The Dodgers Must Improve Their Situational Hitting in 2016

We’ve discussed the importance of good base running and speed in the Dodger’s lineup. Now we’re going to discuss an equally important aspect of a well balanced lineup. That is the art of situational hitting. Some call it timely hitting, and some call it clutch hitting. Whatever you want to call it the skill of hitting with runners in scoring position is extremely paramount to a winning ball club. The whole point of a good offensive approach is to score runners once you get them on base and into scoring position.

Last season the Dodgers took a huge step back in this category. Not only did they take a big dip, but they plummeted to the bottom of all of MLB in situational hitting. For whatever reason, the Dodgers just could not get runners home unless they were trotting around the bases after hitting a home run.

The 2014 Dodgers had a more well rounded offensive team. This explains why they scored more runs. As a matter of fact, those 2014 Dodgers were the best in baseball in hitting with runners in scoring position. The 2015 Dodgers fell to 22 out of the 30 MLB clubs. That is a large drop-off from the previous season. Check out the numbers below as we compare the 14 Dodgers to the 15 Dodgers in this ever critical category.

2014 stats

RK Team R H HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP OPS
1 Los Angeles Dodgers 575 420 42 547 184 341 .286 .364 .804
2 Detroit Tigers 579 393 37 554 161 293 .282 .348 .769
3 Colorado Rockies 532 373 37 500 147 304 .277 .343 .777
4 Kansas City Royals 547 372 29 504 133 260 .271 .332 .732
5 Baltimore Orioles 467 322 46 443 125 275 .268 .337 .772
6 Los Angeles Angels 583 374 34 544 174 350 .268 .345 .757
7 San Francisco Giants 510 348 29 482 159 313 .267 .340 .734
8 Miami Marlins 494 348 31 466 183 365 .266 .351 .744
9 Seattle Mariners 468 317 31 438 123 298 .262 .328 .739
10 Cleveland Indians 511 337 38 488 150 279 .258 .329 .736
11 Oakland Athletics 550 349 37 510 193 277 .258 .348 .749
12 Milwaukee Brewers 478 320 26 447 134 262 .257 .331 .725
13 St. Louis Cardinals 482 334 22 450 155 270 .254 .336 .701
14 New York Yankees 463 319 24 423 140 271 .253 .325 .692
15 Chicago White Sox 492 323 39 457 156 322 .252 .334 .729
16 Minnesota Twins 571 359 27 532 208 362 .250 .343 .730
17 Toronto Blue Jays 517 329 44 487 149 290 .250 .321 .725
18 Pittsburgh Pirates 495 341 30 473 196 321 .249 .345 .716
19 Texas Rangers 485 316 18 447 154 289 .245 .322 .670
20 Philadelphia Phillies 485 323 35 454 169 339 .245 .329 .706
21 Cincinnati Reds 447 302 34 417 129 277 .245 .316 .700
22 New York Mets 492 322 44 467 186 325 .244 .334 .731
23 Washington Nationals 495 333 27 449 186 328 .242 .334 .700
24 Tampa Bay Rays 472 318 27 450 183 300 .241 .334 .683
25 Arizona Diamondbacks 463 316 27 425 127 297 .241 .305 .661
26 Houston Astros 449 296 36 419 137 346 .240 .315 .689
27 Boston Red Sox 487 310 31 456 163 322 .237 .320 .685
28 Atlanta Braves 424 291 26 399 164 305 .236 .325 .680
29 Chicago Cubs 414 275 25 392 144 355 .223 .303 .644
30 San Diego Padres 410 262 20 376 156 285 .220 .308 .636

