Who Thinks Brian Doizer Will Platoon?

It has been reported that Dave Roberts told Brain Dozier he would not play everyday… and in the truest sense of the word, that may be true. He may get a day off now and again, but there’s no way Doc is not writing his name in permanent marker on the lineup card.  Where he hits in the order is the only thing up for debate.  You can make a case for hitting him in any one of the top five spots, but he will be there everyday.

Last night, Dodger fans got a little glimpse of what he can do when it all clicks. Last year, after the All-Star Break, Mike Trout hit .285 with a .429 OB%. He had 17 HR and OPS’ed .981.  Brian Dozier, in that same span hit .304 with a .394 OB%, to go with 21 HR and a .985 OPS.  He essentially did the same in 2016.  Brian Dozier is a clutch player – in a small sampling he has also excelled in the playoffs, OPS’ing 1.850.

Yopu can say that “these guys are pros – they play at the highest level every day.”  That would be true if they were machines, but they are only human, and suddenly, when you are traded from a dismal team to a team with a chance of winning it all, most players have a heightened sense of purpose.  J.D. Martinez is a prime example when he got traded from Detroit to the D-Bags.  He hit .302 with a .366 OB% with 29 HR and a 1.107 OPS!  I believe Brian Dozier is of that ilk as well.

Brian Dozier is the Dodgers’ starting 2B – PERIOD!  There is no platoon… at least, there better not be.  Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez will have to accept less AB’s, because the new Dodgers’ infield is very good defensively with Bellinger at 1B, Dozier at 2B, Manny at SS and JT at 3B.  I don’t care what the defensive metrics say – Manny can play a very good SS. He is not speedy, but neither is Corey Seager.  I would be fine with Manny as SS next year, but where does Dozier fit in?  The options blow my mind.

Max Muncy can spell Cody, Brian and JT as well as pinch hit to keep fresh, but as a L-R DH in the Post-Season, it will be hard to beat a Duo of Muncy and Hernandez at that position. They already have 41 HR between them!

Yasmani Grandal is locked in.  Among all catchers in baseball, only JT Realmuto is better!Right here, right now, Yasmani is the #2 catcher in the game.  “yeah, but he will slump as usual.”  Maybe – Maybe not! This is 2018, not 2017.  Sometimes history repeats itself… somtimes it doesn’t.

Even after last night, I am beginning to trust Scott Alexander – his pitches move like crazy – he just has to watch the walks. I see progress, but the bullpen will look entirely different in the playoffs.  This 2018 Dodger team is built for that.  So far, I have been impressed with Floro as well.

The big Question is: Turner and Axford will be activated soon – who goes down or on the DL?

Options (pick 2):

  • Chase Utley to the DL due to old age.
  • Hudson, Goddel, Chargois, Floro or El Gasolino to AAA.

Remember when I said the Cueto signing was a bad deal?  Well, he has misssed most of this year and will miss next year before coming back at 34 years old. Orel said it best:  “It’s not smart to give long-term contracts to people who throw a ball for a living.” True That!

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

This article has 106 Comments

  1. Mark, I agree with you on Dozier. In the last two years he had a good last two months. One night is a small sample, but it was nice.

    I am hoping that in September, Toles and Verdugo show they belong. If they do, we could have a very strong offensive and defensive team. Then we just have to figure out the bullpen. The pitchers are there. The cream will come to the top.

  2. The Athletic posted this:

    “The Dodgers have so much depth in their infield and outfield right now that they probably could field two contending teams if they wanted.”

  3. I’m not the biggest stat guy but Baez is the only bullpen regular with more hits allowed than innings. His whip is by far the worst at 1.515. He still strikes out guys but he walks them too (both ranks place him at top of list too). I’d say the answer to the roster crunch is send him down. He has talent but it’s not currently helping us win games.

    1. I guess I need another move too. I really dont want to send down keekay so I guess we do the phantom dl rotation to keep guys fresh. Utley probably has a sore shoulder right now or muncy is experiencing minor rib cage discomfort.

      1. For the first part of the season he and Shaggy had no idea where the ball was going. It resurfaced last night and in Philly.

  4. If Mark’s prediction of the DH by next year comes true, the Dodgers will be sitting pretty with Muncy and Kemp. I’d prefer not seeing either one in the field.
    *
    1B – Bellinger
    2B – Dozier (signed)
    SS – Machado (signed)
    3B – Turner
    LF – Pederson/Hernandez/Toles
    CF – Verdugo/ Taylor
    RF – Puig
    C – Maldonado/Smith
    DH – Muncy/Kemp

    1. I think it would be more likely to sign Grandal for 3 years than Dozier. The Dodgers could put Taylor at 2B and you’re forgetting about Seager.

