Back to the Future…

With another home run last night the Dodgers improved their record to 62-38 when they hit at least one HR and are 15-26 when they don’t. Now, you can spin that a lot of ways like: “They need to play more small ball,” or the obvious: “They need to hit more home runs.” I suppose both could be true, but it’s hard to play “small ball” when you try and hit home runs. What’s the solution?  Well, it’s not simple, but I am going to focus on a few players and what roles I think they should play.

Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger was slow to adjust, but he has adjusted and continues to adjust.  Most times with two strikes he shortens his swing and just tries to get a base hit.  He still hits righties to the tune of .280 and lefties at a .220 clip, but his BAIP of .278 against LHP shows he’s not just a platoon player.  He shows the willingness and aptitude to evolve… and the fact that he is doing that on the fly speaks volumes. Cody is hitting .305 with a .348 OB% the past 28 days. This has been a year of adjustments for Cody, who at 23 is still very young.  He may not hit 30 HR this year but he will be close.  Looking forward, I expect him to be close to a .300 hitter as he continues to adjust and improve against LHP.

Joc Pederson

Let’s compare Cody with another LH batter: Joc Pederson.  Pederson is hitting .256 against RHP and .142 against LHP.  His BAIP of .159 against LHP screams that he SHOULD NEVER BAT AGAINT A LEFTY! Joc is hitting .152 with a .259 OB% the past 28 days and yet Dave Roberts continues to hit him at leadoff.  You may think that is puzzling.  I don’t! It is flat-out insane! Joc will be 27 next season and will never hit LHP.  He is a platoon player, PERIOD!  If I were FAZ, I would try and find a trade partner… one who overvalues him. Joc is a 4th or 5th outfielder. My opinion is that Andrew Toles would fill his spot nicely.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel continues to tease us with his immense talent, but I am ready for that show to be over.  Yes, I know he had a big hit last night, so this is not a knee-jerk reaction. He is eligible for arbitration after this season and I would not offer it if I were the Dodgers.  That leaves his trade value very low, so he could likely sign anywhere.  He will be 28 and maybe he will bloom somewhere else.  It would be wonderful for Miami baseball to have him as an attraction, but I can’t see a trade happening.  The past 28 days, Yasiel is hitting .216 with a .267 OB%.  For the second year in a row, he has reverse splits. He is hitting .289 against RHP and .208 against LHP, yet Dave Roberts continues to roll him out there against LHP.   More insanity!

Yasmani Grandal

I am going to just say right up-front that this is another player I want to move on from.  If I were FAZ, I would tell him that they intend to acquire another starting catcher and that he will be the backup in 2019… and then give him the Qualifying Offer.  Hopefully, that will motivate him to sign elsewhere (I think he will have several offers) and the Dodgers get another pick. I have been a big champion of Yasmani, but he never has became who I envisioned.  Turn the page! Oh, the past 28 days, Yasmani has hit .125.  Freaking .125!  His OB% of .343 against RHP and .330 against LHP shows he’s really not a platoon player.  He’s just not a player I want anymore.  I’m done – Goodbye!

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp is signed for one more year at $21.5 million.  Worst case scenario is that he is the 4th outfielder.  Everyone knows that he wants to be a Dodger and mopes and is depressed when he is not, so he shoves Twinkies down his piehole and balloons up to 282 pounds when he’s not.  No thank you!  He will most likely be a Dodgers in 2019 as he has little-to-no trade value. Again, he actually hits RHP better than LHP, so he should not be in a strict platoon.  A leftfield combination of Matt Kemp and Andrew Toles would be nice in 2019.  You really can’t look at Toles numbers, as he does not have enough history, but he passes the “eye test” with me. Let Matt retire a Dodger.

Chris Taylor

I love CT3, but I don’t love what he has done this year. However, I don’t “hate” it either. Baseball Reference has him at 3.2 WAR this year, while Fangraphs has him at 2.1.  Either way, he’s no chump.  He’s just not the CT3 of 2017, but he’s not that far off.  His OB% is down 33 points, but that’s not crazy! Players have down years and I believe this is one for Chris Taylor, but he also has some work to do. The past 28 days cT3 is hitting .196 but his BAIP of .333 suggest he has been OK.  Again, he has reverse splits, hitting RHP better than LHP, but he doesn’t drop to the level of being a reverse platoon player.  Chris Taylor needs to take a page from Cody Bellinger’s book and learn to adjust… especially when he has 2 strikes.  He needs to cut down on his strikeouts by 25% and if he does, the rest will follow.  He’s a bottom-of-the-order hitter, not a top-of-the-order one.  He has work to do over the winter. He is an asset in CF and will get better is plays every day there.