2015 stats

RK Team R H HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP OPS
1 Toronto Blue Jays 634 388 52 597 171 282 .286 .359 .839
2 Kansas City Royals 547 370 33 518 133 213 .281 .347 .772
3 Minnesota Twins 524 365 36 491 148 320 .280 .352 .791
4 Colorado Rockies 538 359 51 505 139 303 .279 .343 .810
5 San Francisco Giants 537 387 34 506 162 304 .277 .352 .777
6 Baltimore Orioles 476 324 47 453 123 281 .276 .343 .796
7 Pittsburgh Pirates 545 372 36 511 186 336 .272 .361 .775
8 Boston Red Sox 547 370 36 510 158 284 .271 .340 .761
9 Milwaukee Brewers 484 334 33 458 139 312 .268 .341 .753
10 Detroit Tigers 520 354 43 494 155 309 .265 .339 .768
11 Atlanta Braves 464 337 25 440 160 259 .263 .343 .727
12 San Diego Padres 474 323 31 449 135 320 .259 .325 .726
13 New York Yankees 557 326 62 531 179 290 .256 .341 .806
14 Oakland Athletics 519 353 36 488 150 294 .256 .326 .732
15 Los Angeles Angels 461 285 33 425 153 259 .253 .340 .731
16 Chicago White Sox 466 319 27 443 143 296 .252 .332 .704
17 Arizona Diamondbacks 545 353 36 508 184 376 .252 .330 .726
18 New York Mets 476 319 32 450 176 303 .252 .344 .736
19 Texas Rangers 532 326 28 492 180 283 .251 .342 .713
20 Washington Nationals 502 322 37 465 166 305 .250 .331 .722
21 Cleveland Indians 519 326 38 492 192 281 .249 .340 .737
22 Los Angeles Dodgers 447 308 37 422 165 305 .249 .336 .730
23 Miami Marlins 474 324 28 438 127 284 .246 .311 .675
24 Houston Astros 494 298 54 460 152 330 .244 .327 .759
25 Tampa Bay Rays 453 309 31 425 162 331 .244 .329 .693
26 Philadelphia Phillies 490 318 42 454 125 321 .244 .313 .719
27 St. Louis Cardinals 464 320 26 440 166 343 .242 .326 .683
28 Chicago Cubs 487 320 37 458 206 404 .236 .338 .714
29 Seattle Mariners 441 301 38 410 153 344 .231 .309 .685
30 Cincinnati Reds 452 288 30 426 168 324 .217 .305 .655

It’s almost hard to believe such a large disparity from one season to the next could have happened, but it did. Let’s take a look once more quickly so you can gasp at this shocking turn of events.

2014 Dodgers with runners in scoring position –

1 Los Angeles Dodgers 575 420 81 10 42 547 184 341 .286 .364 .440 .804

 

2015 Dodgers with runners in scoring position –

22 Los Angeles Dodgers 447 308 62 3 37 422 165 305 .249 .336 .394 .730

Those 15 numbers are pretty ugly. That comes out to a -128 run differential from 2014 to 2015. So what could possibly explain this? You could say that maybe Andrew Friedman and the moneyball guys just don’t value situational hitting. After all the typical moneyball approach to offense is normally with home runs and walks. Indeed if you look at the way the Dodgers scored all season in 2015, it was mainly via the long ball and free passes. Get guys on base by drawing walks and then score them with home runs. We’ve seen this strategy before and it is never sustainable into October. Yes of course home runs are great, but you have to be able to score runs other ways and you certainly have to be able to get those clutch hits.

Taking a look at the best and worst Dodger hitters with runners in scoring position from last year, we can see that the top hitter is the guy that will no longer be there in 2016. Of course. Howie Kendrick and Enrique Hernandez were the best clutch hitters on the club. Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner were very good as well. Take a look at the top 5 hitters.

RK Player Pos    AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
1  Kendrick, H 2B 100 46 36 6 0 2 44 7 19 .360 .398 .480 .878
2  Hernandez, E LF 35 17 12 2 0 1 13 5 9 .343 .405 .486 .890
3  Turner 3B 90 38 29 6 0 5 41 10 20 .322 .404 .556 .959
4  Gonzalez, A 1B 125 47 37 9 0 5 55 23 12 .296 .405 .488 .893
5  Seager, C SS 34 11 10 2 0 1 13 4 10 .294 .368 .441 .810

This is why not bringing Kendrick back is such a big mistake. He was an assassin with runners in scoring position. For an offense that struggled to score runs, his production is difficult to replace. Now let’s take a look at the 5 worst clutch hitters last season.

