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How Long Will The Dodger Suck Last?

The 2017 season is about a month old and so far it’s been one long month of suck for the Dodgers. The club is now 10-12 after losing to the Giants on Wednesday night in extra innings and have yet to win their second series of the season. Let me repeat myself, the Dodgers have won one series so far in 22 games this year. I have no idea how long this suck will last, but my guess it’s not going away anytime soon.

Taking a closer look at the early season suck for the Dodgers we can see that nearly every aspect of the game has been a train wreck. The pitching which has been normally consistent is not as good as we all hoped it would be. The main problem is the lack of innings out of the starting rotation.

The Dodger starting pitchers rank 18 out of the 30 clubs in innings pitched which is putting a high strain on the bullpen. Dodger starters had a 3.96 ERA coming into Wednesday night’s game against the Giants which ranks them 17 out of the 30 MLB teams. Mediocre starting pitching will get you nowhere fast. The Dodgers have no choice but to put Julio Urias in the rotation faster than they had planned. He is set to make his 2017 debut on Thursday afternoon against Matt Moore. On a bright note, Alex Wood was fantastic on Wednesday, but unfortunately the bullpen ruined that.

Moore is a lefty so that probably means the Dodgers are getting shutout. The Dodgers still can’t hit left handers. The Dodgers are hitting .224 against left handers and that ranks them 23 out of the 30 clubs. I would love to blame that on Kike Hernandez, but the guy is actually playing decently. This season has been a huge improvement over his historically horrendous 2016 season. This year he is merely slightly above average, batting .265, with a .960 OPS. However he’s batting just .235 (6 for 26) against left handers. I’m hoping to stop making fun of him soon.

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Andrew Toles and Chase Utley’s bats have completely disappeared. Utley was 1 for 31 before singling in the sixth inning of last night’s loss. He was batting .034 coming into the game. Toles is hitting .212 ( 11 for 52) and looking like he should probably go back to bagging groceries. Adrian Gonzalez has been just as bad though. The Dodger’s cleanup hitter has a .338 slugging percentage and has yet to hit a home run this season.

Overall the Dodger’s offense has been miserable. The boys in blue are batting .245 ranking them 17 out of the 30 clubs. They’ve scored 91 runs, and are batting .250 with runners in scoring position. They average around 3-4 runs per game, and have a 102 wRC+. The Dodgers are so desperate they called up top prospect Cody Bellinger to play some outfield and hopefully breathe some life into this lifeless offense. The lack of power is astonishing too. They’ve hit just 19 home runs in April, and rank at the bottom of MLB in power.

The defense has been poor as well. The Dodgers have made 14 errors, turned only 16 double plays and rank 20 out of the 30 clubs with a .693 defensive efficiency. In case you are wondering they also have a .981 fielding percentage.

The bullpen is already worn out after just 22 games. Sergio Romo has been a disaster. Grant Dayton is hurt, and Pedro Baez is still so slow he can halt time when he pitches. For the record I would have never guessed Chris Hatcher would not be the worst reliever on the roster. That honor goes to Romo so far.

The Dodgers can’t hit left handers, and can’t score runs. They don’t hit for power, and rarely hit with runners in scoring position. The defense is lackluster, the starters can’t pitch past the fifth inning, and the bullpen is already gassed. They lack speed and athleticism, and Vin Scully has been retired for six months. I’m not liking this season already.

Maybe the Dodgers should take baby steps and I don’t know actually win a series? If this keeps up and the Dodgers keep playing like trash I might have to start watching the NBA playoffs, or worse reruns of Quantico.

It’s still early right?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

50 thoughts on “How Long Will The Dodger Suck Last?

  1. I agree with most of what you post here. The offense is bad because:
    1 – They don’t hit with RISP
    2 – They don’t hit lefties
    3 – They have too many swing-from-the-heels types and don’t make consistent contact
    4 – The swinging from the heels is supposed to result in more power but it isn’t there so far
    5 – They can’t manufacture a run in a close game if they need to. They are 1 – 5 in 1 runs games thus far.
    6 – Too many offensive black holes on the roster – Van Slyke, Utley, Toles.

