Who’s on First?

There has been a lot of conjecture about where certain Dodger players should play.  Some think Chris Taylor should play 2B, and some on MLB allegedly had him at #5 in the Top 2B.  I have no doubt that CT3 could be a Top 2B, even though he has not played well there in what short time he has had. I look for him to have a nice bounce back year and think he will benefit from the new hitting culture of cutting down his swing on 2 strikes.

Here’s the kicker for me.Cody Bellinger is the best CF on the team, but CT3 could be if you left him there too. He’s almost as fast as Bellinger, but has a quicker first step. Just like he can become a Top 2B, I think he can become a TOP CF’er.The thing is: Cody Bellinger is likely the best defensive 1B in baseball.Seager is great at SS and JT is a Top 3B. That leaves 2B to Kike and/or Muncy.  A Gold Glove 1B with the range Cody has is a huge game changer.

I think Alex Verdugo has the potential to be very good RF’er and Barnes and Martin are good defensive catchers. If Muncy plays 2B, he is not a Gold Glove candidate, but I think he’s better than many think.John Sickels of Minor League Ballsays this about him:

Although he’s not a superfast runner, Muncy is athletic and well-coordinated. He has quickness on defense, showing good hands and surprising range. He’s athletic enough that his college coaches considered a switch to second base at one point, and he has some experience as a catcher, too.

Muncy is not a bad 1B and he will likely get better over time.  I don’t think he is a one-year wonder and while I would not be surprised if his HR’s went down some, I think he will improve his batting average and hit more doubles.  John Sickels goes on to say this about Max Muncy:

Anyway, my basic take is that he isn’t a fluke. My guess is that his power is maxed out now and certainly higher than predicted four years ago, but his combination of OBP and defensive vestatility will keep him in the majors for years even if the power fades.

I am in total agreement with that.  Max Muncy needs to be in the lineup everyday and until the Dodgers say otherwise, I think 2B is his best position. I also think that CT3 is a plus defender in CF… or will be with reps.  MUNCY IS NOT A BAD DEFENDER.  I saw him play 2B several times this year and his glove will play there.  It has been suggested by some that Max could play LF… and I think he can too.  If the Dodgers don’t get Castellanos. then maybe he can go there.  At that juncture, Toles or Pederson is redundant.

This market is maddeningly slow, but I can’t disagree with not giving out big contracts for 8 or 10 years.  I agree with what AC said yesterday: MLB needs to figure out how to pay their guys in their most productive years, not overpay for their waning years.

Can’t we just go ahead and get Nick Cartellanos like now?  He is not as bad defensively as made out.  In fact, he has improved and would probably be even better in LF.  He is the RH power hitter the Dodgers need.  Toles could be his caddy.  Here is my latest concocted deal:

  • Dodgers get Nick Castellanos
  • Tigers get Edwin Rios, Omar Estevez and Daniel Johnson
  • Indians get Joc Pederson

Why not?  Yes, he’s a FA after the season, but you can offer him arbitration and get a pick or sign him long-term.  Sometimes, you just have to sieze the day.  That move has minimal impact on the farm and gives the Dodgers a real chance to win it all in 2019.  Yes, some players have to have career years. Every team that wins needs that.  The Dodgers have lots of candidates and the pieces are in place.

  1. Taylor  CF (20 HR)
  2. Seager  SS (25 HR)
  3. Turner  3B  (25 HR)
  4. Castellanos  LF (30 HR)
  5. Bellinger  1B (30 HR)
  6. Muncy  2B (25 HR)
  7. Verdugo  RF (12 HR)
  8. Martin/Barnes (15 HR)

The power is still there.

Kike: Supersub, Toles, Freese

… and we wait!

This article has 52 Comments

  1. If Taylor repeats 2018, if Verdugo disappoints, with Casty a rental, what is the lineup in 2020?

  2. Yes, that looks like a good lineup. Muncey just doesn’t look like an athlete. It is his body type. Ryu does not look like an athlete and everyone around him says he is a good athlete. Muncy may be the same type athlete. Muncey can hit left handlers. I would be happy with Castellanos in left. I would also be happy with Kluber as a starting pitcher. Friedman is very smart with our farm kids. You look at the ones he traded. Some have been in the majors, but none a star. I trust him to make the right decisions.

