty much proven Grandy is wasting too many at bats and he’s not one who should be afforded the best odds for more at bats.

  10. Taylor is in Cf tonight. Joc is in LF. Still trotting Logie Bear out there.
    Taylor
    Seager
    Turner
    Belly
    Puig
    Grandal
    Forsythe
    Joc
    Wood

    1. Good to have the 1st 5 batters in the proper order. If you walk Belly then Puig could jack one out, he still strikes some fear from opposing pitchers and managers. Grandal batting 6th does not clog things up on the bases. I don’t start Logan or Joc, but at least they are at the end of the lineup and Grandy is on the bench. I would put Utley or Barnes at 2B against a RHP and Verdugo or Ethier in LF because Joc has learned nothing.

      1. Vegas

        I totally agree with everything you said, but I wish we could move Grandal farther down in the order, because he is such an easy out right now.

        And he strikes out way to much, when runners are in scoring position.

        And I would perfer Verdugo of the two, because he is hitting line drives.

  11. It looks like any way you look at it he is going to have joc or granderson and not Barnes in the lineup. Joc doesn’t need to be in the lineup period. He is not in shape and can’t hit. I would much rather have a healthy Gonzalez in the lineup as joc. He is not much slower. Can Barnes play left? Let verdugo play he doesn’t strike out and he has a good obp. Why is utley not in there at second? Taylor strikes out too much to lead off. I don’t know why Barnes is not playing but it must be defense.

    1. He’s a lot slower, but I agree with your overall point. Taylor has a high .oBp which is perfect for leadoff. The Dodgers are damned if they do damned if they don’t with Taylor 1st or 5th. I sure would have been nice last season to high a high .OBP guy in front of Seager. Instead it was usually an out and then Seager and/or Turner starting the inning. That’s why Gonzalez led the team in RBI’s last season.

  12. I just looked at Barnes defensive stats at second base. Admittedly a small sample size but no errors. He is a gutty gritty player but maybe range or just experience is the problem. With his obp he is very solid righty or lefty. I guess Gonzalez just can’t get healthy because his bat could help. I was just being sarcastic about him not much slower than joc. I like Taylor 5 because we have no one else and he gets extra base hits. We know what joc granderson etc can do might as well play verdugo the next 10 games.

    1. I agree about Verdugo, let’s see what the kid has at the plate and in the field. His ability to get on base and take walks are better than HR’s right now, which is all Joc and Grandy offer. I think Roberts has had about enough of lack of production with RISP lately.

  13. One of my closest friends is a Stanford grad and he purchased Stanford at USC football tickets fortonight, so I am in LA just about to walk into the Coliseum. But I wanted to comment. I am glad to see that most on the site believe it is okay to love the team, manager, and FO and still question where they believe changes could be made. What Mark has suggested is appropriate and I can agree on all of them to some degree. Chris Taylor is an overall plus CF who will have to play deeper because of his lack of experience at going back on balls over his head. He is more than fast enough and a good enough athlete to get good jumps on balls hit in the gaps.
    .
    While it may appear logical that only 1 of Kike’, Logan, Joc, and Grandy, I doubt that it will happen very often. Doc does seem to value veterans, and he undoubtedly believes that Logan and/or Grandy will break out if he just keeps putting them out there. Both Kike’ and Joc are very streaky hitters prone to going long times without getting on base, but can get hot (just not that often).
    .
    I like Austin Barnes, and consider him a very good athlete. He has always hit. He can play 2nd, 3rd, and C, and I have seen him play in the OF. His best defensive position is catcher, and he will continue to get better the more he catches. I am hoping he will play more when Kyle Farmer returns. Farmer is going to need to catch the Dodgers pitchers to show that he can catch at the major league level. The Dodgers offense does seem to improve when he is in the lineup He is quick enough to lead off, but I am not sure that Doc would rely on him rather than the veterans.
    .
    Taylor is a legit leadoff, and can be a legit #5. In order for Taylor to be #5, someone else will have to become a leadoff. I assume that would have to be Utley or Forsythe.
    .
    I do have a little disagreement with #5. I would give Yu another start before considering him for the bullpen. He has been a dominant pitcher and does strike out a lot of batters. I do not know why they are messing with his delivery, but he was obviously sold on the idea that the change will be better for him in the long run. With the 20+ game lead, they felt that time was on their side. I am inclined to continue with the experiment. For one more start anyway.
    .
    Got to go.

    1. My son and I went to Stanford – Notre Dame … last year, I think… maybe the year before. Awesome place to see a game. Of course, the Coliseum is a very cool place too.

