Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

Dodger Missing Bats

I started to watch Friday’s game against the Cubs wondering about four hitters and whether they were going to make any kind of improvement in their ABs.

Jason Heyward – Heyward started out ST on a high note.  He went 4-10 with 2 HRs and no strikeouts in his first four games.  Over his next 7 games, Heyward went 1-19 with 9 Ks.  With a ground out in his 1st AB on Friday’s game, he was 1-20.  Not that he has turned the corner by any stretch , but his swing did get shorter, and he went 2 for his next 3 with a big double.

Before today’s game, Heyward was batting .172/.273/.379/.652.  After Friday’s game, Heyward improved to .212/.297/.424/.721.  Doc has all but assured everyone that Heyward is going to be on the opening day 26-man.

Trayce Thompson – Trayce has had a miserable ST.  In his first 4 games he went 0-8 with 2 Ks.  He followed his 0-8 start by going 1-5 before he left for the WBC.  After Friday’s game, Trayce is now 1-15, with 6 Ks and 5 BBs slashing .067/.300/.123/.423.

At the WBC, Trayce was 3-14 with a HR and a double, 3 BBs and 7Ks.  Trayce continues to have problems making contact.

While both Heyward and Thompson have been struggling at the plate, they are still both excellent defensive CF.

J. D. Martinez – Martinez is a notorious slow starter. As he said Friday in his interview with Kirsten Watson, he needs a lot of ABs to get comfortable at the plate. On Friday, Martinez hit a long 3-run HR and a 2-run double.  He is showing signs of finding that timing.

In 2022 with Boston, JDM was 8-35 with 0 XBH, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K. – .229/.263/.229/.492.

In 2023 with LAD, JDM is 8-36, 1 HR and 1 double, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K – .222/.263/.333/.596.

JDM did indicate that he is feeling close.  The Dodgers are going to need his bat in the middle of the lineup. I do believe he will be ready by opening day.

Chris Taylor – Taylor is the 4th missing bat this Spring.  He looks more lost than any other batter.  Even Doc says that CT3 is “out of whack”.  He started out ST going 2-6 in the first two games.  For March, CT3 is 1-27, 5 walks, and 12 strikeouts.  He is 0 for his last 21 ABs with 10Ks.  He is not recognizing pitches.  He starts his swing way too early, and too often cannot hold up on pitches out of the zone.

There is no place for CT3 to go to work things out.  He cannot be optioned.  He is not going to be released.  He has no trade value.    The Dodgers have no choice but to keep him on the roster.  Maybe the Dodgers can convince him, doctors, and MLB that he still has lingering effects from his 2022 injuries.  We know he is the backup SS, but Yonny Hernandez can fill in. With CT3’s current approach, it would be hard to put him in a starting role or give him an AB in a regular season game.

With Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson, and Jason Heyward seemingly wilting under pressure offensively, James Outman has become a real option.  He did go 0-4 on Friday with 2 Ks on questionable called 3rd strikes, but did hit the ball hard for one of his outs that the RF made a good play on.

The next 13 games are going to be critical for everyone identified above, including Outman.

In Friday’s game, Ryan Pepiot continued to get swing and miss with 4 Ks in 3.0 IP, but walked 2.  One of the two walks came around to score the Cubs first run.  Ryan needs to continue to throw strikes.  Walks were his problem last year, and while he has improved this Spring, like a lot of young pitchers, he needs to continue to believe in his pitches.

Tayler Scott and Rubby De La Rosa are two relievers that were having good Springs until Friday.  They should both start out at OKC and could have the contracts purchased at some point during the season.  Phil Bickford has now had four consecutive perfect 1.0 IP outings with 2 Ks.  He still feels vulnerable to the long ball, but he is looking more like the 2021 version of Bickford than the 2022 version.  He has no options remaining, so he is going to need to continue to get outs.

Yency Almonte, Jimmy Nelson, and Shelby Miller are three relievers that were counted on.  I think Nelson needs to get more of the rust off.  He was over rotating his lower body on his last outing making his pitches dive into the LH batter’s box.  If he is not injured, he needs to get back out there.

Is Shelby Miller working on his mechanics between outings?  This seems awfully similar to how Andrew Heaney was managed last Spring.  I would like to see him get more outings as well.

It certainly appears that Almonte has not fully recovered from his elbow injury, and will probably start the season on the IL.

There certainly appears to be room for both Michael Grove (if he doesn’t start over Pepiot) and Andre Jackson to start the season in the pen.

Stay tuned.  A lot can happen in the final 13 games.

 

 

36 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
36 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dionysus

Fire AF

Bluto

Well played.

Oldbear48

Right on cue. Better yet, fire the owners.

Singing the Blue

Pepiot was pulled from his start because he felt some discomfort in his side, not, as the announcers surmised, because of the long inning the Dodgers had on offense.

The team is saying the don’t think it’s anything serious.
We shall see about that. If it’s an oblique situation, he and Catman might be keeping each other company on the IL to start the season.

