Cliff Corcoran looks at the Dodgers future
Six of the eight regulars in the Dodgers’ Game 7 lineup will be 27 or younger next year, and only corner outfielders Yasiel Puig (27 next year), who will be in the final year of his seven-year contract, and Joc Pederson (26), who will be arbitration-eligible for the first time, will be making seven-figure salaries.
Cliff does a nice overview of the future of the team but I do disagree with him about several of his conclusions. He feels the Dodgers have so much outfield depth that they can move Chris Taylor from CenterField to 2nd base. In August I would have agreed with him and probably wrote something similar but I no longer do for three reasons.
- I feel Logan Forsythe has proven he is a starting 2nd baseman for a championship caliber team, not yet ready to be a utility player. His struggles came after he was hurt, and once he got healthy he was a big part of the Dodger offense. The eyes and metrics say he’s a fine defensive 2nd baseman.
- Chris Taylor improved so much in center field I’d hate to take him from a position of strength. He was basically a right hand hitting Christian Yelich, and I think his glove will continue to get better as he gets more reps. This is a player who had never played the outfield until this year.
- For all of the Dodger depth in the outfield, they all look like corner outfielders defensively to me. Even though all of them have played CF doesn’t make them CF. Joc, Verdugo, Toles all seem cut from the same corner outfield cloth. Joc may have been the CF for the past 2 2/3 years but between the way, Taylor commanded CF and the way Joc did, it seemed like night and day to me. I don’t know if Puig respected Taylor more or not, but once Taylor took over CF, you never saw Puig trying to catch a ball in RCF that the CF should have caught.
As Cliff noted the Dodgers have so much rotational depth that I would have a hard time seeing them hit the free agent market for a pitcher.
I was wondering about Kenta. He was great out of the bullpen but his contract would preclude the Dodgers from putting him in the bullpen because it would cost him so much money. They could, however, trade from the rotational strength and move Kenta for the bullpen piece if they can’t resign Morrow. The Yankees are a team that comes to mind that could use some starting pitching and have boatloads of quality relief pitchers.
Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Ryu, McCarthy, Stewart, Buehler, Oaks, and Font are the depth. Also still under contract is Scott Kazmir.
Yeah, I agree, now that I write the names down that depth isn’t impressive enough for a team with World Champion aspirations.
Damn that Urias.
Still, Brock Stewart is a major league pitcher and if he isn’t in the rotation he could be the guy to replace Morrow or be added to the bullpen. Oaks and Font are just depth but the kind of depth that could be useful. Would also not shock me if they tried Font in the bullpen.
Walker Buehler is the wild card. Can he pitch five or six effective innings in the major leagues next year by July?
Maybe it won’t be as boring a winter as I first thought.
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