Next Man Up!

It happens!  Players get hurt… it’s just too bad that it is Justin Turner who went down, but if you stop and reflect… maybe it will be a blessing in disguise. Justin Turner will likely miss a  month or more of the 2018 season for the non-displaced fracture on his left hand.  Really, he could miss two months, but the blessing is three-fold:

  1. The Dodgers get to see how others will perform;
  2. Those “other players” gain valuable experience; and
  3. JT is not as “worn down” at the end of the season.

Dave Roberts is a nice guy and does not throw at other team’s players, and I am not going to advocate hitting the other teams players, but when your guy gets hit, you have to pitch inside more often… if they get hit… oh well! The Dodgers need to be more aggressive in pitching inside.

I don’t think you will see one set lineup now that Turner is out. We know that Forsythe can play 3B, but so can Kike, so can Barnes and so can Utley.  I have also been impressed with Farmer at 3B for the most part. If it were me, I would leave Forsythe at 2B (except when Utley plays) and put Farmer or Kike or Barnes … or Utley at 3B. Austin Barnes is A VERY GOOD 2B, but I don’t mess with the chemistry.  I will say that Kyle Farmer does not look comfortable at 2B.

What I would not do is weaken our outfield offense and cohesion by moving Chris Taylor to 2B.  Yes, he can play 2B, but his defensive metrics are not good there (yes, I think he would improve).  I think it would be counterproductive (read: DUMB) to move Taylor to 2B.  In fact, if it were me… and it’s not, I would just have a bench player take Turner’s positon:  That player (or players) are Farmer, Barnes, Utley or Hernandez.

I would not shuffle the lineup… keep Forsythe at 2B and Taylor in CF.  That’s the Dodgers strength up the middle.  Don’t mess with it! I guess there is plenty of time to audition… NEXT MAN UP! There are always injuries… The fact is: Logan Forsythe is the best defensive 3B now on the team… But, he’s also the best defensive 2B! Don’t weaken two positions!

My guess at the lineup against Mad-Bum on Opening Day:

1. Taylor CF
2. Seager SS
3. Kemp LF
4. Bellinger 1B
5. Puig RF
6. Grandal C
7. Hernandez (Mad-Bum Killer) 3B
8. Forsythe 2B

Maybe this is where Kike Wally Pips Justin Turner <just kidding>

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 53 Comments

  1. keekay gunna break da fook out. might not give back the job. good rehearsal for 2019 full-time gig.

    1. my guess is if it were 1b we might consider him. he’s had a oositive spring so he can build on that. i think we’ll see him this year but lh bat off bench is pretty much taken by utley. maybe he can work on his versatility in AAA.

  2. Bellinger is not yet a #3 hitter.
    .
    I would put either Puig or Seager or Taylor in the #3 slot.
    .
    Toles could fit into the #1 or #2 slot when he plays.
    .
    Bellinger will benefit from Kemp hitting behind him so I would keep him #4 and Kemp #5.
    .
    Keep your eyes closed or not, but Joc is hitting the ball again.

  3. “Dave Roberts is a nice guy and does not throw at other team’s players, and I am not going to advocate hitting the other teams players, but when your guy gets hit, you have to pitch inside more often… if they get hit… oh well! The Dodgers need to be more aggressive in pitching inside.”
    I could not agree more. It’s been a pet peeve of mine since Roberts took over.

    1. i still wish kemp would’ve beaten quentin’s caveman ass after he injured grienke. suspensions be damned, what’s right is right.

    2. Turner crowds the plate. He fully covers both the inside and outside. It was a sinker pitch that the pitcher didn’t get on top of and it faded into Turner instead of sinking. In this case, I think it best forgotten.

      1. It wasn’t on purpose, but other teams have hitters that crowd the plate too. This guy knew what to do about that:

        Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  4. It seems to happen too many times to those that are very essential parts of our lineups to auto-chalk as accident. Turner may add to this occurring more often by his crowding the plate a tad more but I believe him doing so opposing pitchers take it as a challenge to a pissing contest and throw a couple degrees more inside than they should. I agree that Dodgers should respond with equal risk for potential damage to their lineup. I guess the days are gone when hitting someone of the opposing team was an unwritten rule and expected by all. Many AL managers called to the hit batter who he wanted hit. I want revenge for the simple fact they didn’t try hard enough to miss our batters. After all man slaughter can be an accident but even that is a crime. Too many times it’s happened over the years to key players and cost Dodgers dearly.

    1. Take a walk Quas, get some fresh air.
      `
      Making any comparison between Turner’s plunking and manslaughter is a bit ludicrous.

  5. It wasn’t a comparison in the way you’re implying my meaning but that while both are accidents and accidents still hold the ones causing them at fault.

