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Before Roasting Dave Roberts, Remember He Didn’t Build The Roster

On Friday evening the Dodgers dropped the second game of the four game series at Chavez Ravine to the worst team in the National League the Cincinnati Reds and looked every bit as awful as they’ve played. They’ve scored just three runs in this series against one of the worst pitching staffs in all of baseball. The consensus across social media has not been favorable for manager Dave Roberts.

There are a lot of people asking for Roberts’ head, not just on social media, but also on this site as well. I can understand a lot of the criticism. The Roberts hate fest began with his tactical blunders in last year’s World Series. They’ve continued into this season as well. I’m not trying to say that Roberts has been great this year, because he hasn’t. He’s had a poor year overall in regards to his game management. His bullpen management and lineup creation have been lackluster. But before you totally throw Roberts under the bus, remember this…..


The Dodger’s roster isn’t deep, it’s actually horrible. And Roberts isn’t the guy who built it. He has to play the guys he has. I remember back in 2011 when the Dodgers were horrendous and entrenched in the bottom of the National League West, I actively called for Don Mattingly to be fired. Mattingly’s game management was bad and I posited on twitter that he was a poor manager and possibly a big reason for the poor results. This roster is arguably just as bad as that one was.

The reactions I got from many surprised me. People scorned me and attacked. They told me that Mattingly wasn’t responsible because he was not the guy that constructed the roster. Ned Colletti was the scapegoat, I was told. Poor Mattingly was the victim in all of this, stuck with a crappy roster of mediocre players.

The support for Mattingly was larger than I expected. There were a fair amount of people who wanted Mattingly to be axed, but the overwhelming amount of hatred for Colletti was bigger than I could have imagined. Eventually both men were given pink slips, with Coletti remaining with the organization in a different capacity.

In the present day, Roberts has been getting roasted, while Zaidi, Friedman and the rest of the front office generally gets a pass by many people. So I ask this, If Colletti was at fault for building a poor roster back in those years, then why isn’t Zaidi/Friedman being roasted? Why is most of the blame going to Roberts, when he clearly did not build the roster?

Because let me tell you, it was not Roberts who signed Brandon McCarthy to a 48 million dollar deal. It was not Roberts who let Tony Watson and Brandon Morrow walk in free agency. It was not Roberts who traded for Scott Alexander, or employed Wilmer Font. It was not Dave Roberts who signed Scott Kazmir, or acquired Chris Hatcher. It wasn’t Roberts who traded for Curtis Granderson, or claims that Tim Locastro and Breyvic Valera are “depth”. They’ve bet on long shots, and lowered payroll the year after the team won the pennant.

No, the terrible roster this year is not the fault of Dave Roberts. I’m not saying that Roberts hasn’t had problems. He brings in the wrong pitchers at the wrong times, and uses up all of his pitchers/hitters by the ninth inning in most of the games. Honestly though, all of the relievers in the bullpen this year are wrong anyways.

Who actually thinks that Kyle Farmer and Austin Barnes are a World Series caliber infield? All I am saying is that the front office is just as equally to blame, maybe more for this pathetic season as Dave Roberts. So the next time you get angry at Roberts, just remember that he didn’t build the roster. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi built this winning roster.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

32 thoughts on “Before Roasting Dave Roberts, Remember He Didn’t Build The Roster

  1. Based on information I’ve gathered from several articles on the subject the best managers have around a 4-5 WAR over the course of 162 games. That’s based on the Pythagorean methods of expected wins. And I assume it also must be influenced by unexpected injuries. All things available considered, it’s my opinion that what is happening to the Dodgers has very little to do with Roberts. The players left standing are currently not getting it done. Roberts has mixed and matched to the point everybody’s head is spinning. If I were him I’d stop that nonsense and put the same 8 guys out there until Turner and Forsythe return. Pitching? If they aren’t on the DL they get the ball. Dave, you aren’t going to outsmart this problem. Stop trying and along with the rest of us – endure.

  2. Scott
    Point well taken. In my opinion and I have stated it many times on this site is that the whole FO AND Roberts should get the ax. As you said, Roberts does not manage in game very well so he should go and my last comment was about how the FO blew up the Dodgers before the 15 season. I have hated the FO since they started that crap of doing stupid stuff which was in the beginning. With me, all their passes have long been used up. Also, I think Kasten should go too, he has that Atlanta Brave mindset to just make the playoffs and maybe luck will get you a World Series. BS!

