The Lineups Are The Least Of The Problem – Here’s The Biggest Problem:

There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said ad nauseum. Almost every day we look at the lineups and have a cow or roll our eyes, but they win more often than not. I don’t think it’s the dumb, stupid, moronic lineups that are the problem.  I don’t care where you hit them or in what order (well, I do care, but it’s not all that), I think hitters are going to hit… maybe not Yasiel who seems to hit best lower in the lineup.

I think the whole problem is “approach.” The Dodgers see more pitches than any team in baseball. Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez all  have a great batting eye – they just can’t hit a lot of them.  It’s one thing to see pitches, it’s thing entirely another to hit them.  When you go up there with the idea that you are going to work the count, you are less aggressive and more defensive and then when they get 2 strikes on you, if you are aggressive, you are apt to strike out.  If you are defensive, you are apt to foul off repeated pitches and make weak contact.  

The lineups may be 20% of the problem, but the approach is 80% of the problem.  The other day, Doc said that Cody was just “trying not to make an out.” In basketball, if you go to the foul line and try not to miss, the odds are you will.  The focus needs to be on what you need to do: Make a basket!  In baseball, if you go to the plate with the idea of working the count, your focus is not on getting a hit – it’s on a process.  Certain type of pitchers thwart that process.  

When the Dodgers hit, it seems like everyone hits and when they don’t, no one hits. The Dodgers problems are not Roberts stupid lineups, but rather, the approach which may have been fostered by FAZ, but also carried out by Turner Ward and Dave Roberts. The players should not be so concerned with working the count as they are with getting a pitch they can hit. That’s a big part of the reason Dodger pitchers like Clayton Kershaw are giving up more home runs: Players know they are trying to get ahead with a strike and they jump on the first one they see.

I am not saying that they swing at every pitch they see, but quite often, I see Joc, CT3, Yasmani, Cody and even JT watch the first pitch right down broadway… and it is sometimes the best pitch they see.  You can train for this, even in batting practice:  Line a dozen hitters up and you only get one pitch… and you have to swing at it.  I’m not advocating swinging at the first pitch, because pitchers will get wise and adjust too, but I am advocating being ready for a pitch in “your zone” and hitting that pitch.

FAZ may have started this trend – I can’t say, but it needs to end and it will likely end with the replacement of Roberts and Ward!

Dodger News

  • You can see Striker Buehler’s greatness – he just needs to learn how to pitch better at Coors, although he wasn’t bad.  He’s developing game-by-game. 
  • Rich Hill has a 7.17 career ERA at Coors, so he will probably pitch a perfect game.  Kidding…
  • Freeland was very good last night.  He deserved the win. Oberg and Ottavino were filthy.
  • Brian Dozier and Matt Kemp look lost right about now.  I would give both 5 days off.  Maybe pinch hit in a laffer!
  • Alex Verdugo looked like a rookie with the bat…
  • For some reason, Dave Roberts is loathe to play Andrew Toles
  • Ruiz, Jackson and Lux are all hitting over .350 in the playoffs and Tulsa plays game 5 today.
  • Thomas, Rincon, Wong and Berman all hit over .300 as RC won the first round and now plays for the championship.

This article has 157 Comments

  1. the strategy was to full the initial pitcher with pitchs so that the others team used more relievers (apparently the weakness of the other teams) and the previous year it worked, but the actual does not so I agree with a new strategy the problem is They will go with bad pitchs but I prefer that to get strikeout watching the third strike as Grandal yesterday

  2. I agree with you in part. Yes, if you are trying to work the count rather than to hit, you might not hit anything. But this isn’t new – it’s what most of the team did last year. it’s mostly the same cast of characters after all. As I have said before, it’s partially too many guys who had career years last season, but a large part has to do with all of the platooning.

    Per this morning: “The Dodgers, 1 1/2 games out of first place after a loss to the Rockies, have scored three runs or less in 8 of their last 10 games. That lineup is way too good for that.”

    What happened 10 days ago (OK 9 days ago)? The 9/1 increase in roster size. Since then, Roberts’ maniacal managerial tendencies have been exacerbated by the number of moves he can make and the number of guys he platoons. Even Roberts admitted as much yesterday:

    “”It’s not only September. We’ve taken the mindset that these last 26, 27 games are essentially playoff games,” said Roberts. “If I can go into each game thinking it’s a postseason game, it’s a good mindset for our players; and as you’ve seen me manage the roster in a game, it sort of mirrors a playoff game. We’re afforded that luxury because we have a lot of good players.”

    That’s why, Roberts explained, Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger were not in the lineup against Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland after successful at-bats Friday night against right-hander Jon Gray. The expanded roster provides Roberts with more matchup options than normal, although the Dodgers have relied on matchup lineups since the current front office took over.