    The pitching is bad because:
    1 – Too many injury-prone pitchers. Hill was signed to be our #2 this year but he isn’t pitching. Kazmir was signed to be the #2 last year and he isn’t pitching either
    2 – Bad starters not pitching deep enough into games
    3 – Bullpen gassed due to overwork?
    4 – Romo looks done
    5 – Injuries to starters put ‘pen in flux – 3 relievers on roster now who weren’t on opening day (Baez, Liberatore, Fields)

    Some of this is philosophical – the Dodgers’ offense for example is a Moneyball affair, with everyone playing for the Earl Weaver 3 run HR and no one able to make contact. Same with the pitching – the decision to sign the old and infirm to populate the rotation is based on philosophy that starting pitching is “overvalued”.

    With these philosophies in place, look for more of the same.

    Maybe if the Dodgers play the Padres again they will win another series.

    1. DR-

      Exactly what you said. I’m assuming you decided not to post that on the other site unless you like the feel of getting kicked in the groin about 20 times. So what will keep the Dodgers afloat, 2 things…..$245M payroll & Clayton Kershaw. That is what truly separates the Dodgers from the rest of the NL West.

  2. Couple (or more) questions:

    1. Where did the notion that Urias was rushed come from? Has anyone else seen it reported?
    2. On what planet is a .960 OPS average?
    3. Does a performance like Wood’s last night qualify as “workhorse”-like?
    4. The Bullpen is worn out?

    BTW: Corey Seager is good.

    Most WAR, batters, last 365 days
    Mike Trout 10.2
    Kris Bryant 8.4
    Corey Seager 8.0
    Freddie Freeman 8.0
    Mookie Betts 7.8
    Josh Donaldson 7.3

    1. Not sure anyone has said that Corey Seager isn’t good. He is a star in the making. He also was already IN THE ORGANIZATION prior to the overvalued FAZ accepting his overpaid job.

      It was because of FAZ that Seager did not see big league play until Sept. 3, 2015 while the Dodgers continued to pencil in the light hitting Rollins at shortstop. That was another bone head move by the overvalued and overpaid Friedman.

      About Urias.
      Yes, if ONLY saving 5 to 7 innings pitched was not the plan then they are rushing him up.
      Maeda has 19 innings pitched and Ryu has 21. Urias pitched 14 at OKC. That is a difference of 5 and 7 IP. Oh boy. Nothing like that extended spring training to keep Urias fresh for October. There are 30 starts left for that spot in the rotation. He’s thrown 14 (with a lot of pitches in those 14 innings.)

    2. Regarding Wood ‘workhorse performance’…..Roberts answered that for you. No it was not a workhorse performance. A work horse performance goes a lot further than 6 innings. Evidently his Manager had little faith that he could get the Giants hitters out a 3rd time. Not exactly confidence inducing but that is the way of Friedman.

      p.s.—Pluto, did you just start watching baseball in the last, say 2 -3 years?

      1. Chili,

        My Corey Seager thing was just what it was labelled, a BTW.

        This proves my point. Workhorse is a subjective term. You define it as “a lot further than 6 innings”. I don’t.

        On the subject of being subjective (ha!) you and Scott think Urias is being rushed. Dave Roberts doesn’t. I believe Roberts. Taking a stab at being predictive, I’ll guess you will reply that Roberts is just saying that to protect the team/FAZ or both.

        Not sure what the snarky subtext of your final post-script is, but it’s probably better just to leave it there.

        Not sure what it matters that Seager was IN THE ORGANIZATION. Not even sure why that was/is in all-caps. But I appreciate you focusing on facts.

        1. Just that everyone should know, Seager was not drafted, not found off the heap pile nor traded for by your ‘great and powerful’ Friedman. Andrew Friedman sucks. The sooner he is gone (along with his side kick, Farmhand Zaidi) the better off the Dodgers will be going forward.