  3. I like to spend the Winter looking at what might be. Very rarely have I ever seen happen what I had hoped for come to fruition. At the 2016 trade deadline, I was all in on Chris Sale (although not knowing who might have been included other than Julio Urias), but was okay with Rich Hill who was having a fantastic year with Oakland. Last year I was vocal about Gerrit Cole and Christian Yelich. This year I have been vocal about Corey Kluber and DJLM, and my never-ending quest for Jose Leclerc. DJLM is no longer an option, and Kluber looks to be the longest of long shots. So, while I may not see what I would be hoping for in the Winter, when the season begins, I am 100% behind the team as constructed.
    .
    I may be in the minority, but I was never totally in on JTR. He would improve LAD, and I have no objection to pushing back one year on Smith or Ruiz. Catchers have proven to be extremely difficult to break in and contribute, even for the top of the top prospects. I would be very reluctant to trade either one until we see what they do this year while on the cusp of MLB. Who will be ready? Of course, you do run the risk of one falling out of favor and the trade value diminishes, but player personnel is always a risk. Thus, I would be okay with JTR, but nowhere near their price. Let some other team overpay.
    .
    I do not believe that when I question Andrew not making a move that I would agree with, that I believe he is wrong for this team. Quite the opposite. How do you argue with 3 NLCS runs and two WS runs in 3 years? How do you blame Friedman for not winning the 2017 WS? That more than anyone else falls on Clayton and Kenley and Doc. How do you blame Friedman for 2016 when it was Clayton who didn’t come through in Game 6, not giving Hill that chance in Game 7? Friedman cannot be blamed for failing to trade for Manny Machado last July. Although I was critical for not making a trade for 1 or 2 legit relievers instead of Rosscup and Axford. Maybe his deadline trades haven’t gotten the team over the hump, I think if you look at it with an unbiased heart you will see that it wasn’t the FO that failed, but the players that did not come through.
    .
    Right now, ST has not yet hit, so I can still be vocal about inadequacies in the lineup (IMO). I think at this point, the one realistic move that can improve LAD is Nick Castellanos, and I certainly would have no objection to the trade Mark has proposed. I do not know about Detroit, but I do know Bums will object. Castellanos makes the team better than Joc/Kike’, Rios belongs in the AL, and Omar Estevez is a utility player that LAD has an abundance of, but young enough to continue to improve. He would be someone I will continue to root for, with LAD or any other team. While I objected to the loss of Sopko and Brito for Martin, I would have zero problem with trading from prospect strength for Castellanos, even for one year. I do not see the acquisition of a backup catcher comparable to a RH bat like Castellanos. There is no comparable RH bat available, while there are still capable backup catchers available.
    .
    Things could be worse. One could be a SFG fan and cheer again for Zaidi who has once again raided the cupboard of former Dodger AAAA players and signed Donovan Solano to a minor league contract.

  4. I’m not bothered with pat for now til further down. Perhaps my passion could be waning as death has been working overtime at the ones in my existence and I’ve been and will be busy with duties that result with that part of life. But even before news of my sister passing I had been of mind that pat deserves a chance and adjustments be handled where they prove needed. It looks like I’ll be headed down to Arlington Texas where my sister and her husband, son and even her dog had recently died for estate affairs. Whatever is current with the Dodgers I’ll find out from all of you, this is where I go for that.

      1. AC

        I wonder if we didn’t win the west last year, would the owners be as comfortable, not doing much in the off season this year.

        Because they didn’t do much last year because of the luxury tax, as you know.

    1. My condolences to you and your family. It is so tough to lose a loved one. I hope you find the strength to get through this trying time for you and I hope you find cherished memories of you loved ones along the way.

  5. Castellanos would definitely improve the team and add balance the the lineup. I would be all in on him if they can pull that trigger. After watching Rios last Spring, I would hate to see him go. But, our team is so left handed it would probably be the best way to improve. With that said, I’m pretty much in on just about any right handed power that can plug a hole. Still waiting.

  6. I would overpay for Haniger before I traded for a rental that was one of the worst outfielders in MLB.
    .
    Joc is a plus WAR player that is entering his peak years and plays good defense in LF.
    .
    Verdugo is unproven.
    .
    Ruiz is rumored to considering not being a switch hitter and only hit from the left side.
    .
    Ruiz may not wind up being a great offensive player and will never be as good defensively as Smith. Smith may not hit well either but brings plus defensive skills to a defensive position.
    .
    I’m done with any desire for Realmuto.
    .
    The trades I want are for another Ace and Haniger.
    .
    Verdugo, Ruiz, Maeda, Rios, Taylor, Fields are players I would trade for the right return.

