Dodger Hitters Have Been Flexing Their Muscles

Austin Barnes

The Dodgers have had a dynamic offense so far this spring. Once again the boys in blue are displaying top notch levels of power and on base abilities. This time however their situational hitting and base running seem to be much improved. The club is in the top ten in almost every category this spring. The Dodger batters are definitely flexing their muscles this Cactus League season.

The Dodgers lost to the White Sox 8-6 on Tuesday afternoon, despite slugging four more home runs. Andre Ethier slugged a two-run home run off of Jose Quintana in the third frame. Enrique Hernandez added his first solo shot of the spring, and Austin Barnes (who has been raking the ball so far) blasted his fourth home run of the Cactus League season which was a two-run shot off of left hander Dan Jennings in the eighth inning.

The Dodgers rank fifth in home runs with 21 total. Three Dodgers have hit three or more home runs this spring. Austin Barnes, and infielder Rob Segedin have each hit four to lead the club. Scott Van Slyke has hit three. Eight other Dodgers have hit at least one round tripper. The Dodgers are tied for fifth in runs batted in (83), fourth in slugging percentage (.503), and third in OPS (.865). The Dodgers are also fourth in on base percentage with a .362 OBP and 49 walks drawn. Overall the Dodgers have slashed .293/.362/.503 through 14 games and 485 at-bats.

The Dodger batters are not only hitting for power, they are also getting on base. The Dodgers rank fourth in MLB with 90 runs scored this spring. The club has 142 hits and 53 extra-base hits. Once again they are in the top ten in both of those categories.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the Dodger’s offense has been their improvement in base running and situational hitting. The Dodgers are 12 for 15 in stolen bases this spring, which ranks them in the top ten. I have also noticed (in the few games I have been able to watch) that the club is much more aggressive on the base paths. That could be attributed to new manager Dave Robert’s philosophy of strong fundamentals and aggressive base running. Remember Roberts was a very good base stealer as a player and I think his hardnosed style is starting to rub off on the players.

What’s even more impressive has been the club’s clutch hitting. The Dodgers are slashing .277/.383/.462 and have driven home 55 runs with runners in scoring position. They have also scored 62 runs which rank them thirteenth in the majors. The Dodgers are also batting .311 against left handed pitching.

I know it’s only spring training and the Dodgers have played in just 14 exhibition games. However the club has been showing some mettle offensively. I already see an improvement over last year’s club in several key areas they struggled in throughout 2015. The club had huge trouble with base running, situational hitting, and hitting left handed pitching. They may be already ahead of last year’s club in multiple areas. I hope this beefy offense can continue to produce when the games actually count.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

53 thoughts on “Dodger Hitters Have Been Flexing Their Muscles

  1. I agree with everything you say Scott. Most runners have gone from first to third on a single. A runner went from first to third on a past ball. Ethier had a triple on a hit in the right field corner. Ethier was running hard the whole time. Ellis scored from first on a double. This would never of happened last year. I think the best decision FAZ made last year was to let Mattingly go.

    Coleman is starting to look like a keeper. I am not a fan of Bolsinger, but he has been effective. Lee and Urias throw today. We will see if Lee is a part of the equation. Stripling has looked good. Kazmir better get his act together or he could be on the outside looking in. I saw him pitch a game last year and I was impressed.

    1. Idahoal I totally agree with you, that getting rid of Mattingly, was the best move of the off season.
      Can you imagine, if we had to look at Mattingly, for one more year?
      I think Roberts, was the exact right guy, at the exact right time, to take this team.

  2. Also, Ethier took a left hander over the left center field wall for a home run yesterday. They are letting Ethier play against left handers. Pederson is starting to look good. He is using the entire field. Something is happening with our hitters. I do not know if Turnwe Ward is that good or what, but I like what I am seeing. I know it is ST, but so far it is good.

  3. It’s just spring training! As you said in your post about Scott Kazmir (don’t worry that he can’t get anyone out, it’s just spring training) you can’t draw many firm conclusions about the team’s performance. Only 2 starters have gone 5 innings in a game; does that mean that the starters won’t go 5 in the regular season?

    The Dodgers’ hitters are facing the other teams’ NRIs and minor leaguers.

    Look, does anyone expect that a player like Segedin is suddenly going to be a big star because he’s hitting in spring training? I don’t.

    1. You see Rick, your post just makes to much sense. More like, if the Dodgers do something well in Spring Training, it means they will continue this into the regular season but if the Dodgers are not doing something well, then it is only spring training.

  4. A lot of teams are hitting, and the Dodgers are among them. Texas, Arizona and the Angels are all hitting overboard.300 as a team. Dodgers at .293 last I looked. SF down the list, which is cool. San Diego and Colorado suck.

