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.
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.
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:)
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.