Kike Hernandez

Patience Grasshopper! One more year! He just turned 27 and has shown growth. The last 28 days, he is hitting .327 with a .409 OB%.  After being a LHP killer for years he now has reverse splits (but not by much), so he is capable.  I always try and visualize what a player can become and I still see growth with Kike.  I think he becomes a regular in 2019.  A 2B who hits 25+ HR and bats .250 is my picture.


Next season, I would like to see Cody Bellinger play every game at 1B.  His Gold Glove there wins games.  Max Muncy will be the DH (it’s coming) and the outfield I want to see is Kemp, Toles, Taylor and Verdugo with Alex hitting in the leadoff spot. Assuming Corey Seager can return and play SS, I would start the season with Kike Hernandez at 2B and Cody and JT at the corners. Where I would upgrade is at catcher and it’s no secret I would try and get JT Realmuto.  It makes no sense for Florida to hold on to him. Yes, it would take Keibert Ruiz and a couple of others to get him, but if I were the Dodgers, I would buy out the last 2 years of arbitration and give him a 5-year/$60 million dollar deal. The Dodgers then have Diego Cartaya who could understudy him the last year or so.

2019 Lineup:

  1. Verdugo  RF
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Realmuto  C
  6. Muncy DH
  7. Kemp/Toles LF
  8. Hernandez  2B
  9. Taylor  CF

I like that team a lot! Let Dozier and Machado walk unless there is some crazy-good deal available.  Farmer, Barnes and a couple of journeymen (maybe Freese is part of that) subs round out the bench. There are some pitchers who might be available, but I would not make any dope-fiend moves.  Patrick Corbin would be nice, but at what price?  The free agency period all revolves around Clayton.  If I had to guess, I would say that he and the Dodgers agree on a two-year extension.  


I am not sure Turner Ward’s approach is the right approach for this team.  Part of his approach is working the count, taking pitches and trying to elevate the pitch count.  The problem with that is it is likely that one of the sweetest pitches will be the first or the second pitch.  The Dodgers are the best in the game at hitting homeruns and the best in the NL in scoring, but they are not consistent. Yes, when you jump on the first pitch bad or good things can happen, but maybe you have to be selective when you jump on that first pitch.  With runners on first and second with no outs, you certainly want to stay out of the double play situation, so flailing away then might not be the right thing, but with a runner on 3rd with one out, may be the right time. Maybe it’s time to move on from Turner Ward.  Maybe he goes to Miami with Yasiel.

Back to Now

I’d rather be lucky than good and last night was another quality start and another good win for the Blue.  Clayton struggled for a minute but delivered, as did the bullpen by committee.  Future Ace Strike Buehler goes tonight.  Let’s see if he can adapt to Coors. Floro is developing the guts of a cat burgler. I would not be surprised if most of the pitchers who pitched last night, also pitched tonight.  This is playoff baseball.  It has to make Maeda more confident to get that save.  This team is built for the Post-Season. Can they get there?

This article has 60 Comments

  1. Very important win yesterday. A lot of runners left on base especially Kike (he knows something from roberts, jaja). I like Roberts shows something imaginative instead of computer advisory only

    1. I would be fine if Roberts went by just sabermetrics or just his strange hunches, but this goulash tastesd like crap!

  2. Interesting post, Mark. A lot to chew on. Are we sure non-tendering Puig is a smart baseball move? Shades of Russell Martin maybe . . .

    1. I’ll take Puig in the lineup over Kike everyday of the week. The only growth I’ve seen from Kike is defensively. He’s still a one-trick pony who swings from his heels every pitch. He’s a .230 hitter like Dozier because he pulls off of everything. Once the Dodgers leave Coors and move to the bandbox in Cincy, Muncy should play 2B.

  3. Joc is a good luck charm, gotta keep him.

    Agree about Cody playing first every day, not worth it to have him crashing into walls or Puig and getting injured .