    “When you don’t have the depth we have — and I would argue that 29 other clubs don’t have it — there is the argument to ride the hot hand,” Roberts said. “But over the course of a long and big sample size, each game and each pitcher is different. There’s value in lumping it all together in recency, but there’s also an even stronger case to be made on the larger sample size. My answer is easy when you have guys that are a better option, to be frank.”

    In other words – who cares if a hitter is hot. Or even if he has a good track record against a certain pitchers? He’s going to look at a “larger sample size” and platoon almost everywhere almost every day.

    I think that Roberts’ awful lineups are the new thing here. Last season, the Dodgers played with mostly a left/right/left/right lineup and it worked. This constant platooning? Not so much.

  3. The Athletic has a good take on all this today:

    Really, the first 142 games are irrelevant. The Dodgers are still more talented than their competition, and they are close enough to said competition that talent should matter. The potential trouble resides within their mentality. As Turner said last month, to start hitting better with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers needed to stop trying so desperately to hit better with runners in scoring position.

    Put another way, Chris Taylor has struggled for much of the last month, losing playing time in recent days. After he homered Saturday, he relayed the fixes he and hitting coach Turner Ward had made to his swing and approach that allowed it. He lowered his hands some and strived to keep his head still mid-swing. But, more than anything, he said, he endeavored to stop trying to do so much. He hit a homer because he wasn’t trying to hit a homer.

    1. The key paragraph in that article?

      “And, for all of the depth the Dodgers have collected, there remains the challenge of how to best deploy it. September was always supposed to be their best month, when the superiority of their 40-man roster could win out. That depends on each of their 15 quality position players receiving enough playing time to feel right. To aid in that, Roberts and Dodgers executives sketch out how each game could go, much like that have done in postseasons past.”

      In other words, everybody plays. Don’t play your 8 best or 8 hottest – play everybody. It doesn’t work.

  4. All we have to do is win today. That means we’ll have won a road series vs a good team. I’ll take it.
    Yes, Hill has a 7 ERA at Coors, but Wood has a 9ERA at Coors, and we pushed him back 1 day.
    Dozier is worthless right now, so let anyone else start at 2b.
    Since we’re facing a leftie today, expect another moronic all rightie lineup.

    1. better hitting against opposite side pitchers has always been accepted, even before computers and even before the hot shot dodger computer whiz up stairs began making the decisions about who is going to play. the dodgers are obsessed by this and the inconsistency is a reflection of this. there is more to hitting than the computer matchup. hitting streaks can carry the team but who goes on a hitting streak when he plays half the time? lack of run support hangs around the pitcher’s necks like a lead weight. pitchers are forced to throw a perfect game every time because they cannot count on the hitters backing them up.

      the dodgers went to the world series last year because of a couple of incredible hot streaks. but in the world series, the opponent aren’t the average teams that won’t make the playoffs. and these average teams are a part of a winning streak. seven games against a team that got there will bust up a streak every time.. as I write this, Cincinnati is beating us 10 to 4 and confusion reigns in the dodger dugout. no streak…no answers.

  5. Bottom line, and keep in mind I’m no stat guru with all the BAIP, wRAC, War etc. I just don’t get it, the team K’s entirely too much. Gotta put the ball in play and something will happen, (error, hit, sac fly, throwing error, leg single etc.) but you gotta put it in play.

    CT3, Dozier, Puig, Joc, Grandal, Barnes, Hernandez, Cody et al. strike out too much and it’s a glaring problem when they have runners on. One thing to start an inning with a K but when you have a runner on third with less than two outs the last thing the team needs is a K and that’s what they do all too often.

    I don’t think we’ll see the sixth division title in a row this year and even if we do is it realistic to think the Dodgers will find a good offensive game plan in a playoff game. I don’t think Doc should be fired, but there should be changes to the coaching staff starting with Turner Ward.

  6. Of course the Dodgers are mathematically in it but today is as close to a ‘must win’ game they will have. I’m not sure the team is responding well to Doc’s mad scientist approach. The pennant race is exciting but the performance has been lacking at the plate. I agree with the premise of hitting ‘your pitch’, wherever it is in the count. I am really tired of players watching a 3rd strike go by then having a spirited argument with the ump. Hits and runs chase a pitcher faster than pitch count.

    1. Yeah, it’s pretty simple: we win this and we’re right in the thick of it. Almost even. Lose and we have ground to make up. Pressure starts to mount. Let’s win.

  7. Like I said, the best hitters, attack the best pitches they get, they don’t wait around until they are down with two strikes.

    And usually one of the first three pitches, are the best pitches a hitter will get.

    And last night Taylor didn’t wait around and work his count, he attacked good pitches, in the strike zone.

