The Dodgers Have a Huge Hole To Fill at Second Base, and It Better Not Be With Kike Hernandez

Howie Kendrick

The Dodgers recently dealt veteran second baseman/outfielder Howie Kendrick to the Phillies for former minor league farmhand Darnell Sweeney and part time slugger Darin Ruf. Kendrick was acquired in 2014 for pitching prospect Andrew Heaney. Kendrick spent just two years in Dodger blue. That means the trade of Dee Gordon was not only a disaster, but pointless as well. Despite getting nothing of value in return for Gordon (Chris Hatcher, Kike Hernandez are both horrendous) it was considered acceptable only because the Dodgers had acquired Kendrick, who was always a reliable option at the keystone.

Kendrick ended up having one solid year and one not so solid season with the Dodgers. His 2016 season was in injury riddled and below average production wise. Kendrick’s batting average dropped from .295 in 2015, to .255 in 2016. His OPS dropped from .746 in 2015, to .691 in 2015. His OPS+ was 108 in 2015 and just 90 in 2016. Kendrick lost over 50 points of slugging from the 2015 season to 2016. At age 32 it is becoming very clear that Kendrick may just be in the beginnings of decline.

So the Dodgers dumped him to the Phillies to clear salary space. Kendrick had one year remaining on his two-year 20 million dollar contract that seemed very team friendly when signed last winter. The Dodgers primarily used him in left field during 2016. Kendrick played in 94 games at left field and appeared just 32 times at second base. Kendrick also saw some time at first base (11 games) and third base (17 games). Kendrick was clearly unhappy with the Dodgers forcing him away from the comfort ability of his normal second base position. General manager Farhan Zaidi used the term “financial flexibility” to describe the Kendrick deal.

Financial flexibility schmexibility, now the Dodgers have a gaping hole at second base with limited to no options available on the free agent market. Neil Walker would have been a solid choice had he not accepted the Mets qualifying offer. There have been rumors of the Dodger’s interest in Ian Kinsler and or Brian Dozier. I would prefer Dozier over Kinsler because of his age and power, but both would be good options. Both are under contract with their respective teams so it would require a trade to bring either of them to Los Angeles.

Unfortunately Zaidi also mentioned using “internal options” as another possibility of filling the Kendrick void. That is of course something that should never happen. The Dodger’s internal options are pathetic at best. Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and Micah Johnson are all awful. Taylor couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Johnson is an unproven rookie who may or may not develop into a major league quality infielder. Supposedly his defense has a lot to be desired for. Kike is probably the worst of the bunch.

I don’t mean to keep harping on this, but Hernandez is a horrendous baseball player. He can’t hit, field or throw. Need proof? Just look at his numbers from this past season. Kike hit .190/.283/.324 (41 for 215) with more strikeouts (64) than base hits. Kike hit just .189 against left handers disproving the lie that the Dodger management continues to ram down our throats. No, Kike cannot hit left handers, he can’t hit right handers, and he can’t hit middle handers. He can’t hit anyone. I would rather see the Dodgers resign Chase Utley.

The point is that the Dodgers have a big need at second base and limited options available outside of the organization and outside of a trade with other clubs. It’s time for the Dodgers to get creative and finally make a huge deal that actually makes sense for the club.

I just better not see Kike Hernandez at second base next season. I swear to god I will lose my cool if I see that joker playing second base in 2017. Naturally I do not want a terrible player to play a key position and bat everyday in the Dodger lineup because I want the Dodgers to win. Seriously I will lose it and my blood will boil.

Don’t make me lose it Friedman.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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33 thoughts on “The Dodgers Have a Huge Hole To Fill at Second Base, and It Better Not Be With Kike Hernandez

  1. I doubt very seriously that Kike is considered an everyday 2nd baseman by the FO. If he is, they are dreaming. He was better as a supersub in 15, not so much this year. I also do not think there is an internal solution right now. I do think that Calhoun will get a LONG look in spring. The guy can hit. Taylor, Hernandez, and even Utley are not the long term solutions, if they re-sign Chase, it is more for club house stability than production. Former Dodger Allen Webster now with the Rangers…..signed minor league deal today

  2. I was actually hoping Howie and his 1 year deal would be a platoon option with Calhoun next year to ease Calhoun in until he was totally ready to take over.