  4. If Dodgers get to the WS Roberts returns. He probably will anyway.
    I package Kemp with Taylor and try to get a reliever. Dodgers can eat some of Kemp’s payroll.
    Puig and ? to the Mets for Wheeler. Both Puig and Wheeler are free agents after 2019. Cespedes is out for most of 2019 and Puig would therefore be a good one year fit.
    Hill and his salary to the Yankees for a reliever.
    Ruiz and White to the Marlins for Realmuto.
    Joc needs to finish strong or he will be traded. An .800+ OPS and 20+ HRs will either make him valuable trade bait or get him another chance to do what he is capable of doing with the Dodgers. He still leads the team in average exit velocity and has kept his Ks down. Can Toles match that? That’s a gamble.
    Rotation choices: Kershaw, Buehler, Maeda, Stripling, Urias, Wood, Ryu if re-signed, Stewart, Santana, Fergusson plus Wheeler if that trade is made.
    Outfield: Pederson, Verdugo, Toles, Hernandez
    Infield: Turner, Seager, Muncy, Bellinger, Hernandez

    1. The Yankees and Brian Cashman value relief pitching more than FAZ. David Robertson will be a FA, so I do not think they will be trading their remaining top 3 relievers, Chapman, Betances, and Green, especially for a 39 year old pitcher with one year remaining. But if they can, go for it.
      It is going to take a WHOLE LOT more to get Realmuto than Ruiz and White. That is a start, but…keep going with the offer.
      Your OF is 3 LHH (Joc, Toles, and Verdugo) with Kike as the #4? There may be 4 guys who can play CF, but not one of them is a true CF right now. And not one of them should be counted on as a leadoff hitter.
      I do like your idea of Puig to the Mets. He will not get the Dodgers Wheeler straight up, but it is a good start to something that is feasible.

      1. Part of my thinking on the outfield is to thin it out physically and financially to make room for either a free agent or trade.

    2. If it weren’t for Matt Kemp we’d be nowhere near in this mix for the post season. I think it would be wise to have Kemp on hand for another year. Maybe not as an everyday starter but on the 25 in case the need to tug on his coat. I think he’s earned his due appreciation and has more in the tank to help get us a bit closer to victory. It’s clear he has more value as a Dodger than he would have elsewhere.

  5. Yesterday MT said that a contact of his with minor league knowledge says the Dodgers have 5 RHSP who are mid rotation. Since Michael Grove was specifically mentioned, I am assuming the others are Santana, May, White, and Gonsolin. I have a lot of hope for Grove, but until I see him pitch at the professional level, it is hard to for me to project him to be a MLB mid rotation guy. Other RHSP in the next wave would include, Edwin Uceta, Gerardo Carrillo, Braydon Fisher, and potentially Alfredo Tavarez. That does not include LHSP like Caleb Ferguson, John Rooney, Robinson Ortiz, and Julio Urias.
    It is okay to have a bunch of mid rotation guys, but how many can you keep on your roster? I submit Brock Stewart was kept too long in the organization to where his value in a trade is non-existent. The Dodgers have 2 mid rotation RHSP (Stripling & Maeda), and two mid rotation LHSP (Wood & Hill) already penciled in, with Buehler and Kershaw (I believe he stays with a new contract) at the top of the rotation. That is 6 starters before we even consider the prospects ready for prime time. I agree that Buehler can be an Ace, but I think Kershaw is devolving into that mid rotation status and the Dodgers need that Co-Ace to go with Buehler. But who? I like the Mets top 3, deGrom, Syndergaard, and Wheeler. But Wheeler has 1 year remaining of team control, and deGrom has two. On the other hand Syndergaard has 3. What would it take to get three years of Syndergaard? Considering Jose Quintana cost the Cubs the minor league pitcher of the year, Dylan Cease, and the #2 projected bat in MiLB, Eloy Jimenez, it is going to take a bunch.
    I know Mark is high on Urias, but I am not ready to designate him as Co-Ace. If it works out, then they can have three Co-Aces. It is not that I do not like Santana, May, White, or Gonsolin. Quite the opposite; I do believe they have a great future. But it is just impossible to have all of them on the 25 man in the next two years, and then it will be too late to move them for anything of value.
    IMO the Dodgers biggest weaknesses are (in no order) leadoff hitter, CF, 2B, and relief pitching. I still like Ender Inciarte who fills two of the voids. Do the Dodgers swallow their pride and consider Dee Gordon for 2B and leadoff, which also fills two voids. At $10MM (AAV, not salary) for the next two years, he is more than affordable. His salary is reported to be $13MM and $13.5MM for the next two years (still affordable). I like DJ LeMahieu, but as fast as Lux seems to be coming, a three year deal might take him out of the picture. No on Dozier.
    I am not as worried about relief next year as I think they have a secret weapon (maybe not so secret) in Jesen Therrien. He will be returning from TJ surgery and I believe still has Eric Gagne has his personal coach. He has a two seam fastball with a late sink, that Gagne calls the one of the nastiest pitches he has ever seen, and a “wipe out” slider that puts him at the top of the list for bridge to Kenley. I cannot wait to see him pitch. Cingrani will be back. FAZ always finds good middle relievers. And maybe they can convince Ferguson to become a relief pitcher permanently. It hurts his projected long term earnings as a starting pitcher, but if he takes a look at what has happened to Brock Stewart, maybe the conversation will not be that hard. Maybe they can make a run at Jose Leclerc in the offseason. There are low cost options for relief, inside and outside the organization. But not so much at CF, 2B, or leadoff. Do they use their pitching surplus to get those pieces?