    How many times have we heard the difference of of 2 one count, or a 1 two count, when it comes to hitters, as well, as pitchers?

    It is about the first three pitches, most of the time, unless a pitcher doesn’t have good command.

  8. How can anyone think that the starting lineup is not that important. It’s, indeed, very, very important. It’s who is going to get the most at bats during a game. To think otherwise is utterly foolish.
    Today, all righties again. No Bellinger, No Muncy. Hell, even no Puig.
    Doc continues to dig his own grave.

    1. I do think it is important, but I think the team mindset is even more important. I think the process is vitally important.

      I don’t like today’s lineup, but these guys are pros and should be able to do something. So frequently, they do nothing!

      1. I felt the same way about this same line up.

        This pitcher today has reverse splits big time, but his era against both lefties and righties is not great!

        But lefties are hitting 300 against this leftie starter, and righties are hitting 230.

        And his era against lefties is over 6, and his era against righties is over 4.

    2. Rudy

      I thought after Roberts pinched hit all those lefties yesterday, I thought he might think twice about not starting any lefties today, too.

      1. Damn, this is just depressing. I hate the all RH lineup. It lets the lefty pitcher get in a groove. Roberts is Mattingly to me now.

  9. Stanton Contract.
    Marlins will eat $30 million of it. Maybe the Yankees will eat a year of it as well plus take Kemp and Hill. Would anybody trade for Stanton under that scenario?
    CONTRACT:13 yr(s) / $325,000,000 SIGNING BONUS:- AVERAGE SALARY:$25,000,000 FREE AGENT:2029 / UFA
    2015 Contract details by year 25 $6,500,000 $50,000 $6,550,000 $6,550,000
    2016 Contract details by year 26 $9,000,000 – $9,000,000 $9,000,000
    2017 Contract details by year 27 $14,500,000 – $14,500,000 $14,500,000
    2018 Contract details by year 28 $25,000,000 – $25,000,000 $25,000,000
    2019 Contract details by year 29 $26,000,000 – $26,000,000 $26,000,000
    2020 Contract details by year 30 $26,000,000 – $26,000,000 $26,000,000
    2021 Contract details by year 31 $29,000,000 – $29,000,000 $29,000,000
    2022 Contract details by year 32 $29,000,000 – $29,000,000 $29,000,000
    2023 Contract details by year 33 $32,000,000 – $32,000,000 $32,000,000
    2024 Contract details by year 34 $32,000,000 – $32,000,000 $32,000,000
    2025 Contract details by year 35 $32,000,000 – $32,000,000 $32,000,000
    2026 Contract details by year 36 $29,000,000 – $29,000,000 $29,000,000
    2027 Contract details by year 37 $25,000,000 – $25,000,000 $25,000,000
    2028 Contract details by year 38 $25,000,000 – $25,000,000 $25,000,000
    2029 Free Agent Year 39

    Contract Notes:
    Full No Trade Clause
    Player can opt-out after 2020
    2028 Club Option contains a $10 million buyout
    Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, All Star: $50,000
    MVP: $100,000
    LCS MVP: $250,000
    World Series MVP: $500,000
    Marlins will retain $30M in salary if the 2020 opt-out is declined

  10. Well I am licking my wounds from yesterday, and need to wait until 5:00 PM to see if my Packers can salvage part of my football weekend. I cannot remember the last time my teams went 0 for 4 with the Dodgers losing 2 and USC and the Packers, so hopefully Sunday will be a better day than Saturday.
    I think I am going to watch OKC and Tulsa today because I think they have a better chance at winning than LAD. Mitchell White goes for the Tulsa win after Andrew Sopko pitched a great 6 innings yesterday in the Tulsa 5-3 victory. Drew Jackson went 3-3 with 2 doubles and a triple, while Gavin Lux went 2-3 with 2 doubles and a walk. Jacob Scavuzzo continues to hit well with a 2 run double. Michael Ahmed also had a two hit night.
    The first team through the first round of playoffs are the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes with their 8-1 win over the tough Lancaster JetHawks. Great night for RF Cody Thomas who went 4-5 with a double and 2 RBI’s. Steve Berman went 3-4, while Carlos Rincon went 2-5 with a HR and 3 RBI’s. The Quakes went 5-9 WRISP. The Quakes play the winner of the Stockton Ports and Visalia Rawhide series for the California League Championship. The series is tied at 2 games apiece which concludes today.
    The best of three series in the Pioneer League playoff series between the Raptors and the Grand Junction Rockies will also conclude today after their 7-5 victory yesterday. Offensive star for the Raptors was OF James Outman (CF) who slugged a pair of HR’s and 4 RBI’s. Nico Hulsizer (RF) also had a 2 run HR, while 2B Jeremy Arocho had a two hit game. The Raptors hit 3-6 WRISP.