  6. quick consensus on the internet seems to be that an ascending keekay is the prime beneficiary of this bad news. secondarily, forsythe gets to show off his versatility by slotting over to 3b and helping the team. finally, it pretty much cements the chris-taylor-is-a-CF theory that we often debate.

    i’m interested to see if matt kemp can pick up some of the rh run-producing. i’m willing to say I was wrong on him but let’s wait until he does it for real.

    I like this team but it still needs athleticism. that’s why i’m on team toles in 2018. there might be room for both him and joc by the end of the season.

    1. Give up on Joc while he has good trade value with his 2017 postseason fresh on everyone’s mind. He’s not a kid anymore, he’s had plenty of time to develop, and there are plenty of outfielders in the organization. Trade him for pitching! I know he’s a solid defensive CF, but he’s got too many holes in his swing to ever be reliable. Time to make some room for the up-and-comers!

  7. Forsythe will move to 3b. He’s the best, most steady 3b we have now. I also think Kike will get every opportunity to take the 2b job and run with it. IF he has figured things out, what a boon to the bottom of the lineup.

    We’re too good to not win this division again. As someone on espn.com said, this could cost us home field in round 2, and maybe even round 1, of the playoffs, but that’s all.

        1. we probably will but there are too many variables to make an accurate prediction. like the weather, near-term forecasts are much easier to make. we had home field all last year and still didn’t get it done. I guess I would almost guarantee we’d make the playoffs, fell damn confident we’d win the division, but beyond that i’d wait and see.

          1. so then, basically what i said. Highly, highly likely we’ll be playing in October, but losing Turner for an extended period could mean dropping a few more games early on, which COULD cost us a potential home field advantage in the NLDS and NLCS.

  8. what an amazing year 2017 was that alex wood going from bullpen to #2 starter is basically a footnote. chris taylor was my position player mvp last year, wood might’ve been my team cy young winner.

  9. The pitch was inside but JT strode right into it, don’t believe it was intentional. What would be the motivation in a spring training game? Graveman hit Kike too and was not tossed because he did not get a warning from the first hit batter. I agree Kike is the main beneficiary of this unfortunate injury, he was going to lose his LF at bats to Kemp, I hope he take advantage of the opportunity. Seager is going to need frequent days off too in the early going. Roberts won’t be able to go leftie hitter much with his IF, but Peter will be ready if needed to be called up. He is a much better 3rd Baseman than Utley and maybe could play SS in a pinch. This is a big test for CT, Puig and Kemp plus Forsythe and Kike to pick up the RH hitting slack while JT recovers. If Farmer makes the team then Toles and Joc may both be needed to have an extra LH hitter available. I would not move Taylor out of CF but can’t rule it out completely.

    1. I asked a question on the fangraphs prospect chat about Edwin rios today and the response was that he was more interested in peter [phrasing]. looking forward to seeing what he can do. I was looking at his defensive position history and it’s diverse. a lh keekay?

  10. JT dives into every pitch which is why he gets hit so many times. I do agree that the Dodgers don’t throw in enough, but the truth of the matter is JT gets hit because of his approach.

    Forsythe will move to 3rd where defensively the Dodgers won’t miss a beat. CT would be more than fine at 2nd base. I don’t care what the metrics say. He hasn’t played there much. However, Doc has said that he prefers CT playing CF and backing up SS. Kike will now become an infielder. The Dodgers have plenty of options in the OF. Does the injury keep Joc from going down to AAA or will it save a sport for Trayce Thompson? It could land Farmer on the 25 man I suppose. The Dodgers most definitely will miss JT’s bat. Fortunately, there are 9 days of healing left until opening day and 4 off days in April I believe. If Kike wants to play more this is his opportunity.

    1. Big test will be Kike and Logan against RHP which was their weakness last season though both have done pretty well in ST. I agree the best solution is just moving Forsythe to 3B and having Kike share 2B with Utley. Very few LH bench bats though which is why it does not help Thompson that much, even though he has outplayed Joc in ST. The team really needs Seager’s arm to hold up!

      1. After Turner got hurt last night, I just wondered how long Turner would be out.

        And I thought we are lucky that we have Kemp’s bat, in our line up, this year.

        Turner was out four weeks last year, because of a hammy, and we didn’t have Kemp’s bat in the line up, so I think we will be fine.

        I know some blame Forsythe’s bad numbers against righties last year, because Forsythe got hurt early in the season, and went out.

        But Forsythe didn’t have any problems hitting lefties last year, and he faced more righties, then lefties.

        But Forsythe has had much better numbers against lefties in his career, then righties.

        So I hope everyone is right about Forsythe hitting righties this year, because I don’t know if that, is a given, but I hope he does!

        I can’t see Kike at one position, because he is more valuable, as a utility player, that plays all over the field.

        I think Farmer has had a very good spring training, and he also worked hard in the off season, to get better.

        So if Farmer is able to play third and second, he should get a chance.

        1. If we’re going to be happy that Kemp is there to pick up the slack then he better be better than league average which is what he was last year. Only his HR totals got it that high. I’m hopeful that it will be better than that.
          `
          Everyone is going to have to pick up the slack Kemp, Puig, Kike, Utley.