    1. In the interest of full disclosure (as much as I can), the person who told me is from WVA! 😉

      Inciarte and Gordon have OB% of around .300 – I used to like Ender, but he has slipped. I think Verdugo will hit .300 with a .350+ OB% and hit 40 doubles with 10 HR. He’s not speedy, but he’s a good baserunner.

      1. I have seen his videos, and he does look like a quality pitcher. I also think he was a GREAT 2nd round selection. I think the Dodgers wanted Grove more than Ginn, but realized they could not get both with their bonus allotment. I am currently looking to go to ST next March, and Grove is someone I want to watch.

      1. As an arm chair GM, I am looking at one year of 2B and leadoff before Lux is ready. He was outstanding in 2 of his 3 years in Miami. He is certainly a candidate for a bounce back year.
        He has been productive more years than CT3, who strikes out more than 2 times that of Gordon, and Taylor is the logical 2B next year if one is not signed. LeMahieu and Dozier will be looking at $40MM plus contracts, and would block Lux.
        I presume another option could be Starlin Castro who has 1 year remaining on his deal. Look at a package of Castro and Realmuto???

        1. I’d rather just let Kike play there and I’m sure he’ll up better numbers than any of the above mentioned, with good (and exciting) defense

      2. Mark made up his line up, to address one of this team’s biggest flaws.

        Because the line up that they are throwing out there right now, has major problems getting hits, when runners are in scoring position.

        And that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, because most in this line up are hitting 250, or below.

        And like Mark suggested, hitters in general, that get in deep counts with pitchers, the odds almost always goes to the pitcher.

        And it is hard enough for very good hitters to hit with two strikes, let alone, hitters, that are barely hitting 250, or below.

        And we are not even talking about when these hitters, are in high leverage situations, we are talking about just getting hits, in general.

        And if you watch both Turner and Manny, who are two of our best hitters, they will often swing at the first pitch, if the first pitch, is a good pitch, and the same, with a second, or third, pitch.

        They both try to work their counts, only after they get down two quick strikes early, or the pitcher doesn’t have good, command.

        And most hitters on this team, are not even close to the hitter Turner is, so it is not good for these average or below hitters, to try to get in deep counts with pitchers, or let two good pitches go, early in their counts.

        This line up has far to many of the same type of hitters, which are hitters that are average or below, with pop.

        And because of that, they strike out far to much, and they are not good at getting hits, in high leverage situations.

        And forget about just getting hits when runners are in scoring position, a lot of these hitters have touble, just putting the ball in play, when a runner is at third, with less then two outs.

        And when Mark made up this line up, he had all of these issues, in his mind.

        And that is why Mark made up a more balanced line up, then we have now.

        And that is why Mark inserted Verdugo and Toles in his line up, because both Verdugo and Toles, hit consistently, and this team needs hitters like this, in our line up, badly.

        And that is the same reason Mark took out some of the all or nothing hitters in this line up now, like Grandal, for Realmuto.

        Joc might have a high exit velocity, but that doesn’t mean much, if more balls are pulled into a shift, then not.