RK Player Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
1  Crawford, C LF 45 15 11 5 0 1 12 3 15 .244 .292 .422 .714
2  Ellis, A C 51 15 12 2 0 2 15 10 18 .235 .361 .392 .753
3  Grandal, Y C 82 27 19 1 0 4 31 17 25 .232 .359 .390 .749
4  Puig, Y RF 83 17 18 4 1 4 28 7 24 .217 .275 .434 .708
5  Pederson, J CF 98 37 20 4 1 2 25 30 32 .204 .385 .327 .711

Joc and Puig have to be more productive in 2016 in order for the Dodgers to get far into October. Joc’s second half nosedive and Puig’s unproductive year killed the Dodgers offensively. With those guys ineffective the boys in blue had to rely on Kendrick, Gonzalez and Turner to knock in most of the runs. What was supposed to be a balanced attack ended up being exactly the opposite.

We can’t just blame Friedman for this though, that would be stupid. Don Mattingly and the coaching staff have to shoulder a lot of the blame for the lack of situational hitting. Big Mac especially because he was the hitting coach. His hitting philosophies might not have been as conducive with the club’s needs as we originally thought a couple of years ago when he was brought on. McGwire was a power guy anyways so it’s hard to see him preaching moving runners over, or going the other way.

Maybe he did though and I am wrong and the players just didn’t perform because they were trying too hard. Too much pull hitting and swinging for the fences can become like a bad habit. Once you start doing it it can become hard to stop.

The Dodgers were even worse when there were two outs and runners in scoring position. The Dodgers ranked 22 out of the 30 clubs. Take a look below.

RK Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
22 Los Angeles Dodgers 573 176 123 22 2 18 163 92 153 .215 .326 .354 .681

New hitting coach Turner Ward will need to change the hitting philosophy of the club. We’ve seen clubs in recent years like the Giants and Royals use a combination of good base running, speed, and situational hitting to win championships. Home runs are wonderful and they help, but you don’t have to rely solely on them if you want to score runs. The reason is because it is very difficult to score runs in the playoffs. Relying on just the home run to score in October will lead to being bounced out early. The ability to manufacture runs is a priceless skill.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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49 thoughts on “The Dodgers Must Improve Their Situational Hitting in 2016

  1. What some have said, me included, is that the first year with the Moneyball guys sucked. What others countered with was, “yeah but” …… then something about our minor league system being good.

    I’m trusting the new hitting instructors will take the same group of hitters and get some different results.

    1. Same hitting instructors. Mostly the same players, with Kendrick substituting for Hanley and Joc for Kemp. How could the front office have anything to do with it? Did they have a meeting or something?

      The biggest offenders above were Joc and Puig. Grandal shouldn’t have been playing hurt in August and September; that’s why his numbers are so bad. Maybe we were just lucky in 2014? But I think situational hitting is something that will have to be stressed and hopefully the new guys can get through to these players.

        1. MJ,

          That was a relatively small sample size, of about 115 at-bats. The 2014 club hit, and they hit well. Last year’s club only were able to hit home runs and normally with the bases empty.

    2. You definitely have more faith in the farm than I do. So many young players never make it that I wait until they are knocking on the door for the ML, at the AAA level before considering them MLB ready. Even then you get guys like Joc who I believe will never make it. I also have absolutely no faith in the FO as they have made too many mistakes already which I know you are aware. They do not believe in using the FA market and it has cost the Dodgers a chance at the World Series in my opinion. Bottom line, I am not convinced the new hitting intructors will make that big of difference but I know you have to have faith in something. Just a rant I guess.

  2. I think the constant change in line ups, and line ups based on the quote right platoon, was a big factor, why this team had trouble hitting in the clutch. And Mattingly only basing platoons on righy lefty, was another factor, that players didn’t hit in the clutch. For example, Mattingly would give Turner days off, when a righty pitcher, was pitching, even though last year, Turner hit much better against right handed pitchers. As many here have said, there are reverse platoon numbers, with certain players. If you look at the players with the best numbers hitting in the clutch, except Kike, these players were not only probably the Dodgers best hitters, they all played more regularly then the other players listed, except Joc, and Grandal, who was hurt. And this constant change in line ups, wasn’t because of the front office. Even the A’s and the Rays, didn’t have this constant change in line ups. There was not a single team, that was close, to having the constant change in line ups, that the Dodgers had, not even close! I think that Friedman uses saber metrics more as a tool, not as the all encompassing way to run a team, and Friedman has said this, on more then one occasion. And the fact that under Friedman, Maddan would bunt, and use other tools, that are not the saber metric way, shows that Friedman doesn’t only practice saber metrics. I just think, that Mattingly thought that the front office, wanted this constant change in line ups, and constant platoons, but I can’t explain why Mattingly’s platoons, we’re not always based on the right numbers. I am just glad that the Marlin’s owner, got the word out, that he wanted Mattingly to be his new manager, or we would be stuck with Mattingly, for one more year. Just the fact that Mattingly is gone, gives me more hope this year.