          Pluto, you come on here and post like a fan of the Dodgers but have stuck up for the A’s organization(in fact have stated support of the A’s), claim to be a strong Red Sox fan and act like you have no idea what a work horse (in baseball terms) implies. You would have had to just start watching Dodgers games the past 2 years to have that type of baseball mentality.

          1. First, at least you have an open mind about the Dodgers front office!

            As to the other stuff.

            I have no idea what that last paragraph entails as a whole message or on a more granular level.

            I’m not an A’s fan. Nor do I remember supporting them, but I don’t dislike any team. So it’s very possible they made a move or two that I thought smart or clever.
            I’m a big Red Sox fan. Named my son after Theo Epstein.
            I don’t act like I “have no idea what a workhorse is.” Not sure where you got that impression. My point about workhorses (full disclosure: this has occurred elsewhere with Scott) is that the term is subjective. My definition different than yours, both different than Scott’s.
            Still not sure what the 2 year threshold means. I think you’re just being snarky in a weird way.

  3. 1 – Urias not being rushed – he should have started the season in the rotation as he is one of the best 5 starters
    2 – Kike is better this year but he looks overmatched against righties
    3 – Wood’s start last night was his 1st good one out of 3. He only threw 6 innings because he hasn’t been stretched out yet. Not a workhorse, but certainly workmanlike
    4 – The ‘pen’s performance in the past week or 2 is not as good as it was earlier in the season. Is this because of too many 4 or 5 inning starts or for some other reason?

    1. Workhorse, workman. Tomatoe, Tomato.

      That’s my point.

      I just think that people may be extrapolating a LOT out of bad pitch selection last night and the bullpen blow up in the prior series. I could be oblivious to reality.

    2. Dodger rick

      You are never going to convince those people that the front office, made bad signings, when they signed these free agent, pitchers.

      Because if they don’t believe that by now, after all of these pitchers have went down, they will never believe it.

      You are just going to have to know that yourself, and I guess take your frustration out, by writing on here, where a lot of people feel the same way, as you do, about that issue.

      I myself get upset with this platoon team stuff, because they are no advantage for the team, most of the time.

      They were last in offense all year long last year, yet they still marched them out there.

      I believe like Scott, these part time platoon players, shouldn’t be starting in so many games.

      And Kike should be hitting, since he has started the last six, out of seven games.

      And really now, he isn’t hitting, that much.

      He hit early in the season last year, but they had him stay on the major league team all year, and continued to play him, even though he hit 190, after those first few games, when he hit HRs, off Bumgarner.

      1. Rick

        And Kike hasn’t don’t much lately, after those HRs he it.

        And that is because he tries to hit HRs, all the time.

        And that is exactly what he did last year, after he hit those HRs, off Bumgarner.

    3. The pens problem is Dayton being down. The second layer of our depth, consisting of veteran reclamation projects, sucks. We need to try out the third layer, the youth layer. But the second layer is blocking the third layer (maybe not for long as the DL list is getting long).

  4. .960 OPS is average among the top hitters in the league. So it’s not a planet, it’s a star.

    Urias. Rushed isn’t the right word. Started early is how I would put it. That kid and Kershaw could be our only hope come October. If Urias can pitch 7 innings 20 times I want the last 5 of those starts in the last weeks of the season – as in September/October. Right now maybe that isn’t a concern. We need wins.

    What Rick said.

  5. Liberatore optioned to make room for Urias. BP IS over worked so far. Offense is offensive. I think Bellinger was a little overmatched last night because a veteran pitcher just carved him up. Seager and Turner are the bright spots. Gonzo and Grandal not so much. Toles is obviously pressing. Puig is having much better at bats. Utley hit a couple of balls pretty hard, but he is not adjusting to the off the bench thing. One obvious question, what is SVS doing still taking up a roster spot. He will no doubt get a start today against Moore. I do NOT like Kike in CF. I do not think he has the skill’s to cover that position especially in that ball park. AT&T is officially now the Dodgers personal chamber of horrors. FAZOLOVERS can spin this anyway they like, but the plan at this point is very flawed.