    1. I still think he is until he isn’t. I don’t expect the Dodgers to be the top bidder. Hopefully, Bryce will take a little less and sign with us.

  7. Houston Mitchell of the LA Times wrote this about the Martin/Barnes tandem at catcher:
    “He (Martin) bats right-handed, so this doesn’t set up a natural platoon with Austin Barnes, who didn’t bat any better than Martin last season (.205/.329/.290). I guess the Dodgers believe having two catchers who hit around .200 is better than having one. Which is similar to the belief that having both lungs infected is better than having just one infected. “

    1. The article is proposing Verdugo, May and Gonsolin for Haniger. Don’t see Friedman making that trade.

  8. I found this comment about Muncy by Sickles to be interesting, “he has some experience as a catcher.” Would he or Kiki be the emergency catcher? What about Kenley. 🙂 I would still like to see a trade of Muncy for Whit Merrifield. Other pieces could be added, if neered.

  9. I know I will get a lot of criticism here for the way I am thinking but I would not trade any of the young kids for any major league established players right now I would wait tell the trade deadline to see what is needed

    1. I think that’s becoming Friedman’s MO. You get through the first half of the season and see what additional areas of need you need to address. Prices usually come down as well.

  10. Let’s just say Harper and Machado sign elsewhere. At that point, the only real FA option is Pollock. Comparing him and Brantley, they are similar players although Pollock is a right handed hitter. Let’s say that Pollock is worth more because he’s capable in CF and hits right handed which seems to be a rarity these days. MLBTR is predicting he’ll land a four-year, $60MM guarantee and FanGraphs projecting a three-year, $54MM deal. Either deal keeps us under the CBT. Do the Dodgers go after him?

      1. A draft pick in the first round has a 66% chance of reaching the show. 49% for a second rounder. AJ is an all star and gold glover. I would gladly forego that pick for AJ. No brainer for Bryce and Manny

  11. 59 I might make that deal And only considering we will not have to give up any prospects maybe a draft pick

  12. Not sure I know the answer or even understand why so here is my question: Arendo won another GG in 2018 but why was he awarded that honor when Rendon of the Nationals had a higher Fld%(.981 to .967.
    Arenado had moreTC(430 to 316) but also had more errors(14 to 6). Is it because his RF/9 is better(2.82 to 2.35). I’d really like to find out .

        1. Hawk:
          That’s what I’m looking for. What is the criteria?? And who votes? The sportswriters or players?

          1. From the Rawlings website:
            Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are calculated based on a combination of managers/coaches and SABR.

            SABR Defensive Index
            The SABR Defensive Index is a measure of the number of runs saved by a player’s defensive performance over the course of a season, compared to the average defensive player at that position. The SDI combines measures from five (5) different defensive data sources and includes factors that rate the defenders arm strength and accuracy, range and his sure-handedness, along with the number of “excellent” and “poor” fielding plays he makes. The SDI also incorporates a rating for a player’s ability to turn double plays (2B and SS), fielding bunts (primarily P, C, 3B, and 1B) and scoops of throws in the dirt (1B). For catchers, blocking balls in the dirt and stolen bases/ caught stealing are also included. For pitchers, the SDI includes his ability to hold runners on base and control the running game.

            A positive SDI number indicates that a player was above average compared to other players at his position this season. Conversely, a negative SDI number means the player performed below the league average at this position this season.

          2. Richie

            They don’t just give them for the way you mentioned, because sometimes some players have more range to get to more balls, then other players may not get close to.

      1. Subjective, meaning that ONLY coaches and managers from each major league team vote. So, basically it is a Sh*t Show popularity contest and explains why Puig will never win one.

        1. 59inarow

          Exactly, Puig should have easily won the Gold Glove in 2017.

          He not only played right better then Heyward that year, he also had much better offensive numbers too.

          But Puig did win the Rawlings award that year, that Singing the Blues mentioned above.

          The Rawlings Award is actually measured on different defensive metrics like STB talked about.

          I believe Corey was ranked 2nd or third in the Rawlings for shortstop, that year too.

  13. I am still hoping to trade Muncy for Whit Merrifield. Solves 2B & leadoff, bats RH, moves CT3 to CF & Belly to 1B. Muncy & Merrifield are close to the same age. Merrifield fills positions of need. Muncy has more power but would fit better in the AL. Others could be added to the trade to make it happen.

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