Whew!!!!!!!!!!!

Dodger fans leaned in with each pitch that Kenley Jansen threw yesterday and as the cutter velocity and break increased they let out a collective sigh. For one game, Kenley Jansen looked close enough to vintage Jansen that they could breathe again, and have hope that the 2018 season was about to turn around.  The biggest fear I had was that Jansen was hiding an injury and I’m not over that fear yet, but at least for one game, he was able to look like he could be our Jansen.

That turnaround hope should be tempered because unless the bats get going it won’t matter how good the pitching is.  Nine games into the season the Dodgers have yet to show anything with the bat. No power, no on-base skills, no baserunning skills. No nothing.  Out of 15 teams, they are last in OB which has been their calling card during their unprecedented NL West Division championship run. They are 14th in home runs. In a league that includes the San Diego Padres.  They have hit four home runs. Ohtani in part-time DH duty has hit three. They have only two players with at least two doubles. They have stolen all of three bases and two of them are by Chase Utley.  They don’t have one home run by any outfielder. Not one.

Chase Utley leads the team in OPS at .891.

It is only nine games and it would only take a few good offensive games to change all of these numbers.

Is it even reasonable to be worried about the offense?

I think so given that Matt Kemp is in LF with Joc Pederson as his backup. Neither hit the ball from June until October.  Chris Taylor came out of nowhere to be the biggest surprise in major league baseball in 2017. Cody Bellinger did things in 2017 that no one expected. Corey Seager has a bum elbow, is that 100% or is it giving him issues? That elbow started hurting late last year and we all know how he struggled in the postseason with the sore elbow. Logan Forsythe has yet to prove he’s a full-time player. Same with Hernandez. So yes, I think Dodger fans can be legitimately worried about the offense but I also think most of those questions will end up with positive results as the season progresses.

Given the Oakland pitching staff is coming into town, now would be a good time for the outfield to start contributing to the offense. Oh, and also the infield.

Name                         PA  H HR   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
Yasiel Puig                  43  8  0 .205 .256 .256 .512   44
Chris Taylor                 41  8  0 .205 .220 .282 .502   39
Corey Seager*                39  7  0 .206 .308 .206 .514   47
Cody Bellinger*              35  9  1 .273 .314 .394 .708   96
Logan Forsythe               35  5  1 .156 .229 .250 .479   34
Yasmani Grandal#             32  9  1 .321 .406 .464 .871  143
Enrique Hernandez            29  3  0 .130 .276 .217 .493   40
Matt Kemp                    25  6  0 .273 .360 .318 .678   91
Chase Utley*                 23  6  1 .300 .391 .500 .891  147
Joc Pederson*                17  2  0 .133 .235 .200 .435   23
Austin Barnes                14  3  0 .250 .357 .333 .690   94
Kyle Farmer                  12  2  0 .182 .250 .273 .523   46
Rank in 15 NL teams             12 14   15   15   14        15
Non-Pitcher Totals          345 68  4 .221 .296 .305 .601   68

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/9/2018.

The pitching has been great. It looks like JT Chargois is the newest find by the front office. The only blemish besides the bizarre start by Jansen has been Scott Alexander who looks nothing like the pitcher who was so good with the Royals last year. Five pitchers have yet to give up an earned run this year.

Pitching:

