LAD overview headed into June

The Dodgers are coming off one of their most successful May’s in history as they ran down the Rockies and Diamondbacks who both played great ball in May themselves.

What is in store for them in June?

1st Base – Adrian Gonzalez is back and I have a feeling he is going to make up for his lackluster start with a huge June. Just a hunch. I could be dead wrong, the one walk and one home run might be a harbinger of things to come, but my spidey sense is telling me that is all behind him.

2nd Base – Justin Turner should be back soon which means 2nd base will once again belong to Logan Forsythe. Or will it? Of the four players who can play 2nd base, Logan has been the least productive.  Nice problem to have. Chase probably just had the hottest stretch he will have the rest of his career, but it has to be nice to know he’s alway available. Chris Taylor, for now, is entrenched in CF, but once Joc comes back, how will that play out? Is it possible that Chris Taylor is a better 2nd baseman than Logan Forsythe? It is not out of the realm of possibility when you consider that just three years ago Logan was pretty much in the same spot as Chris Taylor. A utility player who played a hot streak into a starting position with the Rays due to injuries of players in front of him.  I’ve got no crystal ball on this one.

Shortstop – Cory Seager had a mediocre May based on his career stats so far. Will he bust out in June? Odds say yes.

3rd Base – Should once again belong to Justin Turner for most of this month. Turner cooled down quite a bit from his sizzling April but will be ready once again to take his spot in the 3rd spot in the order and continue to provide above average defense.

Catcher – Grandal and Barnes combined for a brilliant May with Grandal providing the average and Barnes the power. Not exactly how I would have expected that to play out. Grandal hit a lot of singles in May but only walked five times. Strange. Barnes continued to give reasons for giving Grandal plenty of rest. Might be the best backstop combination the Dodgers have had since…………Let me think about that.

LF – has to belong to Bellinger for now. If Bellinger is still the starting LF come July, I would imagine he did enough in June to warrant it.

RF – has to belong to Puig for now. He may not be hitting like a RF, but he is at home, and he’s looking like an elite defensive right fielder.  Like everyone else I was hoping for more but with a slugging infield, the Dodgers can afford a right fielder like Puig. For now.

CF – this may be in play. Joc is hurt and may be out the first week or two in June. Chris Taylor is doing everything to make it harder for Joc to have his job back when he’s healthy.   At the very least I don’t think Joc gets anymore at-bats against LHP so it will either be Joc/Taylor or Joc/Kiké. But it would not shock me if Joc is sent to AAA to get full time at-bats and his confidence back when he comes off the DL if Taylor is still performing.

Bench – Barnes/Hernández/Chase/Gutierrez are the givens. Is Taylor a CF or a bench piece? If Taylor is a CF, is Joc a bench piece or headed to AAA? Those answers will decide if Eibner or Trayce Thompson get the last open spot.  Gutierrez is just an injury away from opening a spot for Eibner or Thompson no matter what they do with Joc.

I think we can agree that Chris Taylor won’t be seeing AAA unless he craters. Which is very possible. Anything is possible.

Starting Pitching:

If Alex Wood is okay, the rotation is looking awful deep. Ryu has proven to me he should be in the rotation, but there is no place for him. As they head into June they have six viable starting pitchers. They have Urias getting his command together in AAA. Kazmir is getting healthy. Brock Stewart is in rehab. Or is it Stewart is on rehab? In rehab sounds like he’s battling an addiction.

The real key is Alex Wood. In May he was just about the best pitcher in baseball. Can he keep any semblance of this the rotation is not only deep, it is great.

They Dodgers used only seven different starters in May. I expect that number to be the same in June with the exact same pitchers.

Bullpen:

Jansen is a beast. Fields has been a mini-beast. Baez is growing up before our eyes. Hatcher has been an important and productive piece. Romo has settled down after a rough patch.  Stripling is blowing my mind.

The only bummer has been the decay of Grant Dayton but you can’t have everything go right.

Will Morrow hang around? He’s looked good in two appearances.

Avilan should be back which probably sends Liberatore back to AAA.

The bullpen can’t be as good in June as they were in May. Or can they? Jansen only threw 10 innings in May. He needs to earn his contract and pitch more than that:)

Summation:

I wasn’t worried about the Dodger record in April but I didn’t expect a May like we saw. It is even more amazing when you think that they:

  • Lost their 1st baseman for 1/2 the month
  • Lost their starting LF for the rest of the year early in the month
  • Lost their 3rd baseman for the 2nd half of the month
  • Lost their starting CF for the last week of the month
  • Somewhat tepid performance by their best hitter Cory Seager
  • Somewhat underwhelming Kershaw based on his historical norm

That is why those of us who trumpeted the depth card blew it hard.   It is the deepest team I’ve seen since the 1970’s.

