I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas. I know I sure did. For the Dodgers it was analysis by paralysis. We’re approaching New Years and the Dodgers have done little to nothing this offseason. The largest market club and richest in baseball is dumping salary and cutting corners to save money. Andrew Friedman’s strategy this winter is to cut payroll, dump salary and hope for something to work out via trades with other clubs. It’s a pathetic plan that surely ensures the Dodgers come into January with holes on the roster.
The shopping season is almost over and the Dodgers continue to sit on their hands while the other teams make bold moves to improve their rosters. The Dodgers merely need to plug a few holes, and you would think that would be doable for the richest biggest market club in MLB. While Friedman sleeps and hopes for the best, I’ll give you my Dodgers Christmas shopping wish list. I know Friedman won’t deliver but maybe Santa will give me what I want. I know I have definitely been on the nice list.
- A good hitting, pitching-framing defensively sound catcher.
If Santa is listening, I want a good catcher. A catcher who can hit, consistently make contact and block the plate well. He doesn’t have to hit .300, but I would love it if he was at least slightly above league average. He has to be able to pitch-frame well but also be able to call a good game. He must have a good throwing arm and above average power. It’s Christmas time so I can dream.
- A contact oriented second baseman with great range and a strong bat
How about a strong second baseman who can hit with runners in scoring position. Someone who makes contact and doesn’t strike out while also provides some pop. He’s got to have great range, a solid glove and good plate discipline. Please have this Keystone god still be in his peak years but old enough to have some experience. This second bagger should be able to bat at the top of the order and be a great base runner too.
- A true bridge to Kenley Jansen
How about a bad-ass setup man? Someone reliable that can come in and pitch the seventh and eighth innings and hand the ball to Kenley in the ninth inning. A righty or lefty, doesn’t matter, but someone who can come in with different looks to confuse opposing hitters. This setup guy must have a blazing fastball, but also wicked off-speed pitches. A knee buckling curve, bugs bunny changeup, and a jelly leg slider. Perhaps someone that can pitch multiple innings, and even start a game or two in a pinch.
- A marquee impact bat
How about another middle of the order power bat? Yes preferably a right handed hitter who strikes fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers. A true superstar and pure hitter. Someone who bats .300, gets on base a lot and slugs 30-40 home runs. A guy who draws 80-100 walks per year and can swipe a bag or two. Perhaps someone who’s name rhymes with Larper, or Tarper, but you know nobody in particular.
- A matchup and platoon free 2019
It’s ok to platoon and play matchups sometimes. It’s perfectly ok to bring in a lefty specialist in the late innings to retire a tough lefty, or to pinch-hit a lefty masher off the bench to get a hit late in the game. You and I both know that constantly playing match-ups throughout every single game and never using a set lineup is just a bad idea that leads to losing. When you bring in a reliever because he’s left handed despite the fact that he’s horrendous, that’s a bad idea. When you sit a hot hitter only because of handedness in favor of a guy who can’t hit above the Mendoza line, then that is also a really stupid plan.
All I am asking here is for some balance. I would like to see more of a set lineup in 2019 and no more benching hot hitters. I would also love to see relief pitchers used based on talent, experience and skill sets rather than just brainless lefty/righty matchups. There is no guarantee that any of that stuff ever works, and no stat that tells us that it does. Matchups are supposed to be used sparingly and usually only when there is an extreme split on either side of the ball.
I just hope that Santa brings me at least one of those things on my Dodgers wish list because we all know that Friedman certainly won’t. Oh and a World Series win please! I can always dream….Can’t I? Happy holidays everyone!