  3. Time to realize that cody n chris won’t get anywhere near their 2017 output of home runs..time for kiki to go. .locastro.are you kidding .no thought process there.
    its time to get a early start on the fishing season


    1. Even though he poo pooed the sophomore jinx, I think Bellinger is experiencing a little of that because he damn sure has forgotten what hitting the ball hard and consistently is all about, but most of his team mates are suffering the same fate…

  4. No he did not….and we have been saying here for most of the last 3 years how inept FAZ is. Oh in my opinion he got lucky because Logan White and Colletti, yeah that guy, had given him some pretty good pieces, and most of the pieces he obtained were damaged in one way or another. Isn’t it weird, that 2 years after that 3 way deal that brought the Dodgers Thompson, Montas, and Johnson, that none of those guys are here, and the Reds still have all 3 they got? Peraza and Schebler on the MLB roster and Dixon is at AAA…..

  5. Look. We all had our fill of Kazmir, Anderson, McCarthy, Font, Forsythe, Darvish, Hernandez, Pederson, Baez, Grandal, bring up the kids who are even close to ready and see what they can do because the bunch we have now is inept.

  6. Venditte recalled, Stewart back to OKC, Seager now on 60 day DL…….Stewart is going to be seriously jet lagged…..

  7. Question, do these guys really go back and forth? Or are they just hanging in the area? I’m sure if there is zero chance they won’t be part of the revolving FAZ door in the next few days they would probably head back to okc or wherever. But I doubt they actually go back and forth. But I don’t know so I am asking the question.

    1. Yes they do unless they are informed by the team, like Buehler was prior to the series in Mexico that they need to hang around. Buehler was sent to Rancho for that. Stewart is already back with OKC.

  8. However, Roberts did have this to say (to Ken Gurnick) about why the Dodgers don’t play more small ball:

    “You have to look at who you have and manage accordingly,” Roberts said before Saturday’s game against the Reds. “When we are walking and slugging, that’s the profile of our players and that’s what we do. To ask our guys to hit-and-run, they’re not guys that handle the bat to hit-and-run, outside of Chase Utley, and to ask left-handed hitters to hit the ball the other way and not advance to third base, doesn’t make sense.

    And then you have to take the combination of a swing and miss, now you’re exposing a baserunner. To bunt, we don’t have guys that typically bunt. And can the guy advance with his foot speed. For me to change the way I manage our guys, that, for me, is a flawed thought process.”

      1. Badger

        The problem is there are teams that use saber metrics in the majors, that do play small ball too, so that saber metric excise, is really not an excuse.

    1. The funny thing is, he has more of these guys this year than last. Farmer and Barnes are hit and run players and they are getting more time. So is Kemp, though he has poor speed. Forsythe supposedly has more contact profile but spent pretty much the entire year looking at strikes. Not we’ve got Taylor doing that instead of just going with the pitch where it’s pitched.

      And why send down Verdugo?

      And before we ended up with this lineup we could have kept guys like Peraza who fits more of the contact profile.

      The answer is the FO wants the all or nothing guys to play.

      Actually, my first gripe is constantly failing to bring home the runner at third with less than two outs have been their Achilles heel since las September. It’s demoralizing this both the hitters and pitchers. Fix that first.

      1. Kemp is faster now than he has been in years. His improved condition has helped him..he is not the Kemp of 2011, but he is a lot better than the Kemp of 2017 Headley released by the Padres.

        1. Another castoff. Would be another repesentation that the organization has no depth. But IF FAZ picks them up, they’re good. If FAZ releases or trades them, it’s because the guy is a dud.

      2. YF

        They are not going to win that way, especially against good pitching.

        And you know the Astros and the Cubs use saber metrics, and they also play small ball too, when it is needed.

        And if you notice Roberts doesn’t mention in that piece, all the strike outs, with runners in scoring position.

  9. Treating this three times through the order thing as cement dogma is tough. I mean it has merits to pull the guy, but there needs to be room to negotiate context. Stripling was rolling, and in come J .T. Chargois who immediately serves up the lead. It’s doubly not smart when you don’t actually have a good bridge guys in your bullpen.

    1. Absolutely right Bluto.

      And even if we get swept (which I called before this series based solely on how bad they’re playing with no adjustments), I don’t think this is the bottom yet.

    2. So Bluto you sound like any Manager/GM that has been associated with baseball, oh I don’t know, maybe since 1890. That was common sense for the first 120 years of baseball. ‘When the starting pitcher gets deep in the game, you watch him more closely.’ Duh.

      A year ago I made the point….if you pitch 4 different pitchers (or more) all it takes is 1 of them to not be effective and the game could be lost.

      Why have a Manager if the computer says take em out. Might as well train a monkey to do that….hey, another cost savings.