          1. Hawkeye

            Kemp’s bat does make a difference, and that, is just the truth.

            You have no problem giving Forsythe the benefit, that he will hit righties, this year.

            But he hit way below average against righties last year, and he has, in his entire career.

            Yet you are only judging Kemp on one year, and you know he has much better career numbers.

            And even if Kemp put up those same numbers this year, that will still be much better numbers, then we have gotten out of left field, for sometime.

            And I expect Kemp to have better numbers, this year.

            Not only is he in better shape, to avoid an injury, he will be hitting, in a much better line up.

          2. I don’t ever remember Forsythe’s attitude being in question. Do I think Forsythe will be a righty killer this year? No. Do I think he’s going to have a career year this year? No. I think he had it two years ago at least from a power output. I do think that he will revert to his norm against right-handed pitching and will continue to kill lefties. Forsythe isn’t blocking anyone either who may or may not deserve a spot in the lineup like a Toles unless Taylor were to be moved to 2B. Kike being all over the field is also somewhat hindered by a Kemp. If he can hit it doesn’t matter if he’s in one spot or all over the field and they will need him to hit because Chase Utley can’t start 5 days a week. Barnes can play 2B too at what level though, we don’t truly know. I’ve watched him take infield at spring training and could tell that he was better than Tree Trunk Calhoun but too see him out there a lot hasn’t happened.
            ~
            Kemp being in shape gives me hope. Having guys like Toles, Verdugo, Joc, and Kike wanting more PT can only help with Kemp because I don’t believe for a moment that he wouldn’t become a problem if things weren’t going his way and if he weren’t disposable. Matt Kemp has been league average to just over the last few years on offense too. I hope he can provide more because I’m certain a Toles/Kike platoon would. I will be rooting for him. I hope that my kids can dust off the kid’s jersey in the closet.

    1. Hawkeye

      You know I like Toles more then I like Kemp, but I think Kemp’s bat will make our line up stronger, in the middle of the line up.

      And I don’t consider Kemp blocking Joc, because Kemp came to spring training ready to hit, and compete.

      And I don’t think Joc did the same, and that is why I get frustrated with him, because I think he needs to work on his hitting seriously, in the off season.

      I agree with you about Chase.

      And I hope Kemp has one of those average seasons like he had, in 2016.

      1. Frustration with Joc is very understandable. I don’t think it is effort though. At least not this year. It was good to see him have good AB’s yesterday.

        1. He was terrible with SD in 2016. I don’t want that. He has a .285 OBP with them until they dumped him on Atlanta. We need him to be more selective than that.

          1. Hawkeye

            He hit 268, and hit 35 HRs, and hit in 108 runs, who cares what is OBP was.

            He is a run producer, not a walk machine.

        2. Hawkeye

          There is no way that Joc has worked on his hitting seriously, in the off season, in the last few years.

          He comes to spring training every year, with no swing, and having trouble hitting.

          He needs that more, then any player on the team.

          On a Dodger show this year, an anoucer asked Joc who he worked on his hitting with in the off season, and he never answered the question.

  11. The pitch was very inside – look at the photo at Dodgers Insider for the best view of it.

    It was just a spring game but I for one would like to see the Dodgers make other teams pay for hitting out hitters. It seems to happen too often.

    From what I read, they plan on moving Forsythe to 3B much of the time and then mixing and matching. I would prefer to leave Forsythe at 2B where he is a premium defender and then mixing it up at 3B.

    The interesting question – do they keep an extra OF with the roster slot vacated by Turner, or keep Farmer up? I would like to see them keep Farmer up. After all he does play 3B and Barnes plays 2B so it gives the team extra gloves at both positions and Farmer has earned a stay at the ML level after the spring he’s had.

    1. Forsythe’s natural position is 3rd base. He may be better defensively than JT there. If not, darn close.

  12. I hate to change two positions to solve one problem. If Farmer is good enough defensively, I would put hm at third. He played SS in college. He is hitting the ball really well. Kike is too valuable as a super sub to put him at third. Doc will figure it out.

  13. Since Taylor is the backup shortstop and apparently will not be included in the early mix for second, might he move to third and Forsythe back to second if FRAZ is not satisfied with the production at second?

  14. I think the Dodgers got about as good a news as they could have today. Hopefully, with all of the off-days and over a week left in spring training, JT will be out there before we know it. The Dodgers have the talent to win without him, but he is the most clutch player on the team.

  15. I agree with Mark that we should leave all the other positions alone and fit in one of the bench players at 3b. No sense weakening several positions. Seems like Barnes might start the season on the DL along with Turner, that gives Farmer an opportunity.

  16. One of the very reasons the Dodgers were quick to pick up Forsythe’s option after a down year was his ability to not only play 2B well but 3B at a high level.

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