Dodgers’ Youth Pounding On The Door – Is FO Deaf As Well As Blind?

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The Dodgers’ brain trust (whomever that cabal consists of) that sets the daily starters has been shifting and platooning the team almost daily since Opening Day. Where has that strategy placed the Dodgers? In a second place tie -which is deceptive as a determiner of how good this team actually is.

I say deceptive because normally, one and a half months into the season, one would be happy with one’s team in second place, right on the heels of the first place team with plenty of season to go. However, this is the NL West, which I refer to as the .500 division. The teams in this division range from lousy to mediocre. View the Dodgers’ accomplishments through that filter, and being tied for second place looks more like being tied for third place.

Waiting for players like Justin Turner, Howie Kendrick, Carl Crawford – and dare I say Adrian Gonzalez – to “return to form” at the plate, while better teams across baseball are solidifying their playing strategies and making their marks as competitors in the hunt, is akin to treading water in a swim race.

I could write a similar paragraph about the scrubs taking up space in the bullpen, but in order to relieve them of their duties, pitchers would have to brought up from the farms in order to take their places.  That requires a different kind of commitment this front office has not shown it has the stomach for. Besides, even if they brought up the minor league pitchers that many are calling for, and  if those pitchers were successful, the Dodgers would probably tread water at the same rate, because no team can win 1-0 or 2-1 every night.

So let’s keep things simple. Just deal with the guys that are already in the dugout. Nobody has to be called up from the minors. Nobody has to fret over young players being exposed to the majors before they’re ready. The pressure will not be relived only half way.

If the Dodgers would just play the guys with hot bats and home run power, and stop placing hitters that haven’t hit since 2015 at the top third of the batting order, the number of runs scored would increase, and the wins would thus, follow.

Take last night’s batting order as an example. Justin Turner batted second. SECOND!

There’s a theory that pops up whenever an average player has a breakout season. People will say, “He’s just having a fluke year. He’ll revert to his usual numbers soon enough.” This may very well be the case with Turner.

Blame his leg. Blame not enough ABs in Spring Training. Blame Donald Trump! None of it changes the fact that JT, loveable as his red chia pet hair is, has got no business batting anywhere near the top of the lineup.

In the last 7 days Turner’s had 21 at bats with 1 run scored, 4 hits and 3 RBIs, Avg .190.
In the month of May it becomes 49 at bats with 6 runs scored, 11 hits, 2 doubles, 1 home run, and 4 RBI’s , Avg .224

How about Joc Pederson? Last 7 days, 20 AB, scored 4 runs, 3 hits, 1 double, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, Avg .150.
In May, 40 AB, 9 hits, 3 doubles, 5 home runs. In May, 40 AB, 8 runs, 9 hits, 3 doubles, 5 home runs, 9 RBIs,
Avg .225.

Let’s look at Trayce Thompson. Last 7 days, 10 at bats, scored 4 runs, 5 hits, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs  Avg .500
In May, 29 at bats, 8 runs, 11 hits, 2 doubles,  5 home runs, 12 RBIs, Avg .379

Last night he batted sixth.  SIXTH!

Last night’s first five batters:
Utley
Turner
Seager
Kendrick
Pederson

This is how I would set up the first five:

Utley
Pederson
Seager
Thompson
Kendrick

What’s the worst that can happen? A dull offense that scores in the first inning and then goes to sleep for the rest of the game? We already know what that looks like. We get that every time Carl Crawford starts, and a whole lotta times he doesn’t.

The young players are chomping at the reigns. Their bats are heating up – which is the good kind of contagious – and that sparks enthusiasm up and down the bench and in the stands.

The Dodgers committed more than a month to waiting for last year’s stand outs to heat up – and they haven’t. The only thing this team has done is spin it’s wheels and end up tied for third place in a weak division.

Now is the time to stop accepting mediocre and less. It’s time to shift gears and change tactics. The Dodgers’ youth revolution has arrived.

Footnote courtesy of Time Warner Cable: Gil Scot Heron was right – the revolution will not be televised.

 

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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44 thoughts on “Dodgers’ Youth Pounding On The Door – Is FO Deaf As Well As Blind?

  1. If this were SF, and Bochy was the manager, you can bet your butt that Trayce would be playing every single day. As would Joc and Seager.

    I’m gona guess that because we’re in Anaheim tonight, and thus have the DH, Trayce will play both days. Even Pinochhio can’t be that dumb to bench him now!!

  2. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. — Mark Twain

    Fazametrics says platoon often and stick Kendrick somewhere to keep him in the game. They seem to know fazametrics works for sure and it’s just not so IMHO.

