Dodgers Offense – Good or Bad?

Good-Vs-Bad-Reputation

Which Dodgers offense will show up in 2016?

Now that we are only 31 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, it seems that the offense is set.  The winter meetings came and went without any major trades.  After the front office failed to sign Zack Greinke, they signed a couple of good, and yet, lesser talents as starting pitchers (Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda).  But they made no significant position player move.  I’m certainly not counting the signing of Chase Utley and the non-signing of Howie Kendrick as significant.  If this is all we’ve got, we have to ask the question, “what have we got here”?  Let’s go through it position by position.

Catcher – Yasmani Grandal, AJ Ellis, and Austin Barnes.  Well, Barnes won’t likely see much time unless one of the other two are hurt.  The big question is whether Grandal will come through the shoulder surgery as a new man or will the shoulder nag him all year?  The good Grandal was here for the first half of 2015 and that was glorious.  But Yasmani’s bat began to fail big time in August, and his batting average just continued to fall throughout the rest of the season.  AJ Ellis hit poorly in the first half, but then came alive in the second half.  So the question remains – will the catchers position hit well or poorly?

First Base – Adrian Gonzalez started 2015 on fire with home runs and hits a plenty.  But as he gets another year older, will his bat slow down?  One thing’s for sure, his legs can’t possibly slow down, since he’s already the slowest man out there.

Second Base – Chase Utley was a broken offensive piece for Philadelphia in 2015, and he never really came back, even late in the year with the Dodgers.  Will he regain his earlier hitting form?  Will Kike Hernandez be allowed to be full-time second base platoon man against lefties, or will he be needed to fill in at shortstop and/or third base?

Shortstop – Corey Seager started his major league career quite well on the offensive side of the ball.  Will he hit a sophomore slump?  [Well, technically, he’s still a rookie for 2016, but you know what I mean].

Third Base – Will Justin Turner’s surgically repaired knee allow him to play more than four to five games per week?  Will his bat still be as good as it has been during the 2014-2015 seasons?

Left Field – Do we get the Andre Ethier of 2015 or the Ethier of 2014?  What of Carl Crawford?  How long will the front office keep two left-handed left fielders on the team?  Will Scott Van Slyke get back to his 2014 form, or is his ailing back going to continue to cut into his playing time and effective hitting against lefties?

Center Field – Do we get the Joc Pederson of the first half of 2015 (OPS of .851), or the Joc of the second half of 2015 (OPS of .617)?  Will Joc be the lead off hitter?  Or will it be…

Right Field – Yasiel Puig – will we get the Puig of 2013 (.925 OPS), 2014 (.863 OPS) or 2015 (.758 OPS and only 79 games)?  Will Puig learn from Maury Wills how to run the basepaths?  Will Puig learn from Maury Wills how to come into his own?  Will Puig learn how to show up on time?

So there you have it.  We’ve got some major question marks on the offense.  Oh, I forgot to mention Alex Guerrero.  I think the front office is also trying to forget that he’s still on the team.

 

 

 

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82 thoughts on “Dodgers Offense – Good or Bad?

  1. Plenty of questions heading into ST and I have the answer to none of them.
    I wonder, though, if they are waiting Kendrick out for a lower salary.
    The Blanton signing may turn out OK, another question that we’ll have to wait for the answer to. I don’t think he’ll be any help as a starter. Maybe once through the line up, but that’s about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Agon will be Agon all year. I sure would like to see Howie Kendrick re-signed. I think Andre’ and Carl will battle it out all season, unless one of them gets traded. As it’s said, Will the real Joc Peterson emerge? Oh Puig! What can be said about the mysterious Puig?
    The pitching should be very interesting both starting and relief. Who knows what to expect.?
    I even forgot that Blanton left the team.