        I don’t know why Mark said, forget about Toles’ numbers.

        Because the first time Toles came up for a week this year, he hit in the most runs on the team, that week.

        And he only had 23 at bats, that first time.

        And he has performed in high leverage situations, every year at the major league level, and in AAA, this year, since he came to the Dodgers.

        What people forget about Toles, Toles hit 5 HRs in the first month last year, and shared the team lead with Puig, that month.

        And that was before he really started to heat up, last year.

        And Toles only had about 15 more at bats that month, then Verdugo has had at the major league level, this year.

        And Toles’s average was a little higher then Verdugo’s average is right now too, right before he got hurt.

        But to be fair, both Verdugo and Toles, are not use to coming off the bench.

        And they both were in AAA this year, because the Dodgers wanted them, to play everyday.

        I don’t know why Toles is not getting many opportunities, since he came up.

        But I do know that Toles has taken advantage, of every opportunity he was given, unlike many players on this team, right now.

        And after all the adversities he has had to deal with in the last couple years, he has still come back, and put up good numbers.

        I think the fact he hit better against righties, and in high leverage situations, then Verdugo, is not to bad, especially when he had to catch up, after being out almost two months, early in the season.

        I don’t know about lucky charms, but I did think the third time was the charm, and I think we are a little farther along then that, now.

  6. Kemp has shown the league that he’s lost weight and improved speed a bit. Let’s hope he has a couple of more clutch hits in him so they can move him for 50 cents on the dollar.
    I agree with Mark on Toles and Joc. Toles can do what Joc is doing only better.
    The Dodgers didn’t make staying under the luxury tax top priority to do nothing in Free-agency. They will make a run at Machado and/or Harper. Preferably Machado. The Dodgers need a RH bat more than a LH bat and Turner will be gone after 2020.


    If Mark is correct and I hope to God he’s not then slide Muncy in at DH. Kike and Taylor can be the utility players that they are. Realmuto would be nice.

    I have no complaints about our starting pitching

      1. We will find out I think. I think people have FAZ wrong at times. They have been willing to go after big pieces at the deadline and I believe they will be willing to spend money on players in their prime.

  7. AC mentioned Jesen Therrien and Brock Stewart.

    I forgot about the other JT and AC is quite right about him. He’s the “bridge” and then the “closer.”

    I have been screaming for two years that Brock is not a starter. Quit stretching him out. He’s a bullpen piece. Quit starting him already!

  8. There seems to be only two types of pitchers anymore:

    1. Ones who have had TJ; and
    2. Ones who will have TJ!

    The latest: Othani and Kopech

    I would not touch deGrom or Syndergaard with a `10-foot pole.

    Wheeler and Corbin? OK – at the right price.

  9. Bellinger and Puig carry the offense yesterday both out of the lineup today. Back to the Freese, Kike, Taylor, Barnes, Pitcher lineup.

    1. Predictable. Dozier and his .196 dodger average get to lead off. I’d rather let Zac Rosscup lead off over Dozier.

      But hopefully the dude gets hold of a couple today and drives them. We need him

    2. Hawkeye

      Look at the match ups with this pitcher today!

      What numbers are they using to make up, this line up?

  10. Bunch of wacky trade proposals today. Kind of fits with the wacky lineup Doc trots out. Regardless they are playing for 1st place today and hold that destiny in their hands. I will worry about the minor leagues and hot stove after the season, although it’s a fun diversion. I see signs Doc is playing with more urgency, maybe not who he starts but the in game moves. Putting guys in motion, PH at key moments, even his bullpen usage was good yesterday. Keep it rolling, they get the Rocks best pitcher today but they get ours too.

  11. VS. Freeland
    Barnes – 0-9 – in lineup
    Kemp – .125 – in lineup
    Taylor – .167 – in lineup
    Bellinger – 2-3 not in lineup
    Pederson – 3-4 – not in lineup
    Puig – .333 – not in lineup
    Roberts is a ^*%$*@! idiot.
    Even if they win he’s an idiot. Enough of his stupid lineup choices…fire his ass.

    1. Rudy

      I looked to see at some of those numbers, to see if these were numbers from this year.

      Because we know that Taylor and Cody, were hitting much better, last year.

      Although I know Cody is hitting fine now, but his numbers were from last year, not this year.