      1. I know it’s blasphemy to some but re-signing Machado lowers the need for a RH bat. I’d trade Kemp while you can and make room for Toles and Verdugo. It could free up some money for Catcher and/or 2B

  5. Who will the Dodgers send down for JT’s return. We know they won’t cut Utley who is not only the team Dad but also their best pinch hitter. Phantom DL trip for Chase? Or a trip to the minors for Bellinger? Someone else like Muncy need 10 days off? It’s a risk defensively to hand Muncy 1st for 10 days with no defensive replacement.
    ~
    They could go to 12 pitchers but then you have to move two off the 25 when they activate Axford. Who’s going down there? Baez? Floro? Tough to send down Fergie. I’m not sure who Axford is better than.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. One of Bellinger or Muncy or Chase likely develops a cold by 3pm today and has to go on the 10 day DL.

      On another note, that error on Dozier last night should have been an error or Manny. The throw should have easily been scooped up, and Manny will admit that himself.

      I wanted Dozier 2 years ago, but Minny wanted Bellinger along with JDL, so I’m gad we didn’t do it. Since those rumors, I’ve followed Dozier (and had him on my fantasy team last year). He carried me to the championship week with that amazing 2nd half! Now I can root for him in reality! His defensive play on that slow chopper to 2nd was also pretty nice.

  6. I would echo Hawkeye (and probably Mark) with a potential 3 year extension for Grandal. Smith and Ruiz are not ready, and Barnes is not a starting catcher candidate. Smith could be a backup catcher next year, but he could learn how to work with the Dodger pitchers from Grandal. Grandal will be 33 after a 3 year extension, and could still get another big pay day, and both Smith and Ruiz should be ready to be to the backstops at that time, and Diego Cartaya another 3 years closer. Don’t look now but Connor Wong is starting to play as he did in the beginning of the season. 2 more HRs last night (16 on the year), with his average back up to .260. He is on track for a 20 HR year for a catcher.

    1. I like it. Assuming $18m is right around what a top catcher gets paid (Posey. Molina both $20m and above) why not make it for three years? 3y/$48m. The dodger special! Smith and Ruiz will have their time. Catchers never need to be rushed.

    2. 3 for $48 million sounds very FAZ-like. I complain about where he hits in the batting order at times but he’s an underrated backstop. I didn’t complain coming out of the break because my memory told me that he had hit well in Milwaukee in the past and Philly is s bandbox. If Bellinger was doing his job, Grandal wouldn’t have to hit where he is. This time Roberts has timed his hot streak perfectly rather than moving him just in time to cool off. It’s a contract year and he seems to be on a mission.

  7. My sources inform me goeddel is out of options so he won’t be sent down. Has to be Baez and a mystery injury to utley/muncy unless we send Ferguson down or something else unpopular like that.

      1. But floro is one of our better relievers and we still dont have anything locked up yet. Hell, I’m watching col/stl right now and rooting for the birds.

  8. There was something about seeing Dozier in a Dodger uniform, watching him in the dugout, and looking younger than I thought he might look like that now makes me a Dozier fan. Better late than never. I would like to see a Manny – Dozier double play combo next year.
    .
    The Dodgers do not need Grandal’s bat next year with Seager and Machado in the lineup. Spend the money on Machado and let Smith and Barnes be superior defensive catchers. Grandal has never been a favorite of mine but like Dozier, he is now. Color me impressed. But, time for him to move on next year.
    .
    Should have traded high with Muncy like I was hoping would be done. If Kemp is traded next year and the NL gets the DH, then Muncy has an appropriate spot on this team next year.
    .
    Second base is Dozier’s to lose or keep.

  9. Dozier looks a little like a young ned colletti. As for muncy, even if he’s downgraded to a part time starter he still has value. Like with Taylor last season, I never complain about essentially free production.

  10. Wow, wasn’t it a week or so ago MT set the gill nets for the Grandal ‘haters’??? As usual those haters didn’t show up!!! 3 years of Yasmani or Smith & Barnes… Gotta go with the controllable kids… Sign Manny… L.A. teams need their stars!!!
    Except for Donald T. Sterling’s illegitimate step children A.K.A. the Clippers…

  11. Chase Utley to the DL due to old age. Not funny Mark, Chase Utley has none everything F&Z expected from him when they traded for him. He plays every game as hard as he can, giving everything he has for the team, yes he is older and can’t do what he once could but he deserves your respect, not you trying to be funny at his expense.