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  3. Yeah nice work, crash!
    .
    I haven’t given the team much thought, other than like kahli, I’m looking forward to watching the games again. (I’m behind ya 100% kahli!) Just off the top of my head though…I love Maury Wills, but the only one that can change Puig, is Puig! Personally, I think if he gets into better shape like he was a few years ago he won’t have any problems on offense. I’ve read that Barnes would be able to play 2nd as well and that may come into play? I also think AJ would make a strong bat off the bench? As far as AGon goes, if he’s able to stay healthy I see no reason for him to decline to the point that he isn’t an above average hitter. The Yasmaini situation is a guess at best as we have seen Kemp and heard Agon talk of struggling after shoulder clean-up…I’m sure he will work hard to get back though. Seager is a stud, he’s been a stud wherever he’s played, his own brother claims he’s the best player in the family. That being said, he’s gonna hit some bumps along the way…I’d wager he’ll figure them out. Pederson will either get off to a good start, or be playing somewhere else whether it’s just for a while or good…I’m optimistic, so I’ll guess he sticks around! You’d think that Guerrero needs to show something with the glove or else buh-bye Alex? I was rather surprised by the Blanton signing…I wasn’t all that happy with him last time around. I was unaware of his stats from last season though, although, I’m still not sold on the idea that he can repeat them?

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  4. For me, the key to the 2016 offense is the performance of three players – Puig, Pederson, and Grandal. If all of them come back to great form, the offense will be great. If none come back to form, the offense will be bad. Somewhere in the middle? Mediocre offense.

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  5. I’m waiting to see who is going to be on the team when we leave Spring Training. I’m afraid there will still be changes made. I’m still hearing rumors of my guy being traded plus a few other things that may be happening.

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    • What, trade #16 in ’16? Say it ain’t so! The Dodgers have until April 21st to trade him; after that he earns his “no-trade” privilege.

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  6. I haven’t heard from anyone who might agree with me, maybe I’m alone with this but there is something that bothers me about the –draft pick—-. Nothing wrong with it, it’s a good idea for baseball but I thing that teams worry TOO MUCH about it. They seem to be letting very good established players go because they rather have the–draft pick–. Why do teams put so much emphasis on that damned –draft pick–?
    It seems to be one of the things that are hurting the Dodgers among other teams.
    One of the craziest things I’ve heard was that the Dodgers want that –draft pick– so much that it might be the reason they wouldn’t re-sign Hendrick.
    .

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    • Have to agree with you, at least in principle. I’m not sure that I would necessarily apply it to Hendrick, but failing to acquire a major league proven player that your team needs just so you don’t give up a draft choice that “might” be major league worthy in three to four years seems odd, if not outright stupid. How many of those high draft choices have we written off over the years – case in point. The whole idea of today’s trading is to get someone that will help you this season, so the whole concept of safeguarding your draft choice seems out of line for me.

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    • With Kendrick, part of its money, most of it is age. He wasn’t exactly a world beater last year and I’d be willing to bet between Kike, Utley and Johnson they get as much production. His range was limited defensively to the point that even a league average defensive ballplayer is his equal there. Would he be awful?, probably not, but he is in decline so why pay $16-18M even for a year when you’ll get the same production for half that? Take the upside draft pick, save $8 mil and be no worse off seems like a good play to me.

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  7. I agree with Beav that deciding between resigning a player or hoping he resigns with another team with a draft pick as compensation depends on how the organization values the player both in terms of production and salary. Prospects from the draft have value either as a potential contributor to the organization that drafts him or as potential trade material for other prospects or experienced major league players who fill a specific need. Of course there is a risk in the draft but there is risk in every player transaction. With the knowledge that we have about the Dodgers long range plan of developing from within, draft picks become more valuable.

    It is interesting that with about a month to go before ST, Kendricks still has not been signed. I have to assume other teams are asking themselves the same question: is he worth more than a draft pick?

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      • I have no problem with the D-Backs saddling themselves with massive contracts. I’ll be surprised if they’re significant for more than a year or two. Gotta figure they’re going to have a hard time holding onto Goldy after 2018 unless he gives them a massive hometown discount. Trading away your best prospects for a middling pitcher isn’t a good idea either. From what I’ve read they don’t have any depth either should anyone of significance get hurt.

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        • I seem to differ wit this. I think both the DBacks and Giants are doing the right thing. The object is to win now. I wish the Dodgers would act the same way.

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    • I think there’s more risk in the draft pick, unless you really don’t want a player or you really can’t affort him. I think Hendrick had a heck of a season last year but I think the team is too concerned with the future.

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  8. DH to the NL? Geez, what else can they do to wreck the sport. How about instead of the DH they institute a salary cap. I mean, it’s almost an afterthought that a slug like Blanton gets $4 million. But think about it. FOUR MILLION DOLLARS. Everyone on this blog could combine their entire wealth over their lifetimes and I doubt we’d come even close to $4 million.