Name                   ERA G   IP  H BB SO ERA+   FIP  WHIP   H9  BB9  SO9  SO/W
Clayton Kershaw*      1.89 3 19.0 18  3 19  203  3.56 1.105  8.5  1.4  9.0  6.33
Alex Wood*            1.93 2 14.0  7  0 10  201  1.60 0.500  4.5  0.0        6.4
Rich Hill*            2.70 2 10.0 10  5 11  145  3.63 1.500  9.0  4.5  9.9  2.20
Ross Stripling        0.00 4  6.2  6  0       6  1.23 0.900  8.1  0.0        8.1
Kenta Maeda           0.00 2  6.0  7  1      12 -0.47 1.333 10.5  1.5 18.0 12.00
Wilmer Font           8.44 3  5.1  9  1  4   48  4.53 1.875 15.2  1.7  6.8  4.00
Josh Fields           0.00 5  5.0  2  0       5  1.03 0.400  3.6  0.0        9.0
Pedro Baez            2.08 4  4.1  3  2  3  198  3.03 1.154  6.2  4.2  6.2  1.50
Kenley Jansen         9.00 4  4.0  5  2  4   46  9.03 1.750 11.3  4.5  9.0  2.00
Hyun-Jin Ryu*         7.36 1  3.2  5  5  2   57  6.03 2.727 12.3 12.3  4.9  0.40
Tony Cingrani*        0.00 5  3.2  1  0       5  0.30 0.273  2.5  0.0       12.3
JT Chargois           0.00 4  3.1  2  1       3  2.13 0.900  5.4  2.7  8.1  3.00
Scott Alexander*      8.10 4  3.1  2  5  3   52  5.73 2.100  5.4 13.5  8.1  0.60
Team Totals           2.72 9 89.1 79 25 87  147  3.08 1.164  8.0  2.5  8.8  3.48
Rank in 15 NL teams        3    4 11  1                                        5

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/9/2018.

 

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3 Comments

  1. 68elcamino427

    Puig at age 27 is in Prime Time.

    Taylor just might have experienced the Career Year at the plate in 2017 …
    he did not enjoy a productive September with the bat.

    Seager … if he goes down .. yikes.

    The story of Hernandez finding a way to be effective against RHP was a great Spring Training tale.

    Forsythe might be done. Gary Jr. has played a lot of ball and coached a lot too.
    He says that Forsythe is not doing normal actions with his right leg through his swing, like he is trying to protect it. Maybe there is a lingering nerve issue in the foot?

    Gary Jr. also says do not be surprised if it takes until July to see a productive Turner back at the plate.

    Puig, Taylor and Seager are a concern until they show us they are not.
    On Fangraphs the numbers for each player look very similar for the 2018 season to date.
    At least Seager has a OBP that has reached .300.

    Hernandez and Forsythe I was not expecting too much out of from the get go.
    What they are showing us now are things we have seen from them in the past.

    In 2017 so many things went right for the Dodgers with the bat. Everything fell into place.
    Beginning 2018 the opposite is true.

    Recently I posted the Dodgers winning percentage by the month for the past three seasons.
    Even if the Dodgers were to record the lowest results for each month during the past three years in 2018 the team would still win 88 games.

    Last season was not a fluke, but is was a once every 25 year event.
    2018 is gonna be more of a dogfight.

    So I’m just enjoying my popcorn watching the season unfold.

    Like

  2. MIchael

    I agree that it is more likely than not that everyone comes back towards their performance from 2017.

    BUT…

    Puig–he should be peaking…but he had about a .320 obp from 2015-16.
    Joc–has he just stagnated? A swing and miss happy platoon player?
    Kemp–age catching up?
    Seager–is the elbow something that will affect him until some sort of surgical intervention?
    Bellinger and Taylor–were those career years to start off? Someone compared Cody with Chris Davis, which I found discouraging.
    Turner–how long until he gets back?
    Forsythe/Utley–I’m not convinced that Forsythe is even an average hitter, and Utley is 38.

    I better stop before I actually talk myself out of my optimism.

    Like

    • Puig, yeah … you get my inference here

      Pederson … maybe he has shown us he just is who he is, a true streak hitter.
      The streaks good and bad last about half a season each.

      Kemp, do not want to dog the once great one, but yes, even Hershiser was talking about Kemp looking old. We will see how well his legs hold up as the season moves along.
      Currently he is one of the more productive hitters on the team going against a very low bar.
      We know the FO likes good defense.

      Seager … ??? Does he look like that ball is being fired across the diamond?
      I dunno, do not want to read too much into it.

      Bellinger adjusted continuously all season long last year. Great use of his hands going oppo up and away yesterday. Maybe have him study the tape of Utley’s last HR? Ya do not need to swing all-out to get the ball over the fence, especially when you are 6″ 4″.

      Like

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