    1. I just read in the LA Times, that Dozier is nursing a sore knee, so maybe that is his affecting his hitting.

  11. The reason his era is high against lefties is they take away his change up. Doc is contradicting himself when he says we look at the full body of work before making lineups but yet the full body apparently says colorados pitcher is better against righties. If he can’t distinguish between a hot hitter and sabermetrics we might as well have a tech person be manager. For example bellinger had a tough first half but for the last month and more he has had an upswing. You can’t count what he did in the first half because he is currently a different hitter.

    1. Therealten

      I felt the same with Corbin against righties, because of the angle of his sliders, with righties.

      He also has revere splits.

      1. All righty lineup gives him a chance to hone his changeup. Hopefully, he is off today but Roberts has given him a comfort zone.

  12. I can’t say exactly what the problem is but I can say I heard some moronic excuses for the performance displayed. Things like “to much talent”, Huh???? Give me a break! That’s like saying “he’s too fast to steal a base. If what Roberts said were true then he’s simply too good of a manager to win any games.
    The team just ain’t buying into the crap and are playing like there’s no use trying. Its like having a job foreman giving you detailed instructions to do a task the wrong way as the task of one that you’ve performed top gun your whole life. There is a lot of talent but the spirit is nearing death. Put Utley in charge and dump Roberts and there’s a great chance of getting deep into THIS post season. It’s becoming hard to even think of future baseball if this is the direction it’s heading. It’s killing my spirit too!

  13. After taking a pitch for a strike that appeared to be outside, how is that Taylor then took the next pitch that appeared to be on the outside corner for strike three?

  14. So, some of you lost your minds over the lineup!


    Pay attention!

  15. Mitchell White pitched 7 masterful innings allowing no runs on only 2 hits and 2 walks to go along with 5 strikeouts. He had 94 pitches and was allowed to pitch out of trouble in the 7th. With a walk and a bloop single the Arkansas Travelers had runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. With a shallow fly out to CF, a fielder’s choice, and a fly out to CF White was able to get out of trouble. In the top of the 8th Michael Boyle came in and got two outs and then back to back HR’s to trim the lead to 5-2. Nolan Long replaces Boyle and got the final out on a fly out to CF. After a leadoff single, Long induced a 5-4-3 double play. Then Long gave up a single and run scoring double before Layne Somsen came in to get the game winning strikeout for the save.
    Offensively the big hitter was…Gavin Lux who went 3-4 with a HR, double and 3 RBI’s. DJ Peters went 2-3 with a HR, and recently called up Eric Peterson went 2-3 with a double. With a single in the 8th, Keibert Ruiz had a two-hit game. In the 8th, Ruiz and Scavuzzo had singles and a walk to Reks loaded the bases with 2 outs. In Dodger fashion, Cael Brockmeyer was caught looking at strike 3 to end the inning.
    The win gives the Drillers the Texas League North Championship. The Texas League Championship series begins Tuesday in Tulsa against either the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros) or San Antonio Missions (Padres).

    1. Look at the era of the Rockies pitchers yesterday, except their closer

      Now look at the era’s of the Rockies pitchers, today.

      There is a big difference.

  16. In that case it probably had nothing to do with lineups either day. Give the Rockies pitching some credit.

    Meanwhile this one isn’t over by a long shot.

    1. I was giving the Rockies pitchers in yesterday’s game credit, because all of those pitchers had eras below 2 or 3.

      Today the Rockies pitchers have eras over 5 and 6, and that is a big difference.

  17. Mark, I agree with part of your sentiment. Some of those guys just aren’t good at putting the bat on the ball consistently. However, none of those guys strike me as guys who just take strikes to try to get deep in the count. JT might take a strike after the leadoff hitter got out on one pitch. The Dodgers as a team ate good at not chasing out of the zone. There have been times when I’ve been frustrated with the opposite. For example, the Dodgers had the tying run on deck the other night and two different hitters swing at 2-0 sliders. I don’t get not taking a strike there.

  18. Nice recovery by Baez. Now let’s see if the Dodgers can rise to the occasion and score some more runs.

  19. I only had to watch one OKC game as the OKC bullpen gave away game one. Urias did fine relieving Zach Neal who pitched 5 scoreless innings. But Joe Broussard blew another save opportunity by giving up the tying run in the 7th. After pitching a scoreless 8th, Josh Sborz came in the 9th and pitched a scoreless 9th. Henry Ramos hit a 2 run HR to take a 2 run lead into the bottom of the 10th. Sborz walked the leadoff hitter and then Zach McAllister happened (again). McAllister gave up a double and a wild pitch to allow the inherited runner to score. After two strike outs and two strikes on the next hitter, McAllister gave up a single to tie the game at 3. McAllister then walks a batter and Edward Paredes replaces him. He intentionally walks a batter and then on the first pitch to the next batter, he gives up a run scoring single.
    I see no reason to continue the relationship with Broussard, and McAllister should be released tomorrow.
    Now that Kasowski is on the DL, neither the OKC Dodgers or Tulsa Drillers have any kind of bullpen. I guess they are not important in MiLB either. At least Tulsa has some good starting pitching.

