Monday, April 15, 2024
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Dodgers Need Possible Solutions, Not Empty Excuses

To say the Dodgers are struggling these days is an understatement. They’re 5-10 in June, have dropped to third place in the National League West Standings and just got destroyed at home by their arch rival Giants. Those same Giants are now ahead of them in the standings. The Bullpen is a disaster, they have a small army of pitchers on the injured list and the rookies are not performing up to expectations. We’ve got a problem guys.

Management continues to give no possible solutions. Manager Dave Roberts makes empty excuses and cliché remarks about execution. Yeah we know the Dodgers have to “be better”. Nobody wants to hear that right now. How about telling us what you plan to do to stop this month long suck? Here’s what I would do to make the Dodgers a little better in the short term. The main problem is the horrible bullpen. The Dodgers have the worst pen in the majors. The relievers are below average, have no command and give up a boatload of home runs. There are two things they can do to make it better. Addition by subtraction, and move a couple of starters into the bullpen.

If Julio Urias is expected back at the end of the month, the Dodgers will have a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Urias, rookies Bobby Miller, Emmet Sheehan and Tony Gonsolin. I would move Gonsolin, and call back Michael Grove into the bullpen. Gonsolin can be a high leverage late innings guy. They can do the same with Dustin May if he ever returns this season. Both of them are good pitchers with great stuff but they can’t stay healthy. Neither of them are likely to have long careers in the majors. Both are constantly hurt. Gonsolin especially is fragile with a brittle body. It’s a huge red flag that pitchers this young have already spent this much time on the injured list. Gonzo can barely stay healthy between starts. Gonsolin has had just one season where he tossed more than 55 innings (130 in 2022) and May has never pitched more than 56 frames in the majors. If you can’t pitch more than 60 innings in a season then you are not a starting pitcher, I’m sorry to break it to you.

So let those guys excel as late inning relievers. They have the stuff. Grove can be a bulk/long man/mop-up guy. You DFA three pitchers to make room. Yency Almonte is not a major league pitcher in any way whatsoever. I would actually give him his unconditional release and get him out of the organization. Let another team take a flyer. DFA Nick Robertson, Shelby Miller, and send Alex Vesia back to Oklahoma City. I like Vesia and he’s been a good pitcher in the past. Perhaps his career can still be salvaged with some work in a low pressure environment. The other guys need to go.

You make Evan Phillips your full time closer, and if Daniel Hudson comes back, you have Gonsolin, Hudson and Graterol as your primary high leverage relievers. Caleb Ferguson can be the lefty matchup specialist, and here’s hoping Victor Gonzalez can show the Dodgers anything that resembles actual pitching. Call up Landon Knack to fill the fifth rotation spot. That hopefully gets them to the trade deadline and the front office goes out and picks up two effective relievers and a starter. Don’t tell me nobody is available.

Now for the bats. Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Will Smith are keeping this team afloat. Freeman is exactly the kind of player the Dodgers need to find. He’s never injured. He has a strong athletic body. Smith is one of the best catchers in baseball. Yes I know he’s a Friedman draft pick. (Kudos to Andrew for drafting him). What I love best about Smith is his ability to hit with runners in scoring position. I’m worried that he’s going to wear down because Austin Barnes is so pathetic as a hitter. I appreciate his base hit in game 6 of the 2020 World Series and his solid defense, but the Dodgers can do better than a .108 hitting backup catcher.

Mookie Betts is one of the best players in baseball, but can be a bit streaky sometimes. Here’s what I would do to better the Dodger lineup. Move Mookie permanently to shortstop. Look, Miguel Rojas is atrocious. He’s a worthless hitter and can’t go more than 3 or 4 games in a row without getting hurt. Rojas is a defensive replacement, so use him as such.

I would either send Vargas back to OKC, or send him to the bench. When Max Muncy comes back from the injured list you can move him to second, and let Michael Busch play third. In the outfield, with Mookie at short for the foreseeable future, Jason Heyward can play right field and David Peralta plays left. Both of the vets have hit better than any of the rookies this year. Heyward can still crank the long ball and Peralta has been well. Peralta has also been respectable defensively. I can’t believe I’m even saying this. The Dodgers can keep James Outman at center for now. That leaves Chris Taylor, Barnes, Rojas, and Jonny Deluca on the bench. All of this is health assuming of course.

The Dodgers can’t afford to sit around and wait for some of these guys to magically figure things out. The trade deadline is still 6 weeks away. Let’s make some adjustments, or the Dodgers will end up being buried in the standings and will have to listen to fans like me rage post into the winter.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

29 thoughts on “Dodgers Need Possible Solutions, Not Empty Excuses

  1. Well, Dodgers managed to lose to the NL leading bottom feeder. Having to revert to another Bullpen Game, they cannot afford to take these bottom feeders too lightly. A schedule pitting the struggling Dodgers against the Rockies and the Royals put the odds in their court, but the Dodgers continue to fail to take advantage of the light schedule.