      1. Agreed, Chili. If you’re going to play the game by numbers, monkeys are all that you need. No, wait. You don’t even need a monkey, only a computer!

        Scott, of course it is not Roberts’ fault regarding the makeup of the team, who they trade or acquire, and how it is built. It is his job to manage and the amount of blunders is staggering for someone who has played the game and been in the dugout for as many years as he has. There is no excuse. The best thing for the team would be to let him go just like they let Darvish go.

        Of course, the ego of FAZ may not be sympathetic to letting Roberts go. This would be typical of how they operate. This is why I call for a complete blow up of the team. The chances for this seem quite low as the ownership seems to be pivoting for a sale. Blowing up the team may knock some points off the profit margin as that seems to be the single most important aspect to the owners.

        That leaves us, the fans, with a subpar product that could possibly take years to rebuild as the so-called ‘depth’ seems to have disappeared all of a sudden. Where has it gone? Was it all smoke and mirrors?

        1. Pivoting for a sale?!?!?!

          Are we back to conspiracies?

          Is Chili going to postulate about the fantasy football scandal?

      2. I still believe no matter the result of this year they will give Roberts a break. The front office is responsible for this year. They are the ones who built the infrastructure and they are the ones that froze spending. Roberts appears to be left holding an empty bag.

  10. The manager is only as good as the players .
    Roberts shouldn’t get the credit last year nor should he get the blame this year so far.

    However, he may have a clue on why the team is so bad but can’t say.

    1. That’s a wise comment there Bertbert. Welcome to put in more what your thinking is about this whole thing!

      1. I agree with Yueh. Bring it Bert.

        This broken team leads the league in BS and is 4 for 27 WRISP in this series with the worst team in the NL. That ain’t managing. If they hit .300 WRISP this year and were only middle of the pack in blown saves Roberts would be hailed as a genius, keeping the team in contention with its two best hitters out and 3 starters on the DL.

        This schneid is a combination team effort and misfortune. Roberts has been dealt a 10 high.

    2. Does that account for all the blunders he’s personally made almost every game this year? Is he mad at the FO? If he can’t speak his mind, he’s useless.

  11. Well my take is this. The FO gives the manager the pieces. How well he uses that talent is on him. All you need to do is look at the last team to win a World Series in LA. The 1988 Dodgers. Only 3 guys on that team played more than 140 games, Shelby 140, Gibson 150 and Sax who played 160 games. Only 3 players hit double figures in HR’s. Gibson 25, Marshall, 20 and Shelby had 10. No player hit higher than Gibson’s .290. Marshall led the team in RBI’s with 82. Griffin, Hamilton and Stubbs all had OBP’s below .300. The team went 91-70. They scored 628 runs and gave up 544. That’s a plus 84 run differential. Their starting rotation was Hershiser, Leary, Belcher, Sutton and Valenzuela….they augmented those guys by acquiring John Tudor for Pedro Guererro, with Shawn Hillegas and Ramon Martinez also making starts. Orel, Leary and Belcher won 52 of the 91 victories the team had. Holton was very good out of the pen as a long man and won 7. Howell, Orosco and Pena were the main closers. Tommy had to mix and match for the most part because some of the so called regulars had pretty mediocre seasons. Stubbs hit .223 with 8 HR’s, Griffin hit .199, and 1 dinger, his backup, Dave Anderson managed 2 and a average of .249. Hamilton hit .236 with 6 HR’s The heroes that year were the bench guys affectionately known as the Stunt Men. Hatcher, Dempsey, Anderson, Woodson, Heep, and Mike Sharperson stepped in time and time again to pick up the big guns. Lasorda used what he had masterfully and when they got to the world series, Bob Costas inspired them by saying they were the worst team to make it to the series in history. Tudor was the Rich Hill of his day. He went 4-3 with a 2.41 ERA. It is also noteworthy that the only starter with a negative WAR was Stubbs. Tudor pitched 1.1 innings in the world series and made one start against the Mets in the playoff. He was largely ineffective…..sounds a lot like Darvish. Over all, with some very clutch hitting and slick maneuvering Tommy led the guys to the title. Roberts with a lot more talent than Tommy had could not do that last year. You honestly believe he can do it with the bunch he has now? Doubtful

      1. I am saying that these guys are not the stunt men. So far at least. And they are getting no where near the starting pitching that team got. After 39 games they were 5 games over .500, not 5 games under. They had their ace all year and 2 other starters with double figure wins. They also had a solid bullpen with 3 guys splitting the closer duties……but hitting wise, they were not all that great. They beat a team in the NL championships who had gone 11-1 against them in the regular season and they beat a A’s team with over 100 wins. They over achieved. This team is not even achieving.

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