    1. The winning hit was a long single to …………………………….. the Redbirds relief pitcher who was in his second at bat for the season. Memphis had run out of position players. Walking the first batter in an inning is the best recipe for disaster.

  20. Little League. Everyone plays. Three for 15 wrisp. I have heard many times you get one good pitch to hit at each at bat. Some times it may be the first pitch.

  21. Would not mind seeing an outfield next year with Puig and Verdugo on the corners (cannons on the corners).

  22. The Dodgers get 14 hits and 7 walks. They go 3 for 18 with RISP and leave 12 on base. The Rockies get 8 hits and 1 walk, go 2 for 6 with RISP, and leave 3 on base. A closer game than should have been, but a win is a win. Let’s see if they can beat the Reds this time around.

    1. The Rockies also made 3 big defensive plays to bail themselves out of trouble. Arenado, Parra, and the Wild pitch.

  23. Great win exhale! Verdugo best clutch outside turner. Machado no clutch, Ferguson over head, kike helped, hill great for 5, dh for both catchers, Taylor decent series, bellik, maeda setup, Alexander guts-command, dozero, Toles mia, Freese thawed, I repeat where would we be wo turner? I keep thinking machado or somebody will step up so please start tomorrow. No complaint with Roberts today. Maybe should have pinch hit for Barnes with Toles or anybody but Grandal. The Dodgers came-into Coors in a series in which if swept it is over but took 2 of 3 so they fought to win. That is performing under stress and getting results. Good clutch series for the team.

    1. Freeze 2-3, walk, RBI, and a run. I wouldn’t exactly call that a thaw (unless you were attempting to be clever).

  24. If Dodgers win the Division. The firt serie WILL BE AGAINST BRAVES, SO wuldbed be BETTER Dodgers GeTs BETTER WIN/Lost PCT than Atlanta


  25. Despite his troubles with the Dodgers, I still like Machado, and hope he signs with LAD. And maybe he will feel at home in Cincinnati and the Great American bandbox, which in that respect is a lot like the bandbox he played in in Baltimore.

    This is shaping up to be a very important week before the Dodgers return home next week.

    1. I like machado. I think hes an extremely talented player. It was an excellent trade to get him. I dont see him as a dodger longterm. I see him on the east coast and Seager reclaiming his spot.

      1. Curdy

        I think your right about that!

        They had an article about Corey at Dodger com today, and he said he expects to feel even better then before, so he thinks he will play short even better, after this.

        And I think that is pretty probable, unlike some.

        He wasn’t using crutches after a month, so that is good.

        The reason he didn’t have both surgeries at the same time, so he would be ok to use crutches, for this last surgery.

        I took a look at who the Reds have played lately, and before this weekend series against the Padres, they played both the Pirates, and Cards.

        Their last series was against the Pirates, and they lost that series, but they won two games against the Cards, in only a two game series, before that.

        And we know the Reds know how to score runs, so we can’t have any let down.

    2. Brooklyn,

      His numbers with the Dodgers are pretty much on par with his career numbers. Slightly lower batting avg, but a bit higher .OBP.

  26. Excellent series win, on the road. Excellent clutch hit by Verdugo. It’s why he’s on his way to being my fave Dodger (provided we keep him). He actually doesn’t pretend he’s in the home run contest every at bat. We need that. Now Doc and the rest of our geniuses need to play him over the avg outfielders we continue to play.
    As far as the Braves go, yes it’d be nice to continue to win, but having home field vs them is not imperative. I’d prefer to just be playing well ourselves the next 3 weeks going into the playoffs. Now time to go into Cincy and take care of business while AZ and Col battle it out.
    And finally, I know it’s early, but GO BEARS!! How about that defense so far!!

      1. Bobby, I was talking about the comment on the Bears defense, and my smiling emoji did not get picked up.

        1. haha, well you got the last laugh. Before the game, if you had told me we’d lose 24-23, I’d have taken it. Oh well. I still think it’ll be a pretty good year.

          Now let’s go beat Cincy

  27. I read the article at the Dodgers website also, and Seager said exactly what he should have said. But no one knows what’s going to happen. And rest assured that if Machado signs with the Dodgers, Seager will willingly shift elsewhere if necessary. I don’t know what the Dodgers or Machado have in mind, but keep in mind how good the Dodgers lineup would be with BOTH Seager and Machado in it. And having Machado and Seager both on the Dodgers serves as insurance in the event that Justin Turner begins to show any signs of age.