    I trust with Roberts running the show we will be more sound on fundamentals. The errors are concerning, but hopefully they get cleaned up. We do have a large veteran presence on this club. Not sure why I mention that here other than vets should have a stabilizing influence on the youth we will need on the field if getting younger is actually a goal.

    1. Badger like I said before, Guerrero can handle third better, then Utley and Howie. And that may be because he has played, and practiced more there, but that is the point. It is to bad a hurt his knee, because he came out hitting, and now he needs to catch up. Hopefully he can catch up, so the Dodgers can showcase him, or to use him, in the right way.

      The main problem with the roster, is like you have said, the signing of both Utley and Howie. One would be fine, but both, complicates the roster. Maybe that will be solved, like Mark has said, if they trade Howie later in the season.

      I didn’t see the game yesterday, I got to the video place, that the game was on, and I pushed the screen, and it lit up, but never worked.

      I don’t know what I did wrong, but I am glad after this week, because more games will be on the Dodger channel, for the rest of the spring training.

  5. Why pay a guy two years and $20 million when you already have that positioned covered? So you can trade him later? I hear people talk about lowering payroll and getting younger and they do this? Makes no sense.

    Agree about Guerrero. And we haven’t heard a peep out of anyone regarding the best infield glove in the organization – fellow Cuban Erisbel Arruebarrena.

    The coverage on MLBTV has been sporadic. Doesn’t look like there is telecast today. They haven’t been on for a few days.

    As for Spring Training success, it means only some of these guys will be assigned. We already know who will make the roster. It will be the same guys who were there last year, minus Greinke and Anderson.

  6. I haven’t posted in a while, other than yesterday’s brief one. A little bit more on that post later. Like I mentioned a few months ago, I am going to clean the slate with the FO and see how things play out with Roberts and his staff. So here is my two cents on what I have seen, literally!!!! And what I have observed or heard.

    Medical staff. We all know this was my biggest beef besides the TV deal. I truly don’t know if it is their lack of knowledge about the players, or if it is the players lack of off season conditioning. ST will always bring out some injuries, but a few of them seem to me like they could be avoided with a consistent year round training regime. Are the trainers and other team staff not allowed to interact with the players during the off season? I know some sports bargaining agreements forbid it. Just curious.

    TV deal. No comment. I have beaten a dead horse as much as I can.

    The on-field product. I truly like what I have seen and heard and read about. To a point that is. I feel as do a few others on here that “our depth” is actually hurting us in a few ways. A few of the most important positions don’t have a true “backup” at that position. They have a utility player as their backup. Wouldn’t a true “position player” be a better option? Someone who can “then” play other positions makes more sense than a utility player backup at the psotions? Namely, shortstop, first and centerfield. There is only a revolving door of utility players to back up Seager, Gonzo and Pederson. Yet we have two sets of veteran quality players for second and the corner outfield positions. The base running and aggressive stretching out of hits is so refreshing. Just seeing that by itself makes the other frailties a lot less painful to see. So far our depth has not truly been tested other than the pitching staff. Now there is a surprise…..said no one. I agree 100% with most everyone else on here, ST numbers mean nothing to veterans. Now the prospects, well numbers do mean a lot, to them at least. Having good numbers is the biggest confidence builder in the world. And baseball is a very humbling game. So self confidence is key. A good prospect playing lights out in ST isn’t going to be too concerned when he doesn’t break with the club. Now being pretty much blocked and playing lights out? A whole different story. We are barely half way through ST so there is a lot that can still happen, I am still keeping an open mind.

    Now for the fun part. I spent last week in AZ, golfing, watching baseball, drinking a lot of beer and eating some phenomenal food. We visited Camelback a few times, the home of the Padres, Cubs and that team from the Bay Area. I must admit that I really liked Sloan Field where the Cubs play. It is easy to get around, has a nice Chicago type feel, and was very reasonable price/concession wise. Now that brings me to the place where we all know “who” plays. We watched the Reds play them, Bumgarner got roughed up a bit early, but in the end the Reds just could not hang. Now it was the first ST night game and I will give them that, BUT, $5 for peanuts, $5 for a flippin water, $12 for a beer. That is a ripoff. I sent a picture of the menu to Scott, hopefully he will post it. Ouch, it put a dent in my beer budget bigtime.