  6. Hernandez leading off, Bellinger hitting 8th, SVS 7th and Taylor in the 5 hole….Dodger Blue Smurf lineup out there today. They could use this kid I have pictured at the bottom…….

    1. Michael

      That is the guy I wish I could have watched, pitch!

      I don’t care what they say about Kershaw, from what I have read and heard, Koufax dominated a game, in his prime, better then any other pitcher.

      And he did that in the post season, unlike Kershaw.

      1. MJ, I was lucky because I saw Sandy pitch many times. Both on TV and in person. The thing to remember about Sandy is that it took him 6 years to find what was there all along. Then he went out and had maybe the best 6 year stretch of any pitcher ever. And he did it with mostly 2 pitches. His fastball, and that drop off the table curve. Oh, I saw him get hit a few times, but you never knew when he would just go out and just totally shut down the opposition. The game where Marichal beat Roseboro over the head was televised from SF. The way things were back then they did not keep the camera’s on what was happening, so Vinny just more or less described what had happened. Koufax for probably the only time I can remember was visibly upset. He got beat that game when Mays hit a 3 run homer. But I remember sitting in the pavilion while he was warming up prior to a game. The sound his ball made hitting the glove was louder than anybody else I can ever remember, and that includes Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan. 4 no-hitters in 4 consecutive years. A MVP award, 3 Cy Young’s , World Series MVP twice, 5 consecutive ERA titles, from 1959 until he retired in 66, he was never below 4th in the league in strikeouts, and from 61-66 never fell below 200 for a year, and fanned over 300 3 times. Held the record for K’s in a season until Nolan Ryan broke it. 314 games started and 137 complete games. Led NL in wins in 63, 65 and 66. Kershaw is great by today’s standards, but excuse me, he is no Koufax. I have seen them both. Head to head, Sandy win’s because he would dominate the other lineup. With the free swingers in the game today, Koufax would have had a field day. Of course, he was finished by 32 because of arthritis. But every time he took the ball, you knew there was a good chance something good would happen. He struck out 18 batters in a game twice…..Last Dodger to do that was Ramon Martinez. And he did it once. No other Dodger pitcher save Carl Erskine has more than 1 no hitter. Nomo had 2 but one was with the Red Sox.

          1. They could use him…..and almost every day someone brings him up. And all I was doing was replying to MJ’s post saying she would have loved to see him pitch. I did.

    2. Taylor batting fifth and Kike leading off. I guess we win with a 6-3 beat down.

      We have to get in motion more and manufacture runs with these types of lineups.

  7. I don’t see how anyone can support FAZ in the God-awful butchery he has made of running a baseball team. Even Ned with a busted wallet did better. In Tampa FAZ proved he could GM a team on financial life support to a mediocre level. Now he’s proving he can GM a team with all the money in the world down to that same mediocre level. I don’t see how ownership can let him continue doing this much longer.

  8. More news:

    Ethier nowhere near ready to return.
    Wood will stay in the rotation, until Hill’s return (at least)
    Grant Dayton probably will be activated tomorrow
    No “short leash” for Urias. I have no idea what that means, but I do know that the Dodgers have been very protective of their pitchers, with only Kershaw reaching 100 pitches so far. And even then, he didn’t go over 100, as McCullough noted on Twitter.
    Finally, some writers have reported that the Diamondbacks are looking to tank (or completely rebuild) if (when) they fall from contention. Pollack and Goldschmidt being viewed as potential assets. I only mention because the Dodgers tried to trade for Pollack previously.

  9. For the first time in a very long time I actually watched almost the entire game last night. Wow this team lacks any true substance. Why was Bellinger leading off? Yes, great move brain trust, let’s put the highly touted rookie at the top of the order in his second game in the bigs against our most hated rival in THEIR FREAKING BALLPARK. What a dumbass move. Yes he has poise, but let him get comfortable first.

