In order understand what a complete, unmitigated disaster this 2018 Dodger team is, it helps to look at who their best players have been so far this year. Unquestionably the two players who have carried the Dodgers to what little success they have had in 2018 are Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal. What is ironic is that most Dodger fans wanted Grandal gone and Kemp was not even supposed to be on the team. What is also ironic is that I have been a champion of both players, but you already know that.
Without Justin Turner and Corey Seager, the Dodgers #2 and #3 hitters, the offense has been non-existant on many days. However, you have to ask “How many teams can lose their #2 and #3 hitters asnd survive?” There is no amount of depth thsan can fix that! How would the Cubs do without Bryant and Rizzo? How would the Yankees do without Judge and Gregorius (realize that Didi is second to Judge in HR and RBI on the Yanks)? You get the picture. Most teams would flounder to some degree and the Dodgers did!
Then, to compound the problem, the Dodgers lost Logan Forsythe, their starting 2B, and then Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger struggled to varying degrees. While we don’t exactly why, we do know that when you lose your two best hitters, it affects everyone in the lineup – it’s a different dynamic! We can also surmise that Taylor, Puig, Bellinger and others are maybe pressing too much. Dave Roberts says that is part of the problem. Hopefully, tonight when JT and LF return, the team will feel a little less pressure, relax and let the game come to them. Don’t forget, that even if Logan doesn’t put up “eye-popping numbers” he wears pitchers out by seeing more pitches than just about anyone in baseball. That cannot be underestimated!
But, where would the Dodgers be without Yasmani and Matt? Yikes! That’s hard to even think about. Kemp leads the Dodgers in batting average with .317 and Grandal is second at .275. Grandal leads in OB% at .385 while Kemp is second at .357. Grandal and Kemp are tied for the team lead in Slugging with .500. Grandal leads in OPS with a .885 and Kemp is second with a .857 percentage. Grandal leads the team in HR with 6 while Kemp is tied for second with 5, along with Bellinger and Taylor. Yasmani is tied for the team lead in triples with CT3 with 3 and is second in doubles. Grandal also leads the team in RBI with 24, while Bellinger is second and Kemp is 3rd with 17.
My point is that without the “unexpected starts” by Grandal and Kemp, the Dodgers might be dead and buried, instead of just “lifeless.” Kidos to Yasmani and Matt. If Yasmani keeps this up, the Dodgers have to offer him a contract. Does Matt have another year left? Well, they have to win this one first. Here comes Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe – half of the starting infield is back.
Today the season starts! Here comes the Last of the Mohicans!
Photo Credit MLB.com