    Yes, the bullpen failed again, but that is no excuse for the Dodger offense to falter again. Yes, they scored 8 runs, but the also wasted many scoring opportunities and mental mistakes (defensive and baserunning) loom large in the thin air of Colorado. You cannot afford to give the Rockies extra outs, and leave runners stranded. 9 hits, and 8 free passes, the Dodger hitters managed 5-10 RISP, 8 LOB, 13 KO’s.

    After Kershaw’s early exit in game one, the Dodgers had to revert to the tired bullpen, so they were in no position to expect the bullpen to carry the load in game two. I don’t know about you, but I hate bullpen games.

    So, with questions on Kershaw’s health, Gonsolin’s shortcomings, two rookies, and a bullpen game, the Dodger pitching rotation is vulnerable. They can only hope that Urias returns in good health to help bolster the rotation. The weak Starting rotation is putting undo strain on the miserable relief corps.

    Time to pray, Dodger Fans. It does not look good.

  2. You got that right, OhioDodger! Way too many KO’s, majority of them caught looking. Add to that, weak routine fly outs and ground outs, force outs, and GIDP’s… they are literally beating themselves! They, on the other hand, are getting beat by opponents who just put the ball in play, or wait for a free pass, and then wait for the Dodgers to make mental mistakes defensively.

    “See the ball, Hit the ball”. Simple as that. Stop trying to guess what pitch is coming, and make decent contact…. “Bat-to-Ball” not “Bat to their shoulders”. Stop swinging for the fences, and just move runners! Steal bases and be smart on the basepaths. Baseball 101!

    No more excuses!

  3. Bottom feeders are just feasting on this inept Dodger ballclub. Absolutely no sense of urgency.

    Royals just put ball in play and spoil Urias’ return. They all look like line drives in the box score. 5-run first inning is all KC needed to send the Dodgers back to their hotel with their tails tucked between their legs.

    Dodger offense sputters again. Just 3-11 RISP, 10 LOB, 7 KO’s,

    Disgusting. No other way to put it. Dodgers need to change their approach to the game. What ever they are doing right now, is just not working.

  4. Gonsolin plain out “SUCKS” this year… today, just 3 2/3 innings. I think DR had finally seen enough and sent Tony to an early visit to the kitty-litter box. The “Catnap-per” amounts to nothing more than an “opener” for another desperation Dodger Bullpen game. The cellar dweller Royals circled (like a flock of hungry vultures) around the Dodgers, just putting ball in play, running the bases, and scoring runs. I hope the the Dodgers’ offense was taking notes on how to play baseball?

    So, with Kershaw nursing a sore shoulder, Urias ineffective coming off the IL, and Gonsolin proving to be an unreliable starter. What’s left? Two rookies, and a ragged bullpen…. That’s It!

    Add to that a sputtering offense and defense? 0-9 RISP, 7 KO’s. Our Dodgers get Royal Flushed down the toilet, and they return home with a complimentary supply of Charmin and a recommendation from the Kansas City Department of Health & Sanitation to “Please Flush Twice and wash your hands thoroughly”.

    Seriously Dodger Fans, you cannot expect a team like the Dodgers to represent our city in October. Please, no more excuses DR! This is totally unacceptable!

  5. Pitt 9 Doyers 7

    7 runs, BUT missed opportunities, sloppy play, starter only manages 3 2/3 innings, bullpen blows lead…. Sound familiar? 10 K’s, 0-6 RISP, 8 LOB.

    Code Red, now Code Blue. May lost for remainder of season for elbow surgery. Maybe brought him back too quickly. Kershaw to IL.

    This is serious, Doyer Fans. Out of excuses.

  6. An opportunity to sweep the O’s and make an important statement was squandered as Urias’ worst start, coupled with a sputtering, lifeless offense, sent the Dodgers packing to Texas for another critical statement series.

    The inconsistencies of Urias and Gonsolin, and Kershaw on the mends from mystery injury, leaves the rotation with 3 rookies. So what are the Dodgers going to do? Syndergaard is useless and hopefully out of the equation. Dustin May is out for at least 12 months after his 2nd surgery reviled worse than expected.