    1. Concur

      I don’t think Maytingly understood saber metrics or how to use them. He latched onto the righty/lefty thing and used it thinking that was saber metrics.

      I think this year will be a step forward as Roberts will likely apply saber metrics more intuitively.

  3. I have silently wondered, this past season, about Grandal.

    It was said, he was injured the 2nd half of the season. But he still kept on playing most of the time. And he continued hitting poorly.

    Question: was it because of injury? OR, did major league pitching also CATCH UP WITH HIM LIKE IT DID PETERSON ??? Or, maybe some of both???

    1. Good question Roger. He did get concussed, so maybe that has something to do with it. But as a catcher, you are going to get thumped on a regular basis. You need tough, durable Wepner-like guys back there. If he can’t the pounding, what will the Dodgers do with him?

      It wasn’t the same guys in ’15. We had changes all over the field. Most didn’t really work – in my opinion. We won as many as we did because of our 1 & 2 starters. After them we were about a .500 team. Also as I recall the first of June we were at .600 and finished the year at .568. Many of us knew what was needed to close the deal, and it just didn’t get done. I lay that on management. The .500 ball was played by the guys FAZ chose to put on the mound, in the bullpen and out on the field. They even increased payroll to near $300 million and for what? To better the farm system? There has to be a more efficient way of doing that – doesn’t there?

      1. I wonder what other teams’ winning percentage were with their 3 through 5 starters.

        I am still amazed Grandal was allowed to go 2 for his last 84 ABs. If he were hurt that badly, why not have surgery immediately? If he wasn’t hurting that badly that doesn’t bode well for 2016.

        Grandal was maybe top 5 catcher in the first half. I think he might be a player that get hurt a lot. I would trade him to the Cubs for Kyle Schwarber and include others as needed. I would like to have Baez from the Cubs as well for second base.

        1. Dream on, Bum! About Grandal: I was reading Cal Ripken Sr’s bio, and he was a top catching prospect until taking successive foul balls off the shoulder. It took him several years to recover. Of course, that was before modern surgical techniques, but it makes you wonder.

    2. Roger I wonder how Grandal will hit this year, especially with power, with the injury he had, and surgery he had. On the Dodger show, they said that Grandal had the same surgery that Kemp had, and that messed with Kemp’s power, especially in his first year back. I know Grandal hurt his non throwing side, so that may be different, because Grandal bats left handed most of the time, but will this injury take away his power at least, this year.

      1. Hi MJ, I might be by myself but I have come to thinking there’s a possibility that Kemp might of skated the use of PED’s. In a couple other ways than just hitting he’s nowhere near the player of 2011. Take hitting out of consideration and Kemp’s play has fallen even further than Braun’s has. Hope I’m wrong but I wouldn’t place a bet at either end. Glad that era came to an end as now we have a clearer lens on we’re able to judge these guys. My apologies to Matt if I’m wrongly talking smut, but how can I be to blame for what PED’s did to that lens?

        1. Quasi hi, remember that Grandal was caught doing some type of steroid. I do like Grandal, and I am hoping his injury and sugery, does not effect his power. I didn’t think he should have been played, after he got hurt, and obviously that affected his hitting. And playing Grandal, wasn’t doing the best thing for Grandal, or the Dodgers, especially with the fact that AJ was hitting pretty well.

  4. Scott, great points. I liked reading you on DTalk. I am happy you are continuing on.

    I totally agree. Hopefully, Roberts can make a difference in our situational hitting and base running..
    God knows we need alot of help in both areas..