    I don’t have a clue as to the Dodgers intentions regarding Machado, nor do I know Machado’s thinking, but I do know that it would be nice to keep Machado’s righthanded bat. And from what I’ve seen, he’s actually a better defensive shortstop than Seager.

    And the part about Seager expecting to feel better next year, is nice. But really, he has no idea at this time how he’s going to feel come next spring. Hopefully, he’ll feel great, but there are no guarantees until he gets back on the field. And if Seager is fully recovered, and possibly in great shape due to what has been and will continue to be a grueling rehab, then I have little doubt that he will be able to switch positions with no problem. In fact, although I don’t expect it, I could even see Seager ending up at first base with Bellinger moving to CF. But that type of thing depends on what the Dodgers do this winter.

    1. The defensive metrics are not even close, between those two.

      Corey was rated second defensively at shortstop last year, in the National League.

      1. Defensive metrics are largely hooey. I also think Machado is probably a bit better defensively than Seager. Maybe a wash, His arm sure is stronger. I would Machado’s defensive metrics have improved as the season has gone on. You can see that he could improve his footwork a bit. I’m not sure what they are with the Dodgers compared to with Baltimore.

  28. Prior to this year Machado’s defensive metrics (valid or not) were for 3B, NOT shortstop. And as Hawkeye suggests, Machado’s defensive metrics have improved as the season has gone on. And that makes sense, given that Machado probably had to grow accustomed to short again after playing 3B in Baltimore. It stands to reason that over time, if Machado remained at short, he would continue to get better.

    I’m also convinced that over time as Machado became more and more comfortable in LA, he would find it easier to relax, and better production would follow. It’s probably apples and oranges, but Dusty Baker hit, I believe, .203 during his first year with the Dodgers. Clearly he got comfortable after that. I also believe he might benefit from spending Spring Training with the Dodgers.

    In any case, defense aside, I simply want to have Machado and Seager in same lineup. Nice right-left combo to add to the other right-left combo of Turner and Bellinger. If the Dodgers improve their production WRISP, their lineup (no matter how constructed) would be scary.

    And while I said above that I could imagine Seager ending up a 1B, I could also see him playing 2B. And, of course, because Machado was traded during this past season, he would not bring the Dodgers a draft pick if he signs elsewhere, and will not cost the Dodgers a draft pick either. Signing Machado costs only one thing, money. And since the Dodgers will stay under the luxury tax threshhold this season, his cost will be somewhat mitigated by absence of a luxury tax for the Dodgers.

    1. I am very aware that Manny played third, but he was playing more short, at the end of last year.

      Like I already said, the defensive metrics are not even close.

      Manny has a negative 16 defensive runs saved, and Corey had 10 defensive runs saved!

      Manny does have a better arm, but he doesn’t cover more ground then Corey does.

      And that is probably because Manny has had a knee surgery, on both of his knees.

      Corey only had a minor surgery on his hip, and that won’t affect his mobility.

      And Corey has just as much chance or more, on playing shortstop next year, as Manny gaining enough mobility to make up 26 runs saved, like Corey’s defensive metrics, last year.

      I guess with some, it depends on how someone sees a particular player, to attribute a lean that is either positive, or not, but those are the numbers!

  29. Perhaps everything we think we know about infield defense is outdated. The Utley Rule allows a second baseman to turn a double play without having to be a ballerina and the shift allows slower players to make almost as many plays as faster players made before the shift.
    The shift has slotted Turner over to the right side of the infield where a second baseman normally plays and he has looked good turning the double play there. Muncy has done better than expected at second and should improve there after getting reps there in spring training.
    I don’t think the Dodgers need Machado but if I were to make a case for him it would be that Lux takes Turner’s infield spot after Turner’s contract ends and then Seager would slide over to third. Who plays short at that point if not Machado? Let’s not forget that Seager is represented by Boras and therefore might not be here once he qualifies for free agency.

      1. If a player is clear about what they want to do, I think Boras will honor that but give him the lead and that player will have to wait and wait and wait to get a contract and have to play for the highest bidder.
        Boras will try to pit LA against NY and neither team will be able to settle their lineup until late in the off-season.
        Boras is a pain.
        If the Dodgers signed Arenado they would have to give up pick and get a player that would be less than he has been playging in CO. I would be cautious.
        MJ, are we ever going to be friends again? We can’t be if you psychoanalyze my motives. I prefer that you have your takes and I have mine.

        1. Bum

          I know about those splits, but the picks are not as bad, as they once were, because of the player’s Union.

          I just can’t see this front office, signing Machado or Arenado, can you?

          Especially Manny, after finding out, who his agent is.

          Because it would be terrible like you said!