    Overall it was a fantastic week. Up at 6 in the morning to head out for golf, dropped off , then picked up and off to a ballgame, then back tom the rental house for a brief bit, then out to dinner, then drinks. Lather, rinse repeat for a week. This mid 50’s boy was tired by the end. And this time of year the sun never truly goes “overhead” in Az so the sun seems to always be in your face, and frying this english/irishman’s mellon.
    One of the true highlights was meeting one of our fellow bloggers, Rory aka “Badger”. We spent the afternoon watching the game with my friends who came with me and his very knowledgeable friend John. We had a blast, talked baseball, friends, family and life in general. And no he doesn’t resemble “Eck” at all. Really looking forward to meeting up again with him in San Diego and either L.A or S.F. this season. Some of you get on Badger’s case occasionally, but let me tell you something, in person he is a really really neat and humble guy. We all act a bit different behind a keyboard. So we should all get over ourselves.

    Now this part is for Mr. Timmons. Mark, I have always taken the high road in life and I will continue to do so. I learned that from a very young age. You attract a lot more bees with honey than you do vinegar. Those who know me, know that I have a great sense of humor and I lovesome wit. Badger has great wit and sometimes, it rubs you the wrong way. Get over it Mark. It was his 68th birthday on the day that we met. The “Taxidea Taxus” name has a funny back story behind it that never made it to the blogs. He truly appreciated the shirt, as I am sure you would too. I enjoy giving things to friends that have a witty back story or just to “take the mick” out of them. Laughter is the best medicine. For a good friends 50th last year I custom made a rolling walker for her (she is healthy but it was funny )and I had it painted in orange and black, complete with SF logos, whirly things and all the whistles and bells. Although I made sure some parts never worked quite well. We gave it to her at her birthday party at the bar/restaurant that we all hang out at. It was frikin hilarious. I’m known for fun things like these. Mark I am sure you are a very nice man in person, I have no doubt, but like I said, we all act differently behind a keyboard. You have more Dodgers and overall baseball knowledge than more than 50% of the people on this site. Please use it in a fun and non-demeaning way. When you are just you it is refreshing. Mark come and join me on the “High Road”. It goes through some fun places and as Badger can attest, it always leads to a good time. I would really like to meet and hang out with you at some point. I bet we will get along fanastically.

    Cheers ALL!!!!!!!

    P. S. Watford I hope you are having a good birthday mate!!!! Hit em long and straight, and watch out for the Irish. You could be next on the list of fun times.

    1. You can get more bees with honey, but who wants bees?

      Somebody told me they paid $60 for a good seat at Camelback. At these prices I think I’ll go to a few college games.

      1. Row 21 up from on deck circle seats were $29. Steep for me, but I did it anyway. Tim’s seats were cheaper and they were in front of me!

  7. Only a few years ago weren’t Taijuan Walker and James Paxton untouchable? Now they are fighting it out for Seattle’s fifth starter opening along with someone less heralded.
    .
    De Leon could be another Walker or Paxton. Grandal is replaceable with Barnes. White Sox don’t have much of a catcher. Dodgers and White Sox have a good relationship.
    .
    Could the Dodgers get Sele for Grandal, De Leon, and one or two of Wood, Stripling, lee, Bolsinger?
    .
    I do think the FAZ hasn’t given up on getting an outstanding 200+ inning pitcher.

    1. Assuming you meant Sale I’d say the odds of that are slim. He’s tied up until ’19 with a yearly figure paying him less than what we are paying Anderson.

      Unsolicited but very much appreciated. Tim is an honest fellow. If he thought I was a jackass he’d say so. I’m Badger. Just don’t poke me with a stick or throw a rock at me and I’m as playful as a puppy.

        1. If you throw sticks at puppies you could be sentenced to 40 hours of community service at the local animal shelter.

    2. Bum they are very high on Stripling, and they are looking at him, for the fifth place, in the rotation. Barnes looks good in spring training, but we still don’t know if he can hit big league pitching yet, so I wouldn’t trade Grandal, and AJ may be, playing in his last year. Bum you sure like to trade, and sometimes the best move, is no trade. And it doesn’t look like Wood, is on your untouchable list. I saw that Joc got a couple of hits yesterday, and I noticed the one, was a double to opposite field. I didn’t see the game, but it looks like Joc, has learned more, in the last few weeks, then he did, all of last year.

      1. MJ, I wouldn’t do most of the trades I propose but I enjoy throwing them out there.
        .
        Did you see this yet?
        .
        Keith Law of ESPN.com had a mixed review of Maeda after the righty’s previous outing, March 10.

        Maeda threw three scoreless innings against a light Oakland lineup, but pitched all day with a grade-45 fastball, 88-91 mph, with left-handed hitters especially squaring the pitch up, and a visible change in his arm speed whenever he was throwing any other pitch. He showed three offspeed pitches, including a plus changeup at 79-82 mph that had a very good tailing action to it, although the change in arm speed was evident. His slider is very sharp but shows its break early enough that good hitters should pick it up; at 79-83 mph, the slider was better than his slow curveball at 69-73 mph, which he can throw for strikes but which is probably too slow to be a swing-and-miss pitch against major league hitters. The changeup and slider might be good enough even with the fringy fastball, though there is hope that he’ll throw a little harder after three more weeks of building up to the regular season. I just don’t see much upside here, between the light fastball and the change in arm speed when he needs to throw something slower.

