Where Does Brian Dozier Fit into The Dodger Lineup? (Hint it’s in The Fifth Spot)

The Dodgers finally acquired second baseman Brian Dozier from the Twins before Tuesday’s July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. Dozier a player the Dodgers have long coveted made his Dodger debut on Wednesday night playing second base and batting fifth in the Dodger lineup. Dozier who has primarily played second base throughout his career in Minnesota will become the Dodger’s everyday second baseman with the slumping Max Muncy shifting to a more part-time role. Or so the Dodgers have stated.

Dozier’s debut was a success as the second baseman smashed his first home run as a Dodger, a long solo home run over the center field wall to tie the score against the Brewers in the bottom of the fifth inning. He also singled and doubled tallying three hits scoring twice. Dodger fans were so excited they requested Dozier for a curtain call after his home run, which he happily obliged.

Muncy has been mired in a terrible slump since he participated in the 2018 home run derby at the all-star game. Muncy was playing a lot of second base and has shifted between the keystone, first base and third. Dozier has never played third and has only a handful of games at shortstop. We know that Dozier is going to get the majority of playing time at second. The question I have is where does Dozier fit into the Dodger lineup?

Dozier has been having a down year. He comes to the Dodgers with a .224/.305/.402 slash line in 462 plate appearances. Dozier has posted a .706 OPS and has an OPS+ of 91 which means he’s been slightly below average at the plate in 2018. The 31-year old veteran has hit 16 home runs and driven in 52 runs. He’s drawn 46 walks and struck out 96 times. Dozier seems to hit better against left handers (.872 OPS) then against right handers (.737 OPS), and appears to be a better hitter in the second half (.803 OPS) than in the first half. He’s only had 13 at-bats at Dodger Stadium and is 2 for 13 at Chavez Ravine.

Historically Dozier has hit the best in the number five spot. According to the numbers Dozier is slashing .327/.391/.545 (18 for 55) with a .936 OPS and three home runs. His next best spot is the cleanup spot. In that spot in the order Dozier is slashing .261/.348/.488 (55 for 211) with 10 home runs and an .836 OPS. But the spot where he’s had the most at-bats has been in the lead-off spot. At the top of the lineup he’s slashed .253/.328/.484. In 2400 plate appearances batting lead-off Dozier has smacked 114 home runs.

So the Dodger management looked at the numbers as they always do and discovered that Dozier does best when batting fifth. Low and behold you know what he did in his first game as a Dodger? Take a wild guess…… I’m guessing this is going to work out pretty well for the Dodgers.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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27 thoughts on “Where Does Brian Dozier Fit into The Dodger Lineup? (Hint it’s in The Fifth Spot)

  1. I pleaded with those who decide all things baseball (the baseball gods) to not let Muncy participate in that meaningless HR contest. But noooo…….

    So I guess Taylor goes back to center and Bellinger goes back to first. Muncy and Hernandez become what they should be, pinch hitting bench players.

    I believe Dozier will remain excited to be a part of this. Tucked in the middle of this lineup he might get close to his second half splits of the last two years. Have you seen those?

    ‘16 – .291/.344/.646
    ‘17 – .304/.394/.591

    Wouldn’t that be nice.

    1. Badger
      In my humble, most of the time wrong opinion, I feel that the Dodgers are a really good position team . Using Bellinger, Dozier Manny, Turner and Grandal in the infield and Kemp Pederson or Taylor and Puig I challenge another team to do better. We shall see. The pitching is still suspect in my opinion but our chances are very good.

      1. I agree pack. We can play with anybody’s if we’re hitting on all cylinders.

        And you’re not wrong most of the time – just some of the time. If Kemp remains unijured, he should get 420 ab’s, so, you should be right about that. I think you are wrong about Roberts. He does some uncustomary things, but he’s getting it done.

    2. Badger

      That will happen tomorrow when we face the Astros, because we will be facing much tougher pitching in this next series.

  2. Well, another day of rest for Kemp and with a stroke of genius also moved Dozier from 5th to 6th . I guess 3 hits were not enough to keep him higher. Dummy is really bad. Kemp has finally hit after a few non productive games and instead of playing him, Dummy rests him. Dummy is a poor judge of game situations,

    1. Package

      I think a couple of players playing tonight, won’t be playing in this next series, when we face the Astros.

      I don’t think this is our best line up either.

      I think Roberts is giving the last start to a couple players in this line up, before we face the Astros.

      We face both Verlander and Cole, in this next series, and I don’t think Muncy will start in this next series, or another outfielder, and that won’t be Kemp.

      Did you get my message?

    2. We don’t have good bullpen, and we don’t have a team of hitters, that will hit good pitching, in a short series.

      We will see a little profile of this, against the Astros.

      1. Our bullpen could be extremely deep, depending on what starters might end up there. A lot of ifs – if Ryu is strong, if Fields, if Cingrani… I counted 13 relievers and 7 starters on our depth chart. Now I don’t know how many of them will actually be available for the entire year, but none of those 20 are listed out for the year.

        It’s possible all our walking wounded will become available between now and September 1st. And we know how crowded both the infield and outfield are. We may be right where management planned on us being. No excuses. Let’s win this thing.

        1. Badger

          Do you think there can be to many players to plug in all the time?

          And because of that, we will never get the best from some players, especially players that are use to playing everyday.

    3. You know, pack, I share your sentiment about Roberts but your song is getting really tired. You can’t apply this song to every situation and sing it every time you don’t like something. This is called fixation. It crystallizes you to your own image making which is just that, image making, not reality.

      I don’t mean to be critical, but in your case, the extreme has become the norm and the extreme is no longer making any sense. Sorry.

      1. Jeff
        What I comment on is just my opinion. I feel that what I say about Dummy is true. It may not be your or someone elses opinion but to me it is absolutley real. I also do not feel that it is extreme. If Roberts treated all his players the same I could understand it but he does not in my opinion. If there is something you do not feel is extreme and does not make sense, please bring it to my attention and I will try and explain my thought.

      2. Jeff,

        Just give him credit for sticking with it in the face of incontrovertible evidence.

        I find it Quixotic like, without the funny and literary and romantic bits.

  3. Utley to the DL. That’s one way to deal with it.

    Everyone wants depth MJ. Do I think you can have too much depth? Not really. Especially when the depth you have is as fragile as ours appears to be.

    1. Package

      Your batting a thousand with Dozier!

      And I am happy for Belly too!

      I hope it gives Belly confidence for this next series.

      1. MJ
        I am proud of both and I am glad you gave Dozier a chance.. He will not always hit this good but he can and that was my point.

        1. Package

          I knew you had your reasons, so it didn’t take a lot to give him chance.

          I could tell when he first arrived, he was excited to be on the Dodgers.

          I think LA was to big for the other guys that didn’t work out.

          I think we will see more from Manny, once he is playing shortstop regularly too.

          I only worry about the pen, especially a gate way to Kenley.

  4. MJ
    Hopefully we can get the bullpen up and going soon. The Dodgers got a few good arms in there but need to get finalized.

    1. Pack

      I hope so!

      I also hope they can knock McCullers out in this next series too!

      That is one pitcher we should have hit, in that series!

  5. By this time next week people will be like we scored too much and wasted all these runs. You know how it is.

    But this huge win, which I thoroughly enjoyed, does get us a lot of points on the run differential stat which is a component of the SABRtastic Pythagorean win percentage.

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