Dodgers newest weapon – the Piggyback

With the plethora of starting pitching who can’t pitch past the fifth inning, the Dodgers may have found a way to turn a struggling asset into a strength.

Two weeks ago when they moved Ryu to the bullpen he piggybacked with Kenta Maeda to give the Dodgers a 7 – 3 victory over the Cardinals. In that game, Kenta went the first five and Ryu the final four.  Ryu was so brilliant in relief he quickly reclaimed his role in the rotation.

Last night after Kenta was moved to the bullpen the exact same thing happened but in a different order and one different pitcher. Rich Hill struggled through his five innings, and this time Kenta Maeda finished up with four sparkling innings in the Dodgers 7 – 2 victory over the Reds.

As long as egos are put aside this could help a team but it will only work if the manager does not yank the 2nd pitcher for a pinch hitter in a close game. The Dodgers have been lucky enough to have a large enough lead that they can afford to let the second pitcher finish the game. They won’t have that luxury if they are behind or in a close game.

Last night’s game might have been a turning point in how the Dodgers view Adrian Gonzalez going forward. The Dodgers had an off day on Thursday and still sat Gonzalez against an LHP, deciding to go with the struggling Cody Bellinger instead. I find it telling that Bellinger is struggling and still got the call over Gonzalez.

I’m curious to see what lineup will Dave Roberts used today. Will he use Chase at 2nd signaling a possible future platoon role for Chase or will he give Logan more time to figure out his slump against RHP? Is Chris Taylor ever going to get a day off? Taylor has played in every game this month starting seven of the eight.  Don’t be surprised if Kiké gets the start in CF tonight.

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2 Comments

  1. 68elcamino427

    The piggyback numbers point towards this experiment as being short lived.
    The starter could be headed for another DL stint.
    Hill has a whip in common with others who are now off the 25 man.
    1.59 Urias
    1.53 Avilan
    1.50 Liberators
    1.45 Hill

    1.34 Ryu
    1.28 Hatcher
    1.24 Maeda
    Was Hill lucky or effective last night?
    Thank goodness he was facing the Reds and not the Nationals.

    Coming back from the DL, Gonzalez made no bones about the physical challenges he deals with.
    Multiple disc issues in the back and a chronic neck issue.
    So yeah, platoon time. Just follow the numbers.
    .556 OPS vs LHP, 41 PA
    Bellinger can unstruggle on any given swing.

    Forsythe belongs on the DL, then an extended rehab assignment until he demonstrates that he can produce at the plate. With the return of Turner, this is a good fit.
    Forsythe’s numbers …
    .295/.407/341/.748 54 PA April
    .160/.344/.320/.644 32 PA May
    .043/.120/.043/.163 25 PA June

    Trade for Cain, move Taylor to 2B, 60 day DL for Forsythe.

    Absent Hill’s contract and the trade for Forsythe combined with his history with Roberts
    both Hill and Forsythe would qualify as DFA/Option candidates now.
    Instead, the DL awaits.

    Like

  2. Mike Sacha

    So the hitters are focused on launch angles and exit velocity. So the pitchers readjust and start throwing everything high and hard. Balls that really can’t be upper cut. The game has taken a boring turn. All or nothing. Home runs or strikeouts. Piggy back starters. Yuck. I can’t wait for the game to come back around to the way it was meant to be played. Tommy looks terrible. I hope he regains his health and puts some weight back on. God bless, Tommy!

    Like

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