    1. I think Chase himself would be amused.

      I didn’t call him a bum – I called him old… which he is.

      I respect him immensely… but he’s still old. So am I!

      Now, I might disrespect Roberto Ozuna!

    1. They should IF the price is right. There are a lot of variables here: Manny, the logjam in the outfield, the DH or possibility thereof, whether Clayton Ops out, Grandal. I think AC and Hawkeye nailed it: 3 years – $45 to 50 Million. If the bidding gets higher, walk away!

  12. Perhaps Utley going to the DL is punishment for his unprofessional batting practice attire….

  13. Tonight’s Dodgers lineup:

    Pederson LF
    Machado SS
    Turner 3B
    Grandal C
    Bellinger CF
    Dozier 2B
    Muncy 1B
    Puig RF
    Kershaw P

          1. That was earlier. Forsythe was for dozier. I know nothing but Taylor and Kemp are sitting. Both need a day off. Maybe one got a paid vacation (i.e. phantom dl stint). Could be two relievers too. Baez and floro?

        1. Eric Stephen just tweeted
          “Dodgers are “still contemplating a couple DL candidates” per Dave Roberts. Corresponding move for Turner not yet announced”

  14. Grandal is a perfect example of why the post-season is a crapshoot. If he was hitting last October like he is now, the Dodgers would likely be defending champs.

    I think it’s a bit early to begin thinking about next year (although FAZ needs to be thinking about all the time). Dozier was impressive last night, but I want to see more.

    Going forward I hope that Muncy shows us that he’s just in a slump, and will break out of it. Until he does, I’m not penciling him in for anything going forward. I’ve seen this before, and sometimes it’s real and sometimes not.

    Grandal should probably be signed to a multi-year deal, because he’s still one of the better catchers in the game. Then, if one or more of the young Dodgers catching prospects steps up, Grandal could then become a valuable trade asset.

    Definitely want Manny back next year, and look forward to Seager’s return.

    Not including anything about the pitching now, but I suspect that that’s an area that will have to addressed long and short term, both in the rotation and bullpen.

    1. I would not assume that Muncy is just regressing. Slumps happen to everyone. Kemp was mired in one. He will return with a vengeance!

  15. DODGERS REINSTATE JUSTIN TURNER

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated third baseman Justin Turner from the 10-day disabled list and placed infielder Chase Utley on the 10-day disabled list with left wrist inflammation.

    Turner, 33, missed the past 10 games due to a right groin strain during his second stint on the disabled list this year. The Long Beach native has appeared in 50 games with the Dodgers this season batting .259 with 21 runs, eight doubles, five home runs and 20 RBI along with a .354 on-base percentage.

    Utley, 39, is batting .240 with one triple, one home run and 14 RBI in 69 games with Los Angeles this season.

  16. Those crazy left wrist inflammations…they just continually pop up and the most opportune times.

      1. You can put Utley on the DL at any given time. At his age, he’s a walking infirmary!

        No disrespect.

  17. Jacob Amaya (19) and Miguel Vargas(18) both starting for the Loons tonight. Game in rain delay.

  18. Can’t wait for a healthy JT. Whether he is hot or not, he just seems to mellow everybody out hitting wise. The other guys seem to feed of him and take better at bats. Glue, Mark, glue. Perfect analogy of Turner.

  19. Anybody know why Machado seems to be stuck in that number 2 spot in the lineup? I would have loved to see him in the number 3 spot when JT wasn’t playing. And tonight without Kemp in the lineup… I would have liked him in the clean up spot in between JT and Yaz

    1. New Baseball 101: Put your best hitter at #2 (Corey hit there last year). The theory is that he gets more AB’s.

    1. I tried to post twice today but I couldn’t get it through. One of the things I was saying is that the Dodgers infield is now second to none with Turner and dozier in the lineup. I also said if bellinger can get it together it won’t be close. Well tonight is a great start!

    1. I was only able to get 1 game today where I am at, and that’s the game I was watching. Gavin had a tremendous debut. He keeps this up, and the Dodgers will only need a 2B to start next year. You do not buy your stars, you draft them and develop them.
      .
      Smith walked and scored a run so far in his AAA debut. They are playing on the west coast (Tacoma), so the game is still early.