    Romo is Nomo, as in no more please. Another questionable acquisition of a fringe player with health issues. He sucked last year for the Gints so our FAZ goes out and signs the dude. Great move, then he serves up a meatball to his old team.

    I will save my fileting of GasCanBaez for another post. Frikin UUGGHH

    I agree Utley needs to retire. He just doesn’t have anything left in the tank. I don’t think he is comfortable with the off the bench role. Let him coach.

    Wood was doing a great job last night. Pull him after 6, I know he struggle through the 3rd of the order, but then they bring in OhNoRomo.

    In late Spring Training and the first game or two everyone was saying what a great job Turner Ward had done in his second season. Really? Just take a look at the stats you guys posted above.

    These are PROFESSIONAL baseball players, why do they have so many flaws at one time?

    Yes, it’s early but I don’t think look at it that way. This is just the continuation of last season. Except now there are two more dogs in the hunt in the west and I am having my doubts that we can keep up with them. They are licking their chops right now at how pathetic we look. The other teams addressed their issues, we put more lipstick on our FAZ piggy and it still looks like a pig.

  10. Hey Tim, good to see you here again.

    Well, the early book on Bellinger reads like a 1st grade primer. With his upright stance, high hands and looping swing, fastballs on the hands will tie him up. There’s also a hole at the top of his swing. Fastball. Up. In. Don’t make a mistake and the kid is an easy out.

  11. How many times has matt moore dominated the Dodgers. Still playing putrid lineups. Slyke, Utley, Romo, and Hatcher are done. Cant these ever figure put how to get a hit. Toles needs to go down to.

  12. 2018 Wishlist is headed by Bryce Harper.

    He just hit a three-run homer. AVG up to .423/1.064OPS. Fourth-best April hitter ever behind Ruth/Williams/Bonds.

  13. Utely: DFA
    SVS: DFA
    Bellinger: OKC
    Toles: OKC
    Romo: DFA
    Puig: Available
    Agon: Available
    Pederson: Available
    Baez: Available
    Hatcher: Available
    P.S. Put Help Wanted Ad in newspaper.

    1. Sounds like a three step rebuilding process:

      1. Insert blasting cap
      2. Attach fuse
      3. Light fuse

      2018 and beyond!

      1. Jonah

        But I don’t want to see Toles go through, what Joc did, in his first year.

        I think if they would have had Joc go down in his first year, he might have been a better hitter, then he is right now.

        I hate seeing young players struggle.

        I hate to say this, but I think Scott has had the worse at bats, on this team.

        He continually looks at good fastballs, , right down the middle of the plate, and he doesn’t swing at pitches that are to close, when he has two strikes.

        Something happen to part of my post, and I was allowed to correct either.

        He has done this way to much.

      2. yes he does, but he has an OBP more than 80 points higher than Toles who also has a negative OWAR, and Joc’s is positive, Toles has now struck out 12 times. So he is only 6 behind Joc. And like I have told you many many times, they kept Joc in 2015 as much for his glove as anything else. They had no other options to play CF that year.

        1. Michael

          The Dodgers did have someone else to play center that year, and that is why the front office traded for Chase, so Kike could play center, and he did.

          And he did play center often that year, because of Joc’s low
          offensive numbers.

          Kike was playing second, because Howie went out, on the DL.

          Toles has only struck out 9 times, and Joc has struck out, twice as many times, because he has struck out 18 times.

          And Toles has hit two more HRs then Joc has also.

          Also Joc got hit OBA hitting in the seventh and eight positions, in the order, unlike Toles, who mostly hit in the lead off position.

          And this isn’t Joc’s first year.

          1. But really Michael, neither one of them, have been great, and that is the truth.

            And I didn’t say that, to upset you.

            So I am sorry if I hurt you.