  14. I thought we were resting pitchers so they would be strong in the end. I looked and kershaw has 150 innings while none of the rest have 130 innings going into tonight. Wood is turning just like he has every other year equals terrible. Maybe we can get back Anderson for the stretch. There is not one clutch pitcher on this team other than Jansen. After that ryu would be my pick. Wood is horrible right now and if we are fortunate enough to be in the playoffs he definitely should not be in the rotation. I have never seen a starting staff so injury prone and seemingly afraid. Thankfully Roberts assured us of the division.

    1. Radio guys say his velocity is fine and he’s overthrowing. 6 man rotation only good for Maeda and Ryu. Darvish with best start of the series.

  15. This seems like deja vu all over again.

    Down 4 after 1 1/2 innings. The pitchers don’t pitch, the hitters don’t hit.

    The Dodgers were red hot for 3 months. Since then, HORRIBLE.

    Do why don’t they do what they were doing when they were red hot? Why are they trying to figure out, in September, who is going to play 2b, LF and CF? Isn’t this something that should have been worked out months ago?

    Why would they trade for a pitcher (Darvish) whose arm slot was wrong when they traded for him and then assume that they could “fix it” in a few weeks?

    What is the fascination with Curtis Granderson? He has been far worse than Josh Reddick was last year – but they keep running him out there – he’s hitting under .120 for heaven’s sake.

    Why bring up Verdugo and Font and their ilk and assume that they will fix the problems that the actual big league Dodgers have?

    They are losing because they are playing bad baseball. All of this talk about the batting order misses the point. They have to play well or they will lose. They had IT, that something that led them to believe that they could win every game, that allowed them to grind and grind and win, over and over again.

    IT is gone. They don’t grind. They make mistakes. They have bad at bats – there was an article on Dodgers’ Digest about the loss of strike zone discipline recently. The starters don’t pitch well but if they do, the hitters don’t hit or the ‘pen blows up.

    We have told for a month now that everything was fine and that we shouldn’t worry. 8 losses in a row, 13 of 14. Nothing to worry about? Really?

    The season ends on 10/1 – they have only 20 more games to get it together. Someone better have a sense of urgency or all of the good work that they did in May, June and July will be for nothing.

  16. Just checked his velocity on cbssportsline they had him throwing 89-90 same as last year. When he was good he was throwing93-95. Hurt again. They need to find somebody who can throw 200 innings in off season. We need just like everyone a big game pitcher. Our great pitcher in the biggest game of the year can’t get 4 innings what a joke. The front office has babied these guys provided depth put them on the dl but it hasn’t worked. I don’t blame the front office the players have to play. This is all on Roberts and the players.

  17. 5 IP 5 runs from Alex Wood tonight. Dodgers starting pitchers past 15 games — 6.52 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, avg less than 4 2/3 IP per start

  18. Washed up or not I would have to give ethier a start in lf after that homer. Against a righty of course. Any kind of spark to win a game. Ethier is a streak hitter he might get hot. He can’t be any worse and Roberts has got to get Barnes in the lineup for grandal. They need some offense or at least someone who can move a runner instead of k or double play.

  19. Ethier is still a stud. For whatever reason several fans post negative things of him. I’ve said many times he’s not the weak link but some see it as such while they have favorites that produce less.

  20. Dbacks give up 6 in ninth at home lose to pads, Washington loses, Houston loses doubleheader. If dodgers could only win one!!

  21. Terrible route by Taylor. Defense is killing them two nights in a row. Seager not turning DP cost them a run too

    1. Hawkeye

      You need to give him time, that is his first time out there, in a while, he has been playing short.

      He has not been playing in the outfield like Joc was in AAA.

      I didn’t see it, but of course I take your word on it.

      I just saw him the end of the replay, where he tired
      to short hop the ball.

      We want him to make mistakes now, not in the post season!

  22. If Roberts gives Pederson or Granderson another at-bat this year he should be canned.

    Those still wearing rose-colored glasses need to immediately call their eye doctor to request a new prescription.

    Time for a new video, Mark – “The Thrill is Gone” by B.B. King.

  23. Among other issues, the Dodgers’ bats haven’t been hot lately. Los Angeles is hitting .186 with runners in scoring position over the current 14-game span compared to .260 in its first 127 games.

  24. Dave Roberts is mad at Dodger fans for booing Pedro (El Gasolino) Baez. What about his awful performance – is that OK?
    Here’s Howard Cole from Forbes.com:

    C’mon, Dave. Not cool. Thirty seconds of booing (and it might have been 15 or 20) during an eight-game losing streak is a walk in park. Sorry, bad choice of words for poor Pedro Baez. Thirteen losses in 14 tries and not once previously had you shown the slightest hint of emotion in an interview to follow. The first time you do, and it’s directed at the paying customers, who are among the best in the game, 3 million strong year after year after year?
    Now that’s unacceptable.”

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