The Three Automatic Outs of The Dodger Lineup

Enrique Hernandez Strikes out

It doesn’t take a scientist or a forensic expert to figure out that three Dodger batters are stinking up the lineup. Three Dodgers are terrible hitters and having them in the lineup at the same time let alone hitting back-to-back-to-back is dooming the Dodgers to certain defeat over the last couple of weeks. Can you guess which three Dodgers I am talking about?

If you guessed Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Barnes, then you are correct. You’ve been paying attention to the lack of runs scored over the last two weeks or so. Good job. Now let’s get into what the Dodgers can do to mitigate the damage that these three horrendous hitters are doing to the lineup.

Before I get into it, let’s get a couple of things out of the way first. Number one, I understand that Corey Seager is out with a strained hamstring. He’ll be out for the next 6 weeks or so at least, maybe longer. I understand that the options at shortstop behind Seager are limited. Taylor and Hernandez are the primary backups if Seager can’t play shortstop. I get it.

I also understand that Taylor and Hernandez are both good defensive players. They’re both good gloves and they can play a number of positions while also providing power. If they’re used properly than they are just fine, as late inning defensive replacements and occasional pinch-hitters. However if they are in the lineup every day then there’s trouble.

For those of you about to argue with me about the three of them not being terrible hitters then don’t even start. The numbers and results speak otherwise. Let’s start with Taylor. I think he’s probably the best of the three, which doesn’t say much. I really like him, and I think his problems could be due to mechanical flaws in his swing and not getting enough playing time earlier in the season. That doesn’t matter however because he’s playing every day now and not figuring it out.

Chris Taylor – .218/.288/.383 (41 for 188) OPS+ 76 5 HR 24 RBI

As for Enrique Hernandez, well I’ve been telling everyone what a terrible hitter he’s been for years for as long as people will listen. Him becoming the favorite whipping boy of this site is a different story. Last year was a bit of a rebound for him, but this year he’s right back to his 2016 putrid .190 hitting ways. He might be even more useless at the plate in 2019. Surely he does have some power and prone to flashes of brilliance like his three home runs in the 2017 NLCS. But right now and for most of this season and the majority of his Dodger career he’s been an atrocious hitter. His batting and on base skills makes his presence in the Dodger lineup a liability.

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Enrique Hernandez – .201/.276/.376 (48 for 229) OPS+ 70 10 HR 33 RBI

Then there is Austin Barnes. Being one half of the catching duo means he has to play half the time. I get that. That doesn’t diminish the fact that Barnes has been one of the worst hitting catchers in baseball over the last two seasons. He’s had one good year in 2017, but otherwise he’s about as punch-less at the plate as an elderly woman.

Austin Barnes – .206/.314/.346 (28 for 136) OPS+ 75 4 HR 15 RBI

So what’s the solution you might ask? It may be a bit unorthodox, but it’s the only thing that can prevent these three guys from killing the Dodger’s offense. Here are my thoughts on the possible solutions. The best thing at this point is to either play Max Muncy at third, Justin Turner at short, and David Freese at second. Or you can put Freese at third, Turner at short, Muncy at second and Matt Beaty at first. On the days Joc doesn’t play left field you can have Taylor in left, but only on the days that Russell Martin catches. Otherwise you play Joc in left. Or if you don’t want Turner playing short, (he can) then put Taylor there and Muncy can play second with either Freese or Beaty at first. Keep Hernandez on the bench, and never play all three at once. Certainly don’t ever put those three consecutively in the Dodger order. Oh and for god’s sake stop batting Hernandez lead-off! He’s posted a .280 OBP! He doesn’t get on base.

Of the Dodger’s 15 games so far in the month of June, they’ve scored 3 runs or less in 10 of those 15 contests. In six of those games they’ve failed to score more than two runs. It’s not a coincidence that this happens to coincide with the above three mentioned being in the lineup all at once every game. It’s such a simple thing. You won’t score many runs if you put multiple automatic outs in your lineup. Stop putting terrible hitters in your lineup every day. Replace terrible hitters with good hitters. Rinse and repeat.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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13 thoughts on “The Three Automatic Outs of The Dodger Lineup

  1. If you have noitced, Turner is under strict orders to only jog on the basebaths because he has some leg issues, thus SS would be a terrible risk for him (and the Dodgers). I think the Dodgers have to stick with Taylor and Kinke at SS and take their lumps on offense. What they can do is not bat Taylor, Kinke and Barnes together, the Dodgers will have to be like farmers and “spread the shit around”.

    Taylor, Hernandez and Barnes is now going to be known as RUN THB

    1. True and as I said, having them back to back to back has hurt this offense as per the stats Scott gave here. But I have afeeling that Roberts won’t or cannot really alter this scenario anytime soon, or just not yet.