          And I don’t see this front office outbidding the Yankees, especially if Corey looks good.

          But with Corey’s injuries, we might be able to negotiate with him a little easier.

          Like a contract, something like the Angels did, with Trout.

          Boras did work with the Nationals, with Harper, and Strasberg.

          I can’t promise you anything, except I have always liked you.

          And I agree with most of your takes.

          I just don’t know how you do it, sometimes.

          And right now, it is getting worse, and I am talking about playing time.

          Sometimes I think there are to many players for Roberts, to plug in.

          And I don’t know if that is a good thing, at times.

  30. thanks. fyi, fangraphs just ranked oneil cruz as #9 on the pirates. lots of power but too much swing and miss. sound familiar? [peters–though i think peters is better]

      1. Bobby

        You certainly have a method to your madness, and more consistently, then Roberts.

        Maybe that is the Bobby in you, not the Roberts.

  31. I like the idea of Cory and Manny in the same line up, but who plays where could be a problem,
    Then there is Boros. Maybe we should think of options like DJ at second base. Who is his agent?

    1. Well, Taylor is 5-10 with 2 doubles and 1 HR for the month of September, so Roberts is starting at least 1 batter who is semi-warm going into tonight’s game. He also walked 2 times, so he has been on base 7 of his last 12 PA. I cannot consider him hot with only 12 PA.
      On the other hand, everybody’s apparent favorite, Manny Machado, is 7-27, 3 doubles, no HR’s, 2 RBI’s and 4 walks for the month of September.
      And another apparent favorite, Brian Dozier, is 0-20 with 1 walk and 1 RBI in the month of September. Does anybody still want to re-sign Brian?
      Dozier plays while Belli, who after hitting .355 in August, and going 6-22 with 1 double, 1 triple, 1 HR. 2 RBI’s, and 3 walks in September, sits.
      Oh well, maybe it works. Of course the Reds are starting a pitcher who the Reds have not yet won a game he has started (0 for 14 I believe). So I am thinking no-hitter thru 5???

    1. He has not been especially sharp at OKC. I think he needs to get re-introduced to ML batters, but he should not pitch in high leverage situations until he can show he has fully recovered and can be effective.

      1. There was an article in the LA Times about Taylor striking out so much, and remarks from Roberts, on how it is not a good thing in baseball right now, to be considered a contact hitter, or a line drive hitter.

        And Roberts says after that, isn’t that crazy.

  32. I don’t know where Orel is getting his numbers, because Kike was batting 227 before that first at bat, in September.

    He has a good OBP, and his OPS is a little over 800, from the HR and triple yesterday, but Kike is hitting 202, when runners are in scoring position, overall.

    1. Kike has been leaving guys one base like mad this month. The game they lost in Colorado I believe he left quite a few on base.

  33. Val9000,

    From You Tube:
    1. You will see “share” below the video.
    2. Click on “Share”
    3. Click on embed and copy all the code and paste it.

    You are done.

  34. In the past 28 days, Kike is hitting .333 with a .429 OB%… and that’s over a span of 72 AB’s. I think he should play everyday.

    1. Mark

      But he should be moved down if he plays, because he is not good when runners are in scoring position.

      Do you think he should start over Cody?

        1. Mark thanks!

          I thought you would say that!

          Because Cody can beat a team so many ways, on the bases, with his glove, and his bat.

  35. Well we have four players in our line up hitting 249 or below, and the Reds only have two players in their line up, that are hitting that low.

    I know some don’t value a batting average, but it is not a consequence that teams with better batting averages, do bettter in these high leverage situations.

    1. Cody has much better numbers then Kike!

      Cody has good averages, OBP, and his OPS is in the 900s, the last couple months.

    1. I kind of have the same feeling… but why does this team seem to have our number? It’s like were playing the Big Red Machine when we’ve played these guys this year.

      1. Val

        They just have a good offense, that is more productive then our offense, most of the time.

        They beat you to death with a lot singles and doubles, and they hit some balls out, when runners are on base.

        But they don’t have the pitching we do.

        I use to hate the Reds back them, especially Pete Rose.

        Those teams from the 70s, should have got at least one, World Championship.

  36. The pitcher that the Dodgers are facing is so bad…..
    He’s so bad that the Reds haven’t won a single start that he’s made (0 for 12)
    And yet, the Dodgers are down 4 – 1; 1 for 6 RISP.

  37. Val9000.

    From You Tube:
    1. You will see “share” below the video.
    2. Click on “Share”
    3. Click on embed and copy all the code and paste it.

    You are done.

  38. Not sure why Wood hit with expanded rosters. How many balls is Grandal going to drop at the plate this year?

  39. Robert’s sense of urgency is a joke. Let’s wood hit in the top of the 4th when he has shown nothing so he can take us back to a 4 run deficit in the 5th. Thx, Robert’s year end thank you gift from me is now definitely not coming.

