You know a lot of people believe that I hate the front office and that I am anti analytics, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I am not anti-data as much as I am not anti-front office. I just happen to be pro-common sense and I think much of building a winning baseball roster revolves around common sense and basic logic.
I don’t think the front office is wrong all the time, but I don’t think they are geniuses. Not in any way shape or form. I think they are a bunch of overpaid executives that come from a non-baseball background. These guys are economics majors, and math gurus. They are terrific with numbers and know how to run small market franchises. The problem is that there is much more to baseball than just numbers on a graph and the Dodgers are a large market club. This doesn’t seem to be a fit to me.
But the Dodgers got to the NLCS last season you will say to me as we both drown our sorrows over the Dodger’s crappy start to the 2017 baseball season. The Dodgers are 8-10 I will remind you and have won only one series so far this year. But the NLCS you will remind me. Sure the Dodgers had an incredible ride last year, but the problems are still there festering away like an inside fastball that zips past your ribs.
The offense has been a problem because the Dodger hitters can’t hit left handers or plate runners that are in scoring position. However the way to improve the Dodger bats is such an easy thing to do. Just play the regulars. Seriously guys, the hitting would be so much better if the regular eight men were in the lineup every day. It’s just common sense to put your best hitters in the lineup each and every day.
I understand that there are injuries and occasionally players get hurt, of course, of course. Yet every game the Dodgers fill the lineup with career minor league nobodies and Mendoza line hitting utility bums. Meanwhile one or more of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, and Andrew Toles ride the pine every time a left hander starts. You’ll look me in the eyes as we reach for harder alcohol and tell me that most of the regulars aren’t hitting anyways so it’s ok to play below level replacement hitters that should be in double-A Tulsa.
Here’s the caveat to that….the regulars will hit. Seager will hit. Turner is hitting. Gonzalez will hit, his age be damned. Toles will hit. Joc and Grandal will hit. Those guys will hit. Since when does a supposedly championship caliber ball club playing in the largest market with the most abundant resources just give up entirely on most of their regular position players in favor of a bunch of scrub utility players? A 230 million dollar payroll and we are doomed to watch Brett Eibner hitting fifth for no apparent reason. It’s so stupid and such poor strategy that it makes my eyes burn. Fill my cup again!
Sure Kike Hernandez has showed some improvement over last year’s near historically awful season, but he’s still a bad hitter. Chris Taylor has shortened his stroke and seems to have gained some power. Scott Van Slyke has …. Wait no sorry Van Slyke is still putrid, but I tried. Yes the B-teamers have played admirably at times, but does that mean the Dodgers should give up on the regulars? You simply can’t win by putting out terrible lineups every day. You will not win with automatic outs in the lineup. It’s never going to work.
While the problems with the bats can be improved quite easily by just not putting out horrendous lineups, the problems with the pitching staff can’t be fixed that easily. Those problems will require help from the trade market, and I don’t see this front office deviating from their scripted plans.
There’s something very wrong with Kenta Maeda and it’s been happening since last summer. Perhaps we should understand that while some of these foreign imports can be talented, they can also break down quickly and never regain their form. Maeda allowed six runs and four home runs in five innings during the Dodgers pitiful 11-5 loss to the dacks on Saturday night. He’s been horrendous this year and giving him a week off is not going to solve the problem. I don’t know what that is unless throwing mediocre middle-middle fastballs is a main part of it for him.
Neither is just sitting back and doing nothing. The Dodger rotation is not giving the club any innings and it’s causing some major havoc on an already burdened bullpen. That’s the problem though. The lack of innings. This new fangled saber approach that starting pitching is “overvalued or overrated” is beyond moronic. Look, starting pitching is the name of the game. You won’t get anywhere without it, and the Dodgers definitely won’t go anywhere with their starters averaging 4 innings per game.
But the front office doesn’t seem too concerned with this. They are happy and content with losing. Because it’s still early they will say as we pound another drink to drown our miseries. Starting pitching is so overrated they will tell us. Anyone can have good starters that go deep into games. It takes a truly smart (or inept) executive to build a club around a bunch of injury riddled starters that can’t pitch past the fifth inning. April downers will most certainly bring May showers.
The decision to hold Julio Urias from joining the big club was a decision that would only hurt the Dodgers. The Dodgers desperately need some young healthy talent to infuse the rotation. But just adding Urias won’t fix the underlying issue. The front office doesn’t deem starting pitching very important .
But it is important and if the Dodgers want to go anywhere they will need to address this problem by adding starters that can give them some innings. Work-horses not wild horses are needed here, although we already have one wild horse in right field.
It’s going to take some wheeling and dealing as most of the Dodger’s young pitchers on the farm (except Urias) are a couple of years away from big league action. If the Dodgers don’t acquire innings and stop putting out stupid lineups then they will continue to lose. And man oh man will they lose.
I’m no math whiz here, but I would say this is just common sense.