          2. MJ first off, your comments do not hurt me at all. And unfortunately in this case your facts are skewed. Kike only played 19 games in CF and only started 18. He is NOT a natural CF. As a fill in, he is ok. But everyday, no way. Joc played 147 games in CF and started 137 out there. He is a superior fielder to Kike, runs better routes, and over all is the better choice. THAT is why he was out there. He was the better defensive option, and that year his hitting was not really needed that much because the rest of the team picked him up. As of yesterday’s game, Toles has struck out 10 times. He has lead off in 10 games and has 38 at bats. His BA in that spot is .222. He has 8 strikeouts and 2 walks as a leadoff hitter. That’s terrible. He is hitting .200 vs RHP, and that is pretty pathetic. He is hitting .206 on the road, and .208 at home. Joc is not hitting well either his season average is .220. But in 2 games as a leadoff hitter he is hitting .429. He has one homer that he hit on opening day and he hit that in the 6 hole. Hitting 5th and 6th he is hitting .333. Anywhere else other than those 3 spots he is abysmal. Toles has also hit 5th 6th 7th and 8th. He is not hitting a lick in any of them. And as was revealed a week ago, Joc has been having trouble with that sprain since spring. So it stands to reason, if Gonzo’s elbow is causing his power outage, the same can be said of Joc’s strain. And I know that for a fact because I played with a sprained ankle for over a month once, and my power was totally gone until it healed. And where you hit in the order makes no difference in the majors. Joc will hit homers. He will probably never be much more than a .245 hitter. If he does exceed that it will be because the adjustments he has been trying to make will have worked. Toles is a contact hitter, and until he gets back to that mindset, he will struggle. He will never be more than say a 10 HR guy, nor should he be. Yesterdays RBI single was the hardest he has hit a ball in a couple of weeks. Last year he was hitting line drives, this year he is hitting grounders. But comparing Kike to Pederson is laughable. Not nearly as much power, and certainly not the defender Joc is. By the way, Joc was a rookie in 2015, and Toles is this year. Joc took his lumps, and Toles will take his. You might not want to see a rookie struggle, but the team learns a lot about a players makeup when they do. Joc never hung his head that year, he kept on playing hard, and to his benefit, his fielding did not suffer when he was having all that trouble, and last year Joc struggled in the first half, and turned it on in the 2nd……

  14. We had a man on 3rd and ONE out with SVS and Bellnger coming up. They both K’d LOOKING. So far we have K’d 8 times today….6 times LOOKING. If it is close enough to be called a strike SWING AT THE DAMN PITCH. Who knows you just might hit the ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Last year we were still under .500 in our 45th game. So maybe we’ll do better this year or…….maybe not.

    1. Toles finally hit a ball to the outfield, and off a leftie!

      Why didn’t more runners score on Toles hit?

      And that was only Toles third at bat, againt a lefties this year.

      This is the type of a game, that can help us, turn this around too!

        1. Badger

          I just got off my bike, I didn’t really see who were on the bases, and I was looking out the corner of my eyes.

          The announcers didn’t say it was a ball that should have
          been caught, but now that you said that, I wasn’t thinking about the runners, tagging up.

          1. Badger

            I had the game on, but I do affirmations, when I ride, my bike.

            So I wasn’t paying total attention to the game.

        2. I watched the video to be sure I saw it right the first time. I did. It was a medium depth fly ball to basically straight away centerfield – a sac fly which obviously is all we needed. The runners were tagging. The fact it dropped untouched was ridiculous. Neither of these teams played particularly well in this series. They split, the games were close, but not very inspiring….. for me anyway.

          1. Badger

            I saw it but i think it wasn’t necasarrily catchable, but you were right about tagging up, I just wasn’t into the game, and that is why I asked.

          2. At risk of belaboring a point, I watched the video again (it’s at if you care to review). The ball landed about 15′ from the warning track in leftcenter, mostly center field. It wasn’t a line drive, it was more or less a looping fly ball. The centerfielder was over in right center, for some reason, and take a look at the route the left fielder took. Circuitous best describes it. Well placed fly ball for sure, but it’s easy to see why Utley thought it would be caught.

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