      But Puig and Joc’s numbers are from this year.

      Tomorrow’s starter has reverse splits badly.

      Lefties are hitting in the 300s, and righties are only hitting 230.

      And he has an era against lefties over 6, and against righties, over 4.

  12. Unless they’re punishing Puig for trying to steal second last night… him not being in the lineup tonight makes no sense at all.

    And Cody needs to be in the lineup every game… unless he’s hurt. He has at least one awful looking at bat per game it seems… but overall, he’s made some nice adjustments and has been swinging the bat really well. Not to mention his defense and speed on the bases.

    1. Val

      I was just trying to find an explanation, for why they are not in the line up.

      I would have Cody in the line up every game too, especially with the way he has been hitting.

      With Puig, he has reverse splits, against lefties, but for a while there, Roberts was sitting him against righties, and he has much better numbers against righties, then lefties.

      But against this starter tonight, Puig had good numbers.

      Having both Kike’ and Dozier in this line up is not a good idea, because neither of these guys, have been hitting, lately.

      And Kike’ doesn’t especially have good numbers against lefties this year, either.

      But with those two, and Barnes and Taylor, that gives us four players in this line up, that are not hitting above 244.

      1. Yeah… I’m happy that CT is having a good game so far… but for me, you just can’t have Taylor, Barnes, Kike, and Dozier all in the starting lineup.

        One out of the four fine… I’d even be ok with two out of those four right now for certain games. But when you’re playing the team that’s a half game ahead of you in first and there’s only 21 games or so left… you just can’t do it.

        1. Val

          I was talking to Mark on that, because like Mark mentioned, it is not always good, to grind out at bats.

          Because the usually favors the pitcher.

          But I agree with everything you just said, believe me.

          And I am not sure I am glad Taylor hit that out, only because, I don’t want him to continue to swing like that, if that makes sense.

          1. Ha! Yeah, I hear what you’re saying… I’m not sure I feel any differently. Not to worry though… he was 2-2 tonight and swinging the bat really well, so it was almost guaranteed that he was going to be taken out of the game. 😉

    2. The Dodgers run 1st and 3rd constantly. Puig ran on 1st and 3rd and got gunned. It was 1st and 3rd when Bellinger wound up it the pickle. The Dodgers run like its little league and teams don’t know what to do. The Rockies caught on Friday. It wasn’t a Puig thing. It’s a team philosophy to try to catch teams napping.

  13. Charlie Steiner makes me want to blow my brains out. Can’t we find someone in a homeless camp somewhere to fill in when Joe Davis is out?

  14. Let’s go guys! Ferris needs some runs and you are in Coors Field! Need to get Freeland out of this game!

  15. Horrible check swing calls on both Muncy and Joc in the same inning, Not even close. Gotta love that home cookin’, feel like i am in St. Louis, Damn that hurts.

  16. Just got home and fast forwarded through the game…..horrible offense I can see. Barnes and Dozier..meh!

  17. I have to ask had there ever been a game where there were six pinch hitters in a row? Is this little league, everyone plays, everyone gets a trophy and a ice cream cone? Ac, Mark or Dodgerrick, please explain to me this logic, Robert’s theories have went beyond my scope.

  18. Doc likes to hit buttons, probably should buy an X Box One or Playstation 4. It’s on the offense, 1 run won’t get it done at Coors. I am hoping to see a better lineup tomorrow that was pretty brutal, so was the Ump!

  19. A Dodger fans for years and the is the best and most informative I have read on Them. Thank you for sharing
    your thoughts and your talents with us.

    1. Welcome to Planet Dodger, R.

      Don’t be a stranger.

      This is where we rejoice after every win and slit our wrists after every loss.

  20. Lol Laz Diaz may have stock in the electronic strike zone company.

    So tomorrow’s lineup is repeated cause that is our lefty killer lineup however Taylor must sit because he hit too well today like Bellinger and Puig has to sit after collecting too many hits. Also Barnes out because it is mandatory we run Grandal into the ground and not risk Barnes seeing too many pitches and moving past the Mendoza line too far. Robert’s Sunday Special:

    I, just a fan, knowing very little would play this, let the simulation begin:
    1 verdugo
    2 turner
    3 Machado
    4 Bellinger
    5 Freese
    6 Puig
    7 Taylor
    8 Barnes
    9 Hill

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