  3. For the fun of it more than the practicality of it, here is how I would try to get Mike Trout.

    Take on Pujols contract below and include him in a three team trade.
    2016 Contract details by year 36 $25,000,000
    2017 Contract details by year 37 $26,000,000
    2018 Contract details by year 38 $27,000,000
    2019 Contract details by year 39 $28,000,000
    2020 Contract details by year 40 $29,000,000

    Take on all of Mike Trout’s contract below:
    2016 Contract details by year 24 $16,083,333
    2017 Contract details by year 25 $20,083,333
    2018 Contract details by year 26 $34,083,333
    2019 Contract details by year 27 $34,083,333
    2020 Contract details by year 28 $34,083,333

    Trade Pujols to the Yankees for Miller and give the Yankees $9,000,000 per year for the life of Pujols contract.

    Trade Puig to Angels and assume he would play CF for them. That would make Puig happy.

    Angels also need a left fielder. Try to make that player Crawford and pay all but $1M of his contract annually. Also send SVS to take Pujols place and platoon with Crawford as needed. Toss in Kendrick as a sweetner.

    They need pitchers as well. The Dodgers have already made Moreno listen by taking about $50M of payroll off his bottom line so pitchers would only be Bolsinger, McCarthy, and Wood.

    1. My head hurts.

      So the Yankees lose Miller and now have 4 old expensive designated hitters and the Angels lose Trout but get…. Crawford, Kendrick and 3 pitchers that aren’t very good? What am I missing? I’m sure it makes sense, but after reading chili’s posts regarding the rotation I fear I can’t count to 5 so, I’m sure it’s me that doesn’t get this one.

      1. 🙂 Badger, it’s not that you can’t count to 5 but it’s counting to 5 from one pitchers start to the next as per the proposed concept of giving Maeda an extra day off each and every time. It’s simple math that if one pitcher gets an extra day off in a 5 man rotation than someone else is shorted a day. That was my whole point. How would we like Wood or Kazmir or Stripling at times pitching on 3 days rest? They can try it but I don’t think the results would be good and we would end up relying on our bullpen even more so.

        1. Yeah, I did finally see where Wood had a short rest. And it does make sense. I addressed it. When Ryu gets back, go to a 6 man or just insert Bolsinger now and then. We got a load of starters hanging around, including Urias and De Leon. I don’t think Maeda is going to last if he isn’t given time between starts. And I could say the same thing about Ryu.

          1. Agree. Would have to commit to a 6 man rotation to account for both Maeda and Ryu. IF those 2 can give you quality starts by pitching every 6th day then that would probably offset losing 2-3 starts from Kershaw but they could minimize that by bumping Kazmir or Wood at times or when enough off days are in play.

            In fact, I would keep Kershaw on a 5 day pitching rotation and everyone else would get 5, 6 or even 7 days off between starts. Now that might be the answer.

          2. Consensus. I love it when a plan comes together.

            You need to present it to the FAZantics. I’ll wait here.

          3. I’ve got to pass through the deadly poppy field and take on the flying monkeys…..

            Oh wait that’s to get to the wicked witch.

            To get to the FAZ, got to get them to open that 20′ tall golden door. The door knocker is at an height of which only Andre the Giant can reach. I’ll have to find a ladder but when I get in I’ll definitely see who’s behind the curtain. I’m guessing it’s McBrains, I mean McCourt.

          1. MJ, yes they could do that as well and just keep the 5 man rotation intact.

            The next concern would be rustiness. A damn if you do and damn if you don’t situation.

      2. Why not have one (or two) guys come out of the pen to pitch between those starts? Maybe that would keep them sharp and lessen our exposure to JP Blantcheraez.

      3. I’m mostly farting around. It doesn’t have to be the Yankees but the Dodgers would have to pay more of Pujols contract to move him and whoever they got in return could go directly to the Angels.

        If the Dodgers had an outfield of Thompson, Pederson, and Trout they could mix in Verdugo and Diaz as they would be set for many years.

        Remember Moreno is not going to think like a GM, he will think as an owner that has big contracts that are a drag.

        1. The Angels are a consistent 37,000+ draw at home. I would guesstimate 30,000 of those come to see Trout. The other 7,000 are fans of the visiting team. If they trade Trout I can’t help but wonder why anyone would go to their games. If they got some real stars back, or started winning, or both, they might still draw. Risky move.

          Blantcheraez. I like it. A combined ERA around 13. But a lot of strikeouts.

    2. Bum the other Dodger that lives with the kids, is Stripling.

      There house rule is that no visitors, can bring a phone into the house.

      I guess pictures are just not allowed, so there is no evidence!

    3. Bum, did you read Howard Cole’s piece on Forbes.com or is this your own idea? I’m pretty sure Moreno would want Pederson, but would the Yankees take Pujols? He’s a shadow of his Redbird self.