    I agree with Michael that Calhoun will get every opportunity to prove his D is good enough to get his bat into the lineup.

    1. Bobby

      Calhoun seems like a very confident player.

      I want them to go for Kinsler, because he wouldn’t take as much, because he is a rental.

      And he also hit just under 290, and hit 28 HRs.

      Dozier would cost more because he is younger, and he has been one of those all or nothing hitters, and I think two is enough, in our line up.

      And I don’t think this line up, will do well, with another all or nothing type of hitter.

  3. Yep, don’t harp… He’ll end up like the Trade and have a life of it’s own… Just say no to Kike starting at 2B… That being said I think we will trade for the two aforementioned…
    Then of course they could ease another partial year out of Utley and ? and see if Calhoun pans out???
    Don’t let your child grow up to be a MLB FO guy…

  4. Just looked over the MLB Trade Rumors site on the Dodgers . . .

    What jumps out of course, is the money owed in contracts.

    Cannot quarrel with Kershaw, Gonzalez and even Puig.

    But, wow —

    Kazmir is owed $35.5 MM through 2018
    McCarthy is owed $23MM through 2018

    and in the “Other Financial Commitments” ==

    Sierra $28MM through 2021 (removed from 40-man roster in 2016)
    Crawford owed $21.8MM though 2017 (MARK’S GUY.)
    Olivera owed $18.7 MM through 2020 (traded in 2015)
    Arruebarrena owed $12 through 2018 (removed from 40-man roster during 2015-16 offseason)
    Kemp owed $10.5 MM though 2018 (traded during 2014-15 offseason)
    Guerrero owed $7.5 MM through 2017 (released in 2016)
    Toscano (outfielder) owed $3.6 MM through 2018 (removed from 40-man roster during 2015-16 offseason)

    So my question, who makes these decisions? Do they need to hold some bake sales?

    1. Yes but, except for Kemp and Ethier, the other signings were after Guggenheim took control and placed Kasten in charge. Some of the deals were then made while Ned was being baby sat by Kasten and others were organized by the illustrious FAZ, with Kasten’s approval.

  5. Not a Kasten fan. I didn’t hate Ned like I did Donnie, but he was old school and old school is soooo yesterday in MLB.

    What to do at 2B? Well that is a question that cannot be answered without knowing what they will do at other positions. If they made other changes, I would be fine with Kike at 2B. I can’t see them getting Dozier or Kinsler. Hell, Calhoun might be as good as Dozier.

    My advice is to find Brian Dozier before he becomes Brian Dozier… maybe that’s Willie Calhoun!

    Here’s the biggest problem: Seager, Pederson, Gonzo, Ethier, Toles, Calhoun, Bellinger and Verdugo are all LH hitters – so is Turner even though he hits RH. Puig and Thompson are the only RH hitters with power and do you really want to rely on Puig again? No – trade him to the AL.

    I’m not sure I want to shell out $90 million to a 32 year-old 3B who can’t hit Lefties.

  6. What do you know. I find mysel agreeing with most everything Mark just said. Except for the Puig part. I think the FAZ sees 3+ WAR for $8mm. Saber dudes want a whole team of that. Just screw his head on straight and he’s the RH hitter we are looking for.

    I don’t know where Kiké belongs on defense but I think if given a chance he can hit. He did have an off year, but I believe it’s because the team showed no faith in him. He lived up to those expectations. Give him a job and will do it for you. Otherwise, trade him.

    Agree about the contract Turner might get. I think his best years are soon to be in the rear view mirror. He’s 32 next year. He might put up 4 WAR again, but after that? We need to find the wins from guys who are under 32.

    I’d trade at least one of those LH guys. Though watching our FO trade makes me nervous, I think they have to continue to do it.

    1. My first choice is to sign Turner to a 3 year max contract maybe 4 if the contract is heavily front loaded like $20, 20, 10, 10.

      If Turner goes elsewhere I do the crazy and put Puig at 3rd. I like that Taylor plays good defense and is fast so I would put him at second as the in-house guy.

      Verdugo is the eventual RF guy. Pederson in CF and Toles and Thompson in LF.