  2. Wow, RUN THB even got in on the act tonight. Everyone decided to become a hitter as the game wore on. Dammit, when is Bellinger and Muncy going to start hitting left handers, tee hee.

    writing this in 7th inning, I think a 9 run lead might be safe even with our bullpen, but you never know. And remember full gas cans could hurt some fans in the park (thank you MIchael for that sober warning)

  3. Wow… just amazing what this team can do when they are firing on all cylinders.

    Even the “Automatic Outs” contributed. There were still way too many RISP, but that is just a testament as to just how powerful this team is. A dismal 3-14 RISP, but still manage to bag 9 runs in the process. Kershaw looked like the old Kershaw we know. Even Kelly showed signs of improvement… still room for more work, but non-pressure situations are best for Kelly now, until he gets his act together. Floro was nasty last night…a batter’s nightmare.

    I think that sometimes micro-managing tends to put unnecessary pressure on the players to perform per their metrics, and also has a negative effect on their confidence, when benched. If you just let these players play they can do wonders.

    Too bad Muncy is not getting the recognition in the All-Star voting that he deserves. I think his versatility makes it tough…. sort of a “Jack of all Trades, A Master of None”. Because of this, I do not think he will make final vote. I hope he gets consideration for a reserve spot on the team.

    1. Muncy hits but his defensive abilities are downright offensive. Nice Lil’ League turn at 2B, he could have killed someone with that fling. Mucny has All-Star credentials at bat and single A ball credentials in the field.

      Floro working a wicked cut fast ball last night.

  4. True Blue,

    I think a bit rough on Mighty Muncy. Not his fault that he is thrown randomly at all 4 infield positions. If he just stayed at 1B he could be a lock for #2 first baseman. Definitely not a SS, and a so-so defenseman at 2B and 3B. Adequete job as a fill-in, occasionally. Offensively, just about a slam dunk for #1 or #2 first baseman.

    Floro’s pitches were movin’… almost impossible to get a bat on them, and hitting the corners

  5. I mentioned yesterday about these automatic outs and Scott here has it right on with who they are plus the pitcher making it 4 automatic outs in the lineup. Now one of the first things if it is possible to do is to NOT have CT 3 Kike and Barnes hitting back to back to back ahead of the pitcher. But with Seager out it does make it difficult to put them elsewhere. However, keep in mind that the Dodgers or for that matter NO team will win a WS with 3 to 4 automatic outs in it’s lineup.

  6. Oh, and one other possible solution for at least 1/3 of these Mendozas in the lineup is to replace Barnes with a guy who showed he just might be ready to be here everyday now and that’s Will Smith. I would bet that not a fan here would disagree with me that Smith should be here over Barnes.

  7. Scott, as far as to this what ya said:
    “. Oh and for god’s sake stop batting Hernandez lead-off! He’s posted a .280 OBP! He doesn’t get on base.”
    Tonight in game 3 of this series with SF, a LHP is going against us, and guess who Roberts will most likely bat lead-off spot ….if ya guessed Hernandez you are right on!

  8. Back home in Colorado. Got in about 1:30 this morning, So I missed all the fun last night. I totally agree about the 3 players Scott is talking about. Kike is a likeable guy, and last year he had a decent year coming off of a pretty disastrous 2018. He had a BA around .250, 21 dingers and played stellar defense. His defense is keeping him on the team. He occasionally does what he did last night and runs into one and does some damage. At this point in this season he is still trying to pull the ball all the time, and therefore his strikeout numbers are high as is his weak contact. His OBP in the lead off spot us abysmal. All you need to do is look up his splits and you can see the spots in the order where he is the most effective. And Paul is right on. Kike is leading off tonight against Pomeranz and with the Mad Bum going tomorrow, he will most likely be there again. Taylor is in the 5 hole. considering his power fall off, that makes no sense either. Garlick is hitting 8th and playing LF. Of course all of this will mean nothing when Seager and Pollock are back.

  9. Hey Scott, nice reverse karma on Taylor, keep it up. I can hardly wait for your next blog, lol.

  10. Dodgers “pummel” Pomeranz…. payback for their last meeting. The potent Dodger offense tallies 9 more runs, and the entire offense gets into the act, except for Kiké Mendoza. I guess CT3 got the “Mendoza Memo”, Kiké did not. DR continues to play the Lefty Lineup card. He sits Pederson again, and puts “0”-fer Kiké in at leadoff. Also elects to sit Muncy. Really made no difference this time as Pomeranz showed his true colors today.

    Hill started out fine, but had to leave after the 1st inning with forearm problems. Almost thought it was a blister flair up. Bullpen had to pick up the pieces, and did a fairly decent job. I guess they thrive in those “no pressure” situations, similar to the last game. All we can hope is that Hill will be fine. If he goes down, the Dodgers still have Urias or Strips waiting in the wings.

    Urias gets a spot start against the “Bum”. Muncy better play tomorrow. Should be a good one. Lock the series win, Dodgers!

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