        1. Bum after I wrote that, I should have erased that, because it sounded to serious, because I know you are just having fun! So don’t take what I said, seriously. I was actually joking about Wood.

          I read, and heard a couple of different things by someone that works for ESPN, about Maeda, and something else, about the Dodgers, but I don’t take much what they say seriously, from that sports network, because it almost seems like they are Dodger haters. The TV guys for ESPN are just the same. And I am not saying this because it is negative
          about the Dodgers.

          AJ said that Maeda pitched a lot like Greinke, and he called him a smaller version of Greinke. And that was after he caught Maeda yesterday. I guess the two runs, that happened when Maeda was pitching yesterday, were unearned, because of errors.

          I am more worried about Kazmir, then Maeda, I actually think, that Maeda looks better, then Ryu, when I first saw him pitch, in spring training. And they said the same thing about Ryu, when he first pitched.

          1. I hope Ellis is right MJ. Sometimes I propose a trade as my way of saying I like Barnes more than I like Grandal, etc.

  8. I’ve about had it with the Dodgers and anything to do with anything connected to TWC. It’s easier to fallow any other team than the one that promised inside connection for us stupid enough to believe it may be worth subscribing to an inferior service that hijacked and ransomed my team. I’m really losing interest in supporting this form of terrorism. Fuck you SNLA, sure are short on your promises!

    1. I have already bored everybody with my insistent groans about the Dodgers not spending whatever they had to spend to sign him and forfeit the quantity they were able to collect by not signing him.

      1. God article. I like the comments from Tiant. The one thing that has always perplexed me about athletes that come from third world countries that are so chiseled, how did they get that way? Most of them struggle to get enough food for the day. A good nutrition program is probably non-existent. How do they get that muck bulk? We all know that a fair amount of Latin players have tested positive for different banned substances. I’m not trying to take away anything from his natural ability but?????
        Once Puig made it to America and got going he seemed to be a bit fragile. And there is a ton of incentive for the “baseball coyotes” to get these kids signed.

        Not to be repetitive but are training staffs allowed to work with MLB players throughout the offseason? I’m just curious. What about the coaching staff? I have never heard if the most recent CBA has restrictions. Thoughts? Input?

        1. What does the collective bargaining agreement say about it? I wouldn’t be surprised if part of many contracts said from October to Spring Training leave me the ef alone.

          I would think every team would prefer an off season program. Most all of the players do something.

      2. Bum they tried to get him, but he wouldn’t wait, until they wanted to sign him.
        I rather have Mookie Betts. He is some exciting player, and isn’t that big!

        1. MJ, FAZ didn’t have to ask him to wait. They could have signed him immediately and the cost of not being able to spend more than $300,000 during the next two year signing period. I would rather have Moncada instead of the several players they signed in the following signing period.

          1. It is hard with these Cuban players, because you have to pay them, more then the other prospects, and who knows, what they will be.

  9. Have the video of the Dodgers game — and an open mic. No announcer. The roar of the crowd and the crack of the bat along with stadium music is all I hear.

    1. Roger, was wondering if you fallowed Alamo Heights baseball much? High school baseball is pretty serious down in your neck-o-the-woods, or sticks perhaps. I understand the ‘Mules’ have a decent head coach. I usta know him. San Antonio is one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever been and I’ve been everywhere……….well, lots of places at any rate.

  10. Zach Lee 3ip, 3 hits, 1 run . I didn’t intensely watch, so I don’t know how good he really looked.

    Urias due to pitch soon

  11. Puig won’t be disiplined for that incident in the bar, and Puig hit his first HR of spring today. And Bum Pederson got another hit.

  12. Did everyone see that Nacasio had seven strike outs, in only three or four innings? He is on the Pirates now, and there pitching coach, has turned another pitcher around. That is why I always wonder about Honeycutt.

      1. Bum Nacasio struck out 10 people, in four innings, and hasn’t given up a run, in spring training. He had only pitched three innings, when I wrote that above. I thought he was better in the bullpen then Bias.

  13. In the last several games Pederson has taken three strikes and struck out on 0-3 counts. I wonder if he is purposely using one of his at bats to “study pitches”?

    1. He needs to swing at the first pitch sometime, if it is a good pitch. He sees to many pitches, and gets behind on the count, and there are not many players in baseball, that wouldn’t go down, when that happens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)