  4. Story out of Chicago that the White Sox are going to announce something big soon. I hope they take Puig. If we get 2 cents back, that is ok.

    1. Maybe we can throw in Turner as well and take Frazier off their hands. Oh wait, we could have had Frazier to begin with. We’re looking for something better than that. Howie and Kike to the rescue!

      1. “I would take Howie over Frazier any day!” – said no one.

        It may work out for us. I heard someone a while back say that Frazier was going down. And, coincidentally, I think the man who said it was named Howie. We got Thompson and he reminds me of Matt Kemp. That deal could go in the + column for FAZ.

        1. But Badger they have to be pretty smart, to get Greinke to the Dbacks, and bring MCCarthy over to the Dodgers, and make some people, think they are genius. Or is that just poof magic?

          1. I see your point.

            I think you have to be pretty smart to be a successful magician. No one ever accused David Copperfield of being a knucklehead.

  5. Las Vegas Mets took care of OKC again. Avilan got rocked. Again. .1 innings, 3 runs. Not good to lose to 3A rivals. Vegas has been good for a few years, and most of their hot shots have come through there. It would be nice to beat these better organizations.

  6. Puig obviously not a student of hitting philosophy, but Dodgers will not see a right fielder of his defensive talent for a long long time. Not saying he shouldn’t or will not be traded, but in FAZ metric scheme a run saved is = to a run created. I’m in on that. The talent in the outfield is in 2A right now, couple years away. Doubt if there are gonna be many trades this year and possibly next, unless it’s for prospects. FAZ wants to promote from Dodger farm. In this era of pitching dominance better to promote arms and defenders. That is what will get the Dodgers where we all want them to go.

    1. Since 1959

      Do you think we can connect Ted Williams head, to Puig’s body, and make him a very good lefthanded hitter?

  7. Oscar Turner does need to be moved down in the line up, but I would keep Agon batting fourth. Agone is producing, and doing that, with not many good pitches to hit. And it is because Turner is not hitting in front of him, and Puig is not hitting behind Agon.

    And I wouldn’t move Joc up to the second place in the line up. He isn’t hitting for an average, and he is a perfect eighth hitter. He can draw a walk very well. And he can swing from his heels, on the first two pitches he likes, and then cut down on his swing, when he has two strikes.

    And in this spot in the line up, Joc can continue to learn how to hit. If you move Joc up to second in the line up, he will be pitched much tougher, and he won’t give you the same results. And that was one of Mattingly’s big mistakes last year.

    And I would keep Thompson, lower in the line up, for the same reason. Maybe I would try Thompson batting fifth, but not higher then that. And if Puig doesn’t start hitting, before Ethier comes back, I don’t know what the Dodgers are going to do.

    Thompson may be playing rightfield, if Puig doesn’t start hitting. Because Puig hasn’t been hitting for a while now. And he isn’t getting on base either. It would be great if Puig could start hitting, because that would give the Dodgers, a really good outfield.

    But Puig and Turner, are not really hitting right now, and Turner needs to be put lower in the line up, where Puig is right now. And if Guerrero is allowed to come back, and he is hitting, he should fill in for Turner, when Turner is taking a day off.

    1. http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/lad/cat/onBasePct/los-angeles-dodgers

      I’m ok with Pederson batting second occasionally. He’s getting on and actually hitting .250. Maybe that’s because he’s hitting lower in the order but I’m sure he wants to hit higher. AJ would be my 8 hitter when he plays, which isn’t often. Maybe move Joc up then? Give him a taste, it might motivate him. Thompson can hit 5th for me. Grandal, Kendrick, Turner, Crawford, all hit 7th.

      Howie now hitting his weight. That’s a positive. Took him a while to get there.

      The stat sheet shows we have some decent OBP guys on this team. What we don’t have is guys to drive them in. Even in the glorious 5-1 Kershaw win it may have gone unnoticed by some that we were 0fer WRISP. That problem will sink this team if it keeps up.

      1. Badger
        You just wrote the Dodgers main problem. There is not enough good hitters, to bat in the heart of the order!

  8. There are a lot of options. However, we need to figure out our 8 best players and play them every night. Right now Kike is not getting any playing time. He is going to go backward. I would like to see Kike play LF more and Thompson play more RF. Later you can platoon Either and Kike in LF. I would leave the infield alone right now.

    1. W, the way I read that it said “Still need a RH thumper. Badger would make a huge difference.”

      How can I argue the logic that isn’t there?

      1. Got you lined up for a job in the Front Office where you can crunch a few numbers for the Sabermetric guys.

        You’d enjoy that.

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