The Dodgers have had a dynamic offense so far this spring. Once again the boys in blue are displaying top notch levels of power and on base abilities. This time however their situational hitting and base running seem to be much improved. The club is in the top ten in almost every category this spring. The Dodger batters are definitely flexing their muscles this Cactus League season.
The Dodgers lost to the White Sox 8-6 on Tuesday afternoon, despite slugging four more home runs. Andre Ethier slugged a two-run home run off of Jose Quintana in the third frame. Enrique Hernandez added his first solo shot of the spring, and Austin Barnes (who has been raking the ball so far) blasted his fourth home run of the Cactus League season which was a two-run shot off of left hander Dan Jennings in the eighth inning.
The Dodgers rank fifth in home runs with 21 total. Three Dodgers have hit three or more home runs this spring. Austin Barnes, and infielder Rob Segedin have each hit four to lead the club. Scott Van Slyke has hit three. Eight other Dodgers have hit at least one round tripper. The Dodgers are tied for fifth in runs batted in (83), fourth in slugging percentage (.503), and third in OPS (.865). The Dodgers are also fourth in on base percentage with a .362 OBP and 49 walks drawn. Overall the Dodgers have slashed .293/.362/.503 through 14 games and 485 at-bats.
The Dodger batters are not only hitting for power, they are also getting on base. The Dodgers rank fourth in MLB with 90 runs scored this spring. The club has 142 hits and 53 extra-base hits. Once again they are in the top ten in both of those categories.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Dodger’s offense has been their improvement in base running and situational hitting. The Dodgers are 12 for 15 in stolen bases this spring, which ranks them in the top ten. I have also noticed (in the few games I have been able to watch) that the club is much more aggressive on the base paths. That could be attributed to new manager Dave Robert’s philosophy of strong fundamentals and aggressive base running. Remember Roberts was a very good base stealer as a player and I think his hardnosed style is starting to rub off on the players.
What’s even more impressive has been the club’s clutch hitting. The Dodgers are slashing .277/.383/.462 and have driven home 55 runs with runners in scoring position. They have also scored 62 runs which rank them thirteenth in the majors. The Dodgers are also batting .311 against left handed pitching.
I know it’s only spring training and the Dodgers have played in just 14 exhibition games. However the club has been showing some mettle offensively. I already see an improvement over last year’s club in several key areas they struggled in throughout 2015. The club had huge trouble with base running, situational hitting, and hitting left handed pitching. They may be already ahead of last year’s club in multiple areas. I hope this beefy offense can continue to produce when the games actually count.