Meanwhile, after the first inning of the Mexico-P.R. game tonight I was expecting Julio back in camp this weekend. Apparently his teammates weren’t ready to send him home as they came from behind for a nice win. Next game is on Monday against Japan. I don’t expect them to get through that one victorious so maybe we’ll see Julio and Barnes on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Badger

I didn’t see the game yesterday so I checked the box to see who was pitching when JD got his hits. Never heard of them, which means nothing these days. So I checked the Sox depth chart on a couple sites. Apparently they hadn’t heard of them either.

Taylor will be our utility guy until he plays his way off the team. How many at bats will that be? I’ll give him 50. Dodgers will likely give him more. Depends on how the team starts. If we’re winning, they can carry him. If he’s done they can just chalk it up to another bad signing. Stuff happens.

Trayce Thompson. Gulp. He projects a .789 OPS at BR. Other sites have him lower, some considerably lower. I don’t know a platoon with him is going to help. Maybe. I doubt it. He sucked against LHP last year. Centerfield looks puzzling to me. I think I would just go with Outman, but my guess remains the same. I think the Dodgers go with veterans.

Oldbear48

Maybe they had not heard of them since they were playing the Cubs, not the White Sox.

Bumsrap

Sorry Badger but Bear just made me laugh.

Badger

Me too. I could say more, but I won’t. I’m still waiting to see how JD hits against frontline Major League pitchers. Frankly I don’t expect much.

Badger

I know who he is. He’s a Tier 2 prospect in a middle of the pack system. The double was off a nobody.

The fact remains JD has not faced frontline pitching and he’s hitting .220 and OPS’n under .600. Defend him if you choose, but I’m not impressed with the guy. He projects about the same as he did last year – 1.1 WAR.

Oldbear48

You rarely boo boo, so I was capitalizing on the opportunity.

Dionysus

Grove’s chances of making the team just increased with the Pepiot news.

OhioDodger

Maybe KT3 would improve if he cut down his all or nothing swing. He swings for the fence on every pitch and any count. Good grief..

Dionysus

He’s starting to look more like a utility man.

Bumsrap

For some reason Taylor’s pre-swing wrist thing bothers the hell out of me. For one thing it makes him look restless and anxious. Chill bro.

Jeff, you really summed everything up at this point of Spring Training.

Last edited 8 months ago by Bumsrap
Badger

He only knows one swing. I don’t see him shortening up. There’s still hope of course, and with his contract he will be given every opportunity. The opposition pitching is about to get better, so, good luck.

Freddie is recovering, Mookie hasn’t actually lit it up at the WBC, Smith looks good, JD meh, Muncy? ….is this team look ready to fire out of the gate? Still a few days to go,

Bumsrap

Martinez is a hitting machine. So was Willie Mays.

Badger

Edgar Martinez, right?

Bumsrap

Hammers

Build Your Hammer

Last edited 8 months ago by Bumsrap
Badger

Oh. Yeah, they get multiple hits every day.

Dionysus

I don’t like David Peralta. I hope this feeling changes.

Oldbear48

Trea hits a homer in the WBC and Twitter goes nuts blaming management for not keeping him. Well, they never had a shot at keeping him anyway because he wanted to go back east and that is exactly what he did. He turned down a larger offer from the Padres just to go back. Now, so he hits a homer for team USA to keep them from being eliminated and he says it is the biggest hit of his career. Well, he did not play like that in the playoffs for the Dodgers either year he was here. When they beat the Giants in 21 he went 3-21. In the loss to the Braves he hit .240 with no homers, 1 RBI and 1 run scored. Last year against the Padres, he hit .333, with 2 homers and 2 RBI’s and one huge error that opened the door to the Padres 5 run inning in game 4. He was never going to come back to the Dodgers and they are 300 plus million better for it.

Badger

Well the Dodgers don’t need Turner because they have the post season prowess of Rojas (3-19 with an actual home run) and the “trajectory” of Heyward. Read that in the Times this morning.

It’s all good.

Dionysus

Nothing about Trea Turner changed with that HR.

Badger

Expectations in Philadelphia might have.

Dionysus

Fuck ’em

Badger

That’s a little extreme.

How about just a shoulder rub?

Last edited 8 months ago by Badger
Dionysus

Is a Philly shoulder rub like a Peruvian necktie?

Badger

Sounds like it could be if you’re the one doing the rubbin’.

I don’t know, I found Philly ok.

OhioDodger

Outman coming back to earth.

Oldbear48

Crashing is more like it. 6 K’s in his last three games. Nelson is pitching his way to OKC at least to start the year.

Bumsrap

I still like his swing. Is he getting more breaking balls? He might need to adjust now that maybe pitchers have adjusted to him. I hope he gets the ABs to adjust.

Oldbear48

Yeah, the two pitches he struck out on today were breaking balls down and in.

Dionysus

Ground control to Major Tom

Bobby

Gavin Stone looks like a top of the rotation type. He looks calm no matter the situation.

Cannot wait till he gets a full time job here!

Oldbear48

2024 he will be in the rotation.

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

36
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x