I expect another great month for the Dodgers, this time led by Adrian/Seager/Kershaw/Hill and to still be in first place come July 1st.

 

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6 Comments

  1. 68elcamino427

    With One Third of the 2017 Season Complete
    Here are the OPS Results

    Overall
    .946 Turner
    .942 Taylor
    .930 Barnes
    .891 Bellinger
    .856 Seager
    .853 Hernandez
    .822 Grandal
    .799 Gutierrez
    .722 Toles
    .758 Eibner
    .750 Utley
    .717 Forsythe
    .706 Puig
    .664 Gonzalez
    .623 Pederson

    vs. RHP
    .998 Turner
    .967 Barnes
    .902 Grandal
    .882 Seager
    .870 Bellinger
    .869 Taylor
    .798 Utley
    .793 Puig
    .760 Toles
    .730 Hernandez
    .692 Gonzalez
    .687 Pederson
    .583 Gutierrez
    .473 Eibner
    .428 Forsythe

    Vs LHP
    1.199 Forsythe
    1.152 Taylor
    1.000 Toles
    .978 Eibner
    .944 Bellinger
    .890 Barnes
    .858 Turner
    .836 Gutierrez
    .803 Seager
    .585 Gonzalez
    .580 Grandal
    .483 Puig
    .322 Utley

    1B Fantasy – Wish I could agree with you re Gonzalez.Grandal vs RHP, Bellinger vs LHP here.
    Reality – Roberts has a long history with Gonzales. As long as Gonzalez can walk, he will play.

    2B Fantasy – Forsythe vs LHP, Utley and Hernandez vs RHP.
    Reality – Roberts has a long history with Forsythe.
    Roberts will stick with Forsythe. Utley will get spot starts against the type of RHP Forsythe struggles with most.

    SS Seager

    C Fantasy – Barnes, Farmer back up. Move Grandal to 1B
    Reality – Grandal starts vs all RHP, Barnes starts the majority of games vs LHP moving forward.

    LF Fantasy – Bellinger vs RHP, vs LHP Bellinger to 1B, Gutierrez LF, Grandal sits.
    Reality – Bellinger is your OF. Gutierrez gets some starts vs LHP.

    CF Taylor, Pederson to OKC to figure things out.

    Thompson is starting to pick it up at OKC.
    Eibner is making the talent evaluators look pretty smart.
    These two could make a trade of Puig at the deadline a possibility.

    Starting Pitching.
    The ten day DL has shelved the strategies the Dodgers implemented in 2015 and 2016 regarding the way they shuffled one start no names in and out of the rotation.

    What is real and what is an illusion with the injuries to the Dodgers SO?
    Doesn’t really matter as long as the staff gets the results.
    It is a unique way to regulate the pitcher’s work load.

    Hill is always just a blister away.

    Wood missing a second consecutive start is a concern. They scraped the arthritis out of his elbow, how did they overlook the SC joint? FIGHT ON!

    Ryu looks strong in his bullpen/ save and in his last start too.
    This guy might have a baby face, but he is one tough sob.

    McCarthy is looking good. Solid number 3-4 starter.
    The knee … Boss, the plane …

    Maeda, just keeps rolling along.

    Urias and Stewart should be ready by the end of June.

    Pen

    Ravin and Rhame wait for their chance in OKC.

    Wonder if the Dodgers trade for one more high quality arm for the pen?
    I think they will.

    I agree the Dodgers will continue on their current path.
    Roberts and the CO are doing a great job.

    IF Turner can get healthy and Taylor can keep going, watch out!

    Like

    • 68elcamino427

      Starting Pitching Continued …

      Some say that Mike Trout is the best baseball player today.

      I differ.

      CLAYTON KERSHAW IS NOT ONLY THE BEST PITCHER IN THE WORLD!!!

      He is simply the best. (that’s a period at the end of this simple sentance)

      Like

      • Mike Sacha

        Me thinks Joc will never be a solid regular.

        Like

        • I comped him as Colby Rasmus a few years ago, starting to look like it. Still a useful player. Kind of a catch – 22, you probably need to see lots of left hand pitching to be able to learn to hit them, but at the major league level you simply can’t afford to let a starting player flail so badly they hurt the team. Especially when you have right-handed options that thrive on hitting left-hand hitting pitchers.

          Like

    • Nice to see Turner hitting LHP again. Dodgers have had three left-handed rookies in four years take prominent roles in the lineup. It is nice that Bellinger and Seager have not been overwhelmed by them as Joc has been.
      I don’t understand the Puig futility against LHP. That was what kept him afloat last year.

      Like

    • Mike Sacha

      Gary, this is great stuff. I kind of blew through it this morning when I was busy. I just doubled back to comprehend your work. I can’t argue with ya. I like your fantasy ideas. ✌️

      Like

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