  20. Dozier back to back nights. Already paying dividends. Platoon only if he goes into a woeful slump. Right now no way in hades he should come out of the lineup. Muncy should never have gotten into that home run derby. When will they learn?

  21. Well – if they can avoid hitting only solo HRs, this offense could be historically good (for the LA era Dodgers).

    1. No need, Joc does that for me. I will say though that I like his swing in that it is under control, fairly level, and stays in the hitting zone for a long time. He also does a good job of not swinging at balls or pitcher’s pitches. Grandal has rewarded you as well.
      .
      I am loving Machado, Dozier, and Turner in this lineup.

  22. We’re going to wish we could have kept some of these runs on lay-away for the Houston series.

    1. I don’t understand what’s wrong with him. I know he had elbow issues during spring training but I’m not sure what’s up with his bat. He was great last year.

      1. Still an excellent back-up catcher warts and all. I bet 29 other teams would like to have him.

  23. I say maybe they should give JT a bonus for lineup luck charm! It’s nearing fact what his presence does.

  24. Two beautiful performances in the minors tonight. Both no walks and no runs: ryu 4 ip 2 h 4 k. Uceta 6 ip 2 h 6 k.

    1. Probably 2021… maybe 2020.

      He is 20, but very slight build (155).

      Good change up, 95 MPH Fastball and evolvoving curve.

      Pretty good control. He needs to show he can start or he could be a great bullpen piece.

      Dodgers #15 prospect. AC and DC will give you more…

      1. Check out LADT piece – scroll down.
        .
        http://ladodgertalk.com/2018/07/29/any-more-changes-or-stand-pat/
        .
        Uceta is one of those guys who came out of the woodwork. I love those stories. No reason before this season for us to expect him to be excelling as he is in full season. He had Bobby Cuellar as his pitching coach with the Ogden Raptors in 2017 and now has him in Great Lakes. I expect Bobby knew something we didn’t and has been instrumental in building Edwin’s repertoire, feel for pitching and his confidence. Mark is right about him being slight which may move him to relief in time but certainly at six feet he will fill out some more.
        .
        This from Bobby Cuellar after Uceta’s July 27 game.
        .
        “He’s been pretty consistent all year long,” Loons pitching coach Bobby Cuellar said. “He’s been getting all three pitches over pretty consistently. He’s just always throwing strikes and he’s confident in what he’s doing. … Just things he can do right now are throw the changeup, curveball and fastball.”
        .
        “He can change speeds with [the curveball],” the pitching coach said. “Sometimes when you have a fastball and changeup situation, it’s basically back and forth. And then you throw in the curveball, which is higher up and down more. That makes the changeup and the fastball even better. He elevates the fastball a little bit when it’s asked of him. That gives him another dimension of being a pitcher and working in and out.”
        .
        This after Uceta gave up a home run.
        .
        “He wasn’t sitting there all flustered, saying, ‘Oh, man, what happened?'” he added. “He just sat down and watched the game how he usually does. He went back out the next inning and recovered and felt his way through to the seventh.”

  25. Much appreciated dodger chatter,you guys have so much knowledge and know where to find it.

    1. In 99 IP, Uceta has 103 K to go with 27 BB. That is very good control for a 20 year old. He pounds the strike zone. Pretty much what was said about Caleb Ferguson when he was at Great Lakes (41 K and 3 BB in 50.1 IP).
      .
      At 6’0″, he naturally draws comparisons to Jordan Sheffield. While Sheffield’s fastball is explosive, he seems to lack something that takes him deeper into games unlike Uceta. The Dodgers have been patient with Jordan’s development, but he is going to need to prove he can be as effective going deeper into games as well as Uceta has been to continue to be considered a starter. That may be tough for him as he has been shut down due to forearm stiffness, and is 3 years older than Uceta.
      .
      Uceta is a major prospect because he has command of the strike zone. His swing and miss pitches will continue to develop, and if he can continue to command the curve and throw it for strikes (or swing and miss), he should be on a fast track. I doubt that it will be as quick as Ferguson, but 2021 is certainly possible. But it is a long way from the Midwest League to MLB, but you have to start to blossom somewhere.

  26. Lux had 24 errors at Rancho. He’s got 1 at Tulsa too. That’s a number that will need to come down next season.

    1. Without having all of research, my recollection is that most are throwing which is more correctable than fielding. Last night’s was a throwing error. One other thing to keep in mind, Gavin does not have the luxury of a GG caliber 1B to help save some of those throws.
      How many errors did Agon save or Belli. But I would still like to see him start to make the transition to 2B.

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