As if Dodger fans were not outraged enough by losing 3 out of 4 to the Giants and the team being three games under .500, today we find out that Corey Seager needs Tommy John Surgery. Of course, over the past few days FAZ has been skewered for just about every imaginable and unimaginable mistake they have ever made – real or concocted. Almost everyone is saying that the Dodgers should have did more in the offseason: they should have signed Morrow and Watson and Greg Holland, they should have traded for Giancarlo Stanton and yada, yada, yada. It’s a free country… and you can think that. I didn’t then and I still don’t.
The Dodgers did not need much as they came within an eyelash of winning the World Series. It’s your opinion they needed to make more personnel and I respect it, but disagree. It seemed logical to me that Chargois, Alexander and Koehler could take the place of Watson and Morrrow and the Dodgers have a plethora of young arms. I knew Buehler was ready and I felt Ryu would have a good season. What we didn’t know was that Kershaw, Wood and Jansen would have major issues at the start of the season. I predicted that Matt Kemp would have a good year, but who knew that Justin Turner would be out for 5 or 6 weeks? Who knew that Yasiel Puig would not hit? Who knew that the hitting would be so sporadic?
If I was fine with the moves FAZ made over the Winter, it would be disingenuous for me to second-guess after the fact. Second guessers are never wrong after all. They are the damn smartest people in the room – just ask them – they will tell you. Justin Turner hit .404 last April and the team was at .500. Corey Seager hit .319 last April. Turner, Puig and Seager are three reasons the team is not scoring runs. I felt the bullpen was solid… and it still may be. Don’t be so quick to assume the worst. On April 30, 2107, the Dodgers record was 14-12. The best it can be this year is 13-15. That’s a worse record, but not terrible. There’s still plenty of time.
Now, some are saying that FAZ mismanaged Corey Seager’s elbow. That’s where I kind of draw the line: In a courtroom, they call that “assuming facts not in evidence.” Yes, he hurt it late in the 2017 season – should they have had surgery then and forgot about the World Series? That’s felony stupid! Undoubtedly, FAZ knew about the elbow, but absent kidnapping him, drugging him and performing unauthorized surgery on his elbow, there was nothing they could do. Corey evidently wanted to see if he could rehab it first and even if he had surgery over the winter, he would have likely missed most of this season. As it stands, he should return in May or June of 2019. Maybe now we can understand why they re-signed Logan Forsythe and why they signed Donovan Solano and Breyvic Valera.
Look, AC and I have different viewpoints on some of this, but his viewpoints are well-reasoned and articulated. I respect that and even enjoy it. But, just saying stuff doesn’t fly with me. The sky is not falling. The season is not over. Maybe the Dodgers players knew the level of the problem with Corey’s elbow. The uncertainty of not knowing is sometimes paralyzing. Now they know. Corey is out and it is NEXT MAN UP.
Tonight, Chris Taylor starts at SS – maybe be stays there. Maybe Kike goes there. There is no right answer, but a healthy Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner will mean a lot. This is Alex Verdugo’s chance. Let’s see what he’s got. Andrew Toles could re-join the team in a week or two. The Dodgers depth will be tested, but they have it in spades. Maybe Doc kept running Joc Pederson out there because he knew there was a possibility Corey could go down.
When Turner comes back, he will likely hit #2. I think Alex Verdugo will get a shot at the leadoff spot and I also believe he will be a 20+ HR guy… maybe not this year, but soon. Taylor’s power can be utilized lower in the order. I know that Yasmani Grandal is not a #3 hitter – he should be at #6 most likely. As soon a s Turner is healthy, I’d like to see this lineup:
- Verdugo RF
- Turner 3B
- Kemp LF
- Bellinger 1B
- Taylor SS
- Grandal C
- Pederson /Kike CF
- Forsythe/Utley 2B
Next man up! This team is too good, too deep and has too many options. Lose your minds if you want – I’m keeping mine. This season is not over. One has to look no farther than the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl this year after losing their MVP QB late in the season. The next man up was Nick Foles and he manned up! Here we go! Let’s see those Junkyard Dogs again. Let’s hope the Dodgers have a Rookie of the Year again… maybe the Top Two!
P.S. By the way – I don’t have an opinion about Doc yanking Bellinger out of the game. I don’t know enough about it. Cody’s explanation sounded reasonable, but I also don’t think Doc is unfair. Maybe he is harder on Cody because he feels he needs to soar even higher. I will reserve judgement either way. What Houston Mitchell said about it was interesting but just shock journalism… he might know a little more than we do, but it’s easy to pile on when someone is down.