  5. Even in the best years, this team has struggled for runs. “Runs scored” could mean a lot of things. How about a 10-1 win? The team has a hard time winning 1 run games. Frankly, I think the team believes it is a pitching team, not a hitting team. Goes back to the 60’s. The problem is that it is not that either. I love pitching and defense, but it looks like the 2016 team may be short on both counts, compared to last year. 66 is the key. Will he lead off? His stats are best in the leadoff role, but there is no production there. He has to learn, among many other things, to be a run producer in the 3-4-5 spots. There was a good story by Peter Gammons about the evolution of bullpens in the game. Bullpens are relatively cheap, and more teams are making that investment rather in starting pitching, which is hard to come by and very expensive.

    1. It looks like if you don’t have good starting pitching, you better have a shut down bullpen. And I don’t believe the Dodgers have the latter, and I am hoping that the Dodger’s starting pitching, will be better then expected. If Ryu is healthy, and Madea proves to be more then a back end starter, the Dodger’s starting pitching, will be much better, then expected.

  6. Hi guys, Scott, may I make a suggestion that would aid a feeble mind such as the one I possess, is where using comparative stats from one year to the next it would be helpful if those were side by side rather than stacked. I’m handicapped mentally. Well, in other ways as too, but my brain stands on top the list of my impairments.
    Greetings friends! I just discovered Scott’s new launch this morning while checking with hopes Mark had returned. Thanks Scott for taking the keys from Mark and making my disappointment minimal that his site is past. I hope I’m welcome here.

  7. I am not sure what to believe about the 2014 Dodgers being the best team in baseball hitting with RISP. The reason is say that, is if my memory serves me correctly, the 2014 Dodgers didn’t win a game when trailing after 7 innings. Last years team won many of those.

    See, looking at RISP batting average, you have to realize that the situation skews the actual value of that RISP BA. For example: Batter A is up 4 times in a game:

    1st AB – 2 RISP with his team ahead by 2 runs and he hits a single.
    2nd AB – 2 RISP with his team ahead by 4 runs and he hits a double.
    3rd AB – 2 RISP with his team tied and he strikes out.
    4th AB- 2 RISP with his team down by 3 runs and he strikes out.

    Player B:

    1st AB – 2 RISP with his team ahead by 2 runs and he strikes out.
    2nd AB – 2 RISP with his team ahead by 4 runs and he grounds out.
    3rd AB – 2 RISP with his team tied and he flies out.
    4th AB- 2 RISP with his team down by 3 runs and he homers.

    Player A has a .500 BA with RISP
    Player B only has a .250 BA with RISP

    Which one is the most clutch?

  8. Wow! What a difference a week makes. Mark, go write that book!

    I have one word for today’s topic = DEPENDS. Most of the 2015 LAD players were choke artists who wet their pants daily while covering up the evidence with their new patented multi-layered skin colored diapers.

      1. Took a week off! Big changes. All I want from a training staff is people who understand ROM and how it prevents injuries and increases arm speed. Crawford’s arm could become average with an off season of ROM activities.

  9. Your old boss proclaimed how last years offense was going to be so much better than the year before! Most of us disagreed with the CEO 🙂

  10. Now it’s late in the afternoon so hunger is setting in, but I have a question about those charts. I think they are sorted by BA with runners in scoring position. So the Dodgers were kings of BA w/RISP in 2014. But here is my question. If you took all the RISP the Dodgers had and compared that to what we actually did score wasn’t the situation worse than being in 22 place last year. It’s irrelevant now, just thought we were at the bottom.

    The new regime preaches get on base and wait? Boring baseball!

  11. Hi everyone. Glad so many of us are back together on this site. Do you think we could agree on calling 2016 ……the New Dodgers. Here’s my reasoning on this idea. The Management team seems to have finally been able to put their mark on the franchise by completely revamping the major league and minor league teams with new managers, coaches and training staff and the scouting systems have also undergone a total reorganization. They have a plan, though we may not all agree on what it is or if it will work, and it is being implemented. Now, it is really the new Dodgers with a new direction, philosophy and attitude. Everything now is the way that FAZ wants it to be and there is no one in the organizational structure that is not a FAZ approved member. Now, and not before now, they are fully in control and we can hold them accountable for the way that the Dodgers’ organization works. DAY 1 of the New Dodgers/ Dodgers 2016 is now. I, for one, like where the organization is now and like where I feel the organization is heading, but I am planning to assess the ongoing progress as fairly and honestly as I can. What do you all think of calling this Ground Zero of the new era?

