Andrew Toles has a great story – out of baseball, stocking groceries and back to baseball. From the outhouse to the penthouse and even after that he has endured even more adversity in the form of injury. However, he apparently is healthy and ready to contribute. I am going to make the case that he can contribute to the Dodgers success in the biggest way by playing CF and leading off… everyday. Yes, he hits right-handers better, but he has been given little opportunity against LH pitching. In a small sampling, he has a .351 OB% against RHP and .250 against LH pitching. He deserves a shot. He has the speed to leadoff and help manufacture runs and he also has the speed to play CF.
The fact of the matter is that he has only played CF 15 times in the majors. He has also started 16 games as the leadoff hitter. So, it’s not like he hasn’t played there. FAZ likes the long ball and, while not a slugger, Toles can hit the ball out of the park with power. Part of the Dodgers problems this year have been the inability to hit with RISP. It’s because they have too many “all-or-nothing” players like Joc, Cody, Yasmani, CT3 and Kike. They can make the chicks dig them with the long ball, but they move air liken a giant fan with their whiffs.
Playing Toles in CF and Verdugo is RF would help the “all-or-nothing” mentality. Since Puig is injured, I would play Alex in RF and Andrew in CF – the solution to the Dodgers problems could be right under their nose. Alex went 2-4 and scored 3 runs last night for OKC and is hitting .350 with a .916 OPS. I think both players are ready and they are both different types of hitters than the Dodgers normally play. Adding some guys with On Base Skills surely can’t hurt… and they don’t require a trade.
The bullpen is getting better…. and better, and while you never have enough arms, the bullpen could be fine with internal fixes (Ryu, Urias, et al). The Dodgers team ERA is now #1 in the National League and will soon be #2 in MLB behind the Astros. The Dodger starters are #2 in baseball… only thye Astros are better. Yes, the pen is getting better, but another good arm would not hurt.
It should not be lost on anyone that the 2018 Dodgers are the fastest team since 1955 to go from 10 games under .500 to 10 games over .500.