      1. I still find that speedy Lindor-like vacuum for short and move Seager. Seager would be a HOF third baseman. He will never be more than average at short.

        1. A couple of years ago third base was where all the stars were and now it seems like SS is where all the new plus plus talent is located. As long as Turner is at third and doing well I think Seager won’t move to 3rd before someone like Lux pushes him over there.

          If the Dodgers can get a speedy second baseman that will help keep Seager at SS as well. There is always the Ripkin analogy that says Seager can stay at third.

        1. Badger

          Kike had just 200 at bats last year.

          And that really didn’t give the pitchers, a enough time, make that adjustment on Kike.

          But this year, the pitchers adjusted on Kike, and Kike never adjusted back, to how the pitchers were pitching him.

          And because of that, he didn’t even hit above the Mendosa line this year.

          And the pitchers got Kike out mostly, on curve balls, all year.

          I just read an article in Dodger’s Way, about Kike having trouble hitting curves.

          And that is why Bumgarner had no trouble getting Kike out, after that first match up.

          1. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get a chance to redeem himself as a utility guyot platoon partner but you can’t say The Dodgers had no faith in him when he probably should have been sent to the minors for awhile and the Dodgers kept trotting him out there against lefties despite do damn near nothing. He made the most of his opportunities in 2015. He did nothing last year.

  7. Dozier is younger, cheaper, and has lots more power but that might cost more in prospects. Kinsler just won a GG and he’s been better at making contact and getting on base–what you want in a leadoff hitter. And he’s hit over .300 vs LHP in his career.

    I know players have jumped from AA to the majors, but if you’re going to do that, you’d better be sure and you’d better have a plan B. As Scott says, we haven’t got a plan B. Sure would be nice to have Peraza back, wouldn’t it?

  8. Giants are supposedly interested in J.D. Martinez who plays RF for Detroit http://m.mlb.com/player/502110/jd-martinez

    A Detroit trade could bring both Kinsler and Martinez to Dodgers and add 2 righty bats. Adds 34 and 29 year old players which is not what I want to do but it takes care of 2017. Martinez would move to LF and give the Dodgers an outfield of Martinez, Pederson, and Puig. Prefer that to trading Puig for Braun.

    1. Bum

      I heard that Martinez had really bad numbers defensively.

      And if the front office got rid of Kemp because of his defense, why would they trade for Martinez?

      I do know we need a good right hand bat, to hit lefties, and I don’t think we should assume that Puig is going to hit well, and provide power, when he hasn’t done it in the last three years.

      Puig has never hit twenty HRs, since the first year he was here, and his batting average is just that, average.

      It is to bad Puig couldn’t learn from Martinez, because Martinez drives the ball to the right side a lot, and that is where Puig’s power is.

    1. Charlie is considered more of a utility guy since he plays multiple positions. I do like the guy though, he is a gamer. Not afraid to get his uni dirty.

    1. These talks are going nowhere…. Kinsler says he won’t waive his no-trade clause unless the new team extends him, and the Dodgers are not likely to do that.

  9. If the Dodgers re-signed there own free-gents and picked up Kinsler without trading Bellinger, Alvarez, or Buehler it would a good offseason.

    Kinsler
    Toles
    Seager
    Turner
    Gonzalez
    Puig
    Joc
    Grandal

    I can live with that lineup. 5 young guys with 3 vets and Bellinger knocking on the door. It would look much better offensively with Braun though. Ned was on the MLB channel yesterday and predicted big moves by the Dodgers.

  10. I concur with Scott Andes here as far as Kike goes. IMHO he played his way off the roster and out of MLB. so if he or those other 2 are considered for regular 2nd base duty in 2017, don’t anyone tell me this FO ‘is all in’ for next year. Dodgers WILL NOT WIN OR EVEN SMELL THE PS with these 3

  11. The Dodgers are on Kinslers no trade list.

    And since he wants more money, this trade would have to make sense for the Dodgers.

    And the front office, isn’t going to trade Bellinger for a two year rental, and for a older player.

    But any team is going to ask for another team’s number one prospect, that is a given.

    That doesn’t mean the Dodgers will do that.

    I also noticed that these 28 HRs, was only anomaly for Kinsler, so who knows what kind of power, he really has.

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