      1. reminded me of a combination of Todd Worrell, Tom Neidenfuer, Chris Hatcher, Johnathan Broxton, and Jim Johnson

          1. Same. That home run he gave up to Jack Clark was my worst Dodger moment ever, until 2017 Game 7 took that title away (and I can’t imagine anything being worse than 2017 Game 7)

  40. Every time we play the Reds, I wish we would have got Scooter Gennett.

    I know he is another leftie bat, but he has a 4.4 war this year, because he is ok defensively, at second.

    But I have no idea what he would cost.

  41. Well since I am the resident Alex Wood fan, and he is one of my four jerseys, I feel I can say that Alex sucked out loud tonight. I do not have blinders on for my favorites. There are no excuses, he was just bad. However before Dodgerrick wants to DFA him (sarcasm alert) in his prior 13 games dating back to June 16, he is 7-1 with an ERA 2.39. That is a pretty impressive 13 game stretch. It might also be noted that Wood has been pushed back a day for his last two starts. Could that be a factor? Staying on the rotation is important for the other four, why not Wood?
    Bad game for Alex and Madson so far.

    1. AC

      Wood didn’t pitch well, but you made a good point, about his schedule, being turned around.

      He was pitching well before that.

      This is a team loss, because most of the players didn’t play as well, as they can.

      Like I already said, sometimes this team plays up or down to their competition.

    2. When Wood is pitching poorly, I get annoyed watching him open his mouth to, I guess, better see the catcher’s fingers. And, whenever he has a bad inning, he throws his gum on the infield. Who picks that up? Players with their spikes?

  42. I believe he’s from Cincy and had no desire to leave. He wants to be part of the Reds rebuild. I don’t think he was on the market.

  43. Even when the Dodgers scorch the ball with runners on, they can’t get a hit. Puig was not rewarded for what was a quality at bat.

    Sure it would have been nice to have Scooter Gennett. But at what cost? I’m sure the Reds would not have given him away.

    1. Hawkeye is right. Scooter is from Cincy and wants to stay there.

      He can hit it out, but as we saw tonight, he is not one trick pony. He does not swing from the heels every pitch. He shortens up when needed and picks his pitches. The Dodgers should be taking notes.

      1. I think Gennett took notes from Joey Votton on shortening up and getting base hits. Good for him! Votto a is brilliant hitter.

        1. Like I said, I have no idea what he would cost.

          I am just impressed with the way he has played against the Dodgers, and his numbers, are still really good.

          He just seems to be a pretty good little player.

  44. Let’s stop torching Roberts and put the fire to the players. Roberts and Ward do not hit for these guys, although I bet they wish they could. We are wildly inconsistent this year, and yeah, we can trash the lineups all we want but these guys are at the major league level, they are paid to FRIGGIN HIT!! Our approach with runners in scoring position is a joke. Turner Ward is a coach, not a player. He can only suggest things, he can’t execute them, only the players can, and they are not. We will be one and done in the first play-off series because of our offense. Way too much Jeckel and Hyde. By the way, careful what you all wish for. As much as we trash Roberts, he is a new generation manager who communicates personally with his players one on one, He is only into his 3rd year on his first managerial gig. He won’t last but a week before somebody snaps him up on the open market. He is still learning, managing a big market team and a storied franchise, Despite what alot of you guys think, if the damn players would hit the f%^$#$%^ing ball with runners in scoring position, we would all be singing a different tune. Lot’s of blame to go around, but Roberts doesn’t deserve nearly as much hate as he is getting.

  45. There were a few strike outs with runners were in scoring position, not just line drives.

    The players on the Dodgers, could learn a lot from some of the Reds players, with the way they approach their at bats.

    We have people on this roster that do use the right approach, but they are not being used.

    There are far to many hitters with only one approach on this team, and they make it easy on pitchers, when they don’t adjust.

    I still think Roberts has to many players to plug into this line up.

    And that doesn’t give players the consistency they need, to stay sharp.

    1. The most annoying strike outs are the ones where a hitter swings at a ball that bounces in the dirt for strike three.

  46. I think the time has come to accept that this team is not so good this year. FAZ defined it from the beginning that this year it would give priority to not paying taxes. On purpose I think the best team in the national is Milwaukee. Lets see where Dodgers reach for

  47. Taylor apparently is leveling out his swing and keeping it in the strike zone longer. Glad to see it but why was he in the lineup for 130 games while he was upper cutting and leading the NL in Ks? It seems like Doc could tell Taylor to get his swing back to where it was last year or sit.
    I would also tell Joc that unless he keeps his hands above the knob of the bat he sits as well.

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