    1. Denny I think everyone can agree on that, since you mentioned accountability. Did you see that the Rockies traded Dickerson for McGee, from the Rays? The Dodgers were suppose to be looking at McGee. It is odd to me, that the Rockies gave away, one of there best players, for a relief pitcher.

        1. Bums I knew about Para, but there were a couple of teams, that were talking to the Rockies, and the Cardinals were one of those teams, but the Rays were never mentioned.

    2. The FAZ Dodgers will be the 2018 Dodgers due to number of young players who have been trained in the new Dodgers way of playing baseball on that team.

      Older dogs that have a harder time learning new tricks will be gone.

  12. You have to notice that Saberguys have historically relied on the 3 R HR to win and that their teams haven’t historically done well in the post-season. That being said, Friedman et al largely inherited last year’s roster so I don’t think that the players on the roster necessarily reflect the new management’s philosophy. Whether they hit differently in ’15 than in ’14 because of the front office with the same game managers and hitting coaches is hard to say but seems unlikely.

    As to ’16 roster construction, we have some all or nothing hitters like Joc and some old guys like Utley who can’t hit any more. Grandal tore his left shoulder labrum like Kemp did so I don’t expect that he will re-gain his power right-handed (his front shoulder) for a couple of years. Seager will be an upgrade over Rollins and Utley/Kike will likely be worse than Howie was last year.

    I agree with others who have said that the team’s prospects in ’16 are based on a lot of “what ifs” – we hope that Joc is the first half guy and not the second half; we hope that Puig can return to ’13 or ’14 levels of production; we hope that Grandal and Turner recover from last year’s surgeries (both of which were major and neither of which is a sure thing); we hope that Seager doesn’t have major growing pains or an injury since we don’t have a backup SS; we hope that Ethier plays as well this year as he did last year and not like he did in ’14…

    On paper, this team could be really explosive offensively or could really stink. It’s hard to project given all of the “what ifs”.

  13. While I wonder just what ‘the shredder’ is I find it pretty interesting that ‘the shredder’ substantiates the same as my eyes that Turner is in the top 5 third basemen. Sometimes stats vs eyes and heart equal the same. However, screw the intellect and I’ll just listen to the music.

  14. Freidman was hired in October of ’14. He had that winter and all of ’15 to do what he wanted. He made several changes in the lineup right away. If keeping Mattingly was not his decision then he was not really the GM because the GM hires who he wants to run his show. If it was his decision then why wasn’t Maddon brought in? They also, with intent, avoided the big move at the deadline. One by one looking at their moves, from Mattingly to Latos, from Gordon to McCarthy, to the 300+ roster moves made at Albuquerque this team has their fingerprints all over it. It didn’t work in ’15. And now we go into ’16 with question marks all over the field and a rookie manager in the dugout. With the cards that are currently showing I check my bet.

    1. Expected this type of response from you, Badger. If we can all agree on a common point in time for full reign of FAZ to come to fruition then we could eliminate a lot of arguments that simply occur because two or more parties are trying to C&C an issue while not looking at the same point in time. Ends up being like trying to compare apple to oranges. If were to set January 1, 2016 as this point, then we would all have a common point of reference for discussion. I’m not married to this date, but it’s easy to recall and to justify as I did in last post. Scott, what’s your opinion on this as site lead?

    2. Badger the majority Dodger owner wanted to give Mattingly another year, that is why Friedman wasn’t able to bring Maddan to the Dodgers. Mattingly got in good, with the right person.

  15. Denny,

    This has been explained ad nauseum to Badger and others but for some reason he doesn’t understand. Friedman is not the GM – he’s the President of Baseball Operations and in his case he hires the manager. For whatever reason (the Rays asked MLB to file tampering charges against the Cubs for hiring Maddon – if Friedman had hired Maddon, it would have looked a lot worse), when Andrew was hired, Kasten asked him to keep Mattingly at least one year and he did. He took the job knowing that. If Maddon had been brought in, there’s a strong possibility tampering charges could have been filed, but maybe it was just that Kasten had promised Mattingly another year.