    The offense is also inconsistent. Feast or Famine seems to be the problem. Does not help when your cleanup hitter is doing his best impression of “Mendoza”. DR continues to put the struggling Max Muncy in the heart of the order. I like Max, but he is Killin’ the Bums! DR seems frustrated with Max, and has no answers, yet he continues to bat Muncy 3rd or 4th, all the while, CT3 is back and playing solid baseball right now. Peralta too, has hurt the offense. Yes, his average have improved, but he cannot hit when he needs to…he is more often a rally killer. CT3 can easily replace Muncy or Peralta in the lineup.

    Dodgers are lucky to be where they’re at in the standings. Just because they are in first in the NL West, you cannot be satisfied with their overall performance.they should be running away with the West!

    1. Oh, how quickly it changes.

      Weeks ago the Dodgers were a .500 team, now they are a team that should be running away with the West!

      I think you’re just showing your spots, just looking for attention with silly fault-finding missives.

      1. Bluto, you are right. I said they are nothing more than a .500 team, and YES I said they should be running away with the NL West!

        The Dodgers are lucky to be in the weak West. They. Are a disappointing menagerie of overpaid underachievers, and washed up dumpster finds.

        If just half of this high dollar roster played up to their expectations, they ‘should’ be running away with the NL West!

  7. Your posts are so self-contradictory they are laughable.

    Just enjoy the season, it’s great fun. Enjoy the prolonged winning, it’s quite rare. Enjoy the young kids, they are quite good.

      1. Are people allowed to post things that regularly contradict their earlier posts?

        Just asking out of curiosity.

    1. Prolonged winning?

      Kids are quite good?

      Miller-4.28 ERA
      Sheehan-6.75 ERA
      Vargas .195 BA, 80 OPS+
      Busch- .200 BA 53 OPS+
      Pepiot- injured
      Stone- 12.75 ERA

      This is good? The kids are quite good?

  8. I think people should have well founded opinions based on fact or principle.

    Instead this guy/girl is simply complaining for the sake of complaining. They literally flip flop on their statements in mere weeks then come up with a nonsensical defense.

  9. Well, I have never waived on my belief that the Dodgers are not going to go far into October with the holes they have in their approach to the game. They showed some positive signs in Game 1 against the Rangers.

    Offensively, the Dodgers finally played a little ‘small ball’. A sacrifice bunt? A steal of third? Put the ball in play? Pass the baton? And they finally move a struggling Muncy down in the lineup? All seemed to work just fine! Now the question is, how long before they revert back to their old ways?

    However, Gonsolin still stinks up the ballpark…the stench lingered, especially with a closed roof. The Catman struggled through just 5 innings, and a whopping 92 pitches, leaving the game in the hands of the bullpen. He could have been clobbered, if not for two miraculous defensive gems by CF’der DeLuca.

    Yes, they won the game, but one cannot believe that their pitching will hold up through the end of the season. The starting pitching’s inconsistency, inability to go deep, and injuries are taxing the bullpen, and putting a lot of pressure on the rookies to keep the team’s head above the water.

    Should the Dodgers make a move to acquire Ohtani? IMO, maybe not. Shohei got lit up last night, giving up 4 jacks. I think his blister or broken fingernail will only get worse especially if exposed to the stress of a pennant race. The Dodgers need immediate help and cannot afford to take the gamble. One pitcher will not help. With Kershaw’s mysterious shoulder ailment, and Urias’ and Gonsolin’s inconsistencies, the Dodgers need a couple of dependable starters who can get them to the 7th inning. They do not need one expensive superstar who may end up on the IL. They do have an offense capable of scoring runs, only if they just play smart baseball.

    I repeat, the Dodgers should be glad they are in the weak NL West.

    1. Interesting. Weak division.

      If the playoffs started today half the NL teams would come from the NL West.

      Keep flailing

        1. Heh Heh, Scott. Just ignore Bluto… I do. Appreciate your comments and support, but seriously, not worthy of your time. He has yet to even contribute anything logical to the Dodger woes. I’m through responding to his BS.

          The one thing I do hope for, is that you have members of the Dodger organization that follow LADodgerReport, and look in the mirror, and realize they do, in fact stink at their approach to the game of baseball.

          Go Dodgers!

          1. … I am by no means an expert, nor do I claim to be. I have my own opinions (which I am sure, many fans do not believe in), and I am willing to listen to anyone else’s point of view, whether they make since or not. That is what LADodgerReport is all about. Freedom of speech! An open forum! Heck, maybe someone can open my eyes!

          2. On what planet or mind-space Would anyone think members of the Dodgers organization would care or read the comment section of a blog?

          1. Well I just gave you some facts about those kids that are “quite good” as you say despite them not playing good.

            But just try and be nicer. I’ve already been bullied by Mark and being bullied by that nasty troll Patch. I know you mean well. Just don’t be so harsh.

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