    I think keeping Mattingly proved to be a bad decision. To describe the Gordon trade and the McCarthy signing as a failure is absurd and deserves no further comment. That’s a very myopic view. Obviously, Latos and Johnson were failures, but I have told everyone three things for quite some time:

    1. “The Trade” was horrible;
    2. The Dodgers would not trade their top prospects; and
    3. Payroll had to come down in 2016.

    Friedman could have traded Seager, Holmes, De Leon, Verdugo and Holmes for Tulo, Price and Hamels and maybe won last year… or maybe not! There are no guarantees. Ask Alex Anthopoulos. They could have gutted the minor league system for nothing.

    But as I predicted, they were loathe to trade the top prospects and now the future is bright and sustainable. Anyone who says the Dodgers didn’t try and win last year needs medication. They spent $300 million to try and win WITHOUT trading their top prospects. It did not work, but I agreed with it then and I agree with it now.

    In about 2 years or so, the D-Bags and Red Sox will rue the day they signed Greinke and Price. What Friedman is doing is logical, practical and sustainable. Even the Joe Blanton signing makes sense – low risk – high reward! I think Blanton will be very good or very bad. I don’t see a middle ground. The same is true with Beachy. Everything doesn’t work, unless you are on that magical run.

    The management and coaching of the Dodgers has gotten younger and more enthusiastic. The farm is loaded and A2Z is not stopping building it. They are building a sustainable powerhouse. If Friedman had did it the way many of you want, maybe they would have won last year, but the Dodger’s future would have been down the toilet.

    Personally, I like the Dodgers prospects this year. Usually, the difference between winning and losing is not ONE BIG THING, but rather 25 little things.

    Consider these things:

    1. Just having a new attitude can change everything – Dave Roberts brings something the Dodgers need;
    2. Our new hitting coach was very successful with the D-Bags;
    3. We have a number of Rookies ready to step up; but
    4. Most of all, the Dodgers have flexibility! They can make moves now that other teams can’t.

    Watch and Learn!

    1. And nobody here has changed their minds, nor their attack style. Those that see it differently need medication? The only thing missing is the name calling.

      I’ve said it many times. I’m willing to wait and see. Maybe the best move these FAZ guys have made so far is the coaching staff. Maybe Roberts is Lasorda II. Maybe Pederson. Maybe Maeda. Maybe Utley. Maybe Puig. Maybe Ryu. Maybe McCarthy. Maybe Grandal. Maybe Crawford. Maybe the bullpen. Maybe the prospects.

      Maybe. We’ll see soon enough. I’m hopeful. But obviously I have my doubts. Until they actually improve, the Dodgers are not improved. Blowing hard doesn’t change that.

  16. BTW, for those who like splitting hairs, Presidenr of Baseball Operations really means General Manager:

    http://boston.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2015/08/24/what-does-president-of-baseball-operations-mean-anyway/

    It’s gotten busy at the top. Hope they don’t trip over each other. It was Friedman’s call to get a new manager. If Kasten stepped in and said no, I haven’t read that. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, just means I believe it was Freidman’s call. Not insisting on getting Maddon here was, in my opinion, a mistake by the new management team. It was their first and it was yooge.

    And I don’t believe the Red Sox or the Diamondbacks will rue giving their fans hope. It takes courage to go for it. I admire those with courage.

    1. Badger I don’t want a site where everyone says the same thing, or agree, that would be boring. And we all learn something from all of the different views, that everyone brings.

  17. I may be way off base with this, but I found the Rays/Rox trade interesting & wondered if it may be a precursor to a further trade involving McGee and ourselves, especially as we freed up
    a space on the 40 man roster by DFA’ing Beachy.
    Why the need to do that?

    1. Watford I was thinking that to, but not necessarily with the Dodgers, that is a good point. I thought it was odd, because I thought McGee was a closer, and why would the Rockies need a quality closer, since they are not expected to be that good this year.

  18. I hadn’t thought of that W. I saw the announcement and thought the Rockies just improved their bullpen with a piece most of us wanted. Do you think it would be easier to trade within our own Division? Wouldn’t Fried Zaidi have an inside with the Rays?

    Maybe the Watch and Learn! overlord can explain it to us medicated’s.

  19. It is odd, because you don’t see teams trade a good everyday player, for a bullpen piece. I know there was also an exchange of a couple Of minor league pitchers, so maybe the Rockies got a decent starting pitching prospect from the Rays.

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