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    • In most things, I hate change and was always for the traditional game without the DH.. But it seems now I’ve realized in life like losing a loved one, we eventually accept the change. It definitely looks like the DH is coming to the NL, whether I like it or not since they say that the majority of the owners are leaning toward it.

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    • Had to shake my head at a comment someone made on some site I was reading where they were off on their arbitration estimate for Ellis or somebody by just a little – $300K. How many of us have even remotely gotten close to $300K in a year? I ever earned $300K in a year I wouldn’t know what to do with it all. Professional sports is nothing but monopoly money anymore.

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  9. After so many years of conditioning, starting with the inter-league play, DH is probably inevitable sometime down the road. Most NL teams would have to adjust, because if you follow much inter-league play you know that the NL team squads are not built for employing the DH, and normally play at a disadvantage against AL teams in AL cities. I have enjoyed watching limited use of the DH like with Kansas City in the World Series. Maybe we’ll start by employing the DH in Spring Training. I’ll find myself much more amenable to using the DH now than I would have been ten years ago. Baseball purity – what’s that anymore?

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    • On the other hand some of the AL teams are claiming they don’t like to give up their DH, because they feel like they are not as strong a team with the pitcher, instead of the DH, is hitting and they might have a point there. And you’re right Bear, Interleague play will play a big part in bringing in the DH to the NL.

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  10. Bear’s last comment pretty much says it all: “Baseball purity-what’s that anymore?” The money the players get is fantastic, leaving the owners and MLB trying to squeeze dollars out of US any way possible. Oh well, love it or leave it. We’ll never see the game as it was fifty years ago again.

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    • Agreed. And all this occurs as baseball falls farther and farther behind football/basketball as our one-time favorite national pastime. Even in my own slovenly beer-league slo-pitch softball leagues, it’s getting harder and harder to field teams and fill leagues as us old-timers hand up the rubber cleats. Young athletes just aren’t playing as much baseball anymore, for a myriad reasons.

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  11. I try not to focus too much on the money in sports, except of course when it comes to ticket prices. Players and owners are all in it for the same thing. We hear of players who say they would play for free and I believe many if not most do enjoy what they do but it is a job that pays quite well. As fans we are responsible for all of this because we buy the tickets and all the other stuff and we support the advertisers. I am not in favor of salary caps. Look at all the confusion caps cause in football and basketball. What the hell is a “mid level exception” in the NBA? Do I think athletes make too much money? I do, just as I think many CEO’s are overpaid. Should doctors, lawyers, entertainers and other high paid professions have a salary cap? So if there is to be a salary cap, should not the owners have one as well?

    As for the DH, I too am a purist and never liked it much. However, with interleague play and the fact most pitchers are automatic outs, I am probably more inclined to accept it in the NL as ever before. I strongly believe both leagues should be playing under the same rules and conditions. We all know the AL. will never get rid of the DH. So I agree that it may not be long before we see it in the NL. I doubt it will take long for NL teams to adapt and the players’ association will be happy. If nothing else the DH should be used in All Star games no matter where the game is played.

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    • You are absolutely right Iberken. With all ithe interleague play these days, sooner or later both leagues will have to become more uniform. As you say, we don’t see the DH going away, so it won’t be long before it will come to the NL.

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  12. My thoughts about the salary cap are that it brings parity. You know, that dirty little word that means any team can rise up and snatch a championship. Yeah, sitting here in L.A. with gobs of Dodger money (have I ever mentioned no TV for the masses???) the city has become spoiled with so many playoff appearances. Luckily, a Kansas City or Florida (Miami) sneaks in every now and then. But it’s an endless parade of Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants, Cubs. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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      • It’s just really hard for me to root for the Dodgers these days–and this coming from a long-time nut case die hard Dodger fan. This new regime just seems to keeps rubbing the noses of the true L.A.-area fans into the dirt. The Guggs & Friends paid a billion dollars for the franchise and have been pandering to the rich ever since with food, ticket and parking increases, as well as their stubborn TV stance. And all Magic can do is complain about the Lakers and gobble up Ram season tickets by cutting to the front of the line. IMO, pathetic ownership to this point.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Not sure what to expect from the Dodgers this year. Kind of seems like a rebuilding year, but they haven’t gone all in on rebuilding. Usually when a team does not commit to either rebuilding nor winning, they succeed at neither. I hope that’s not the case.

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  14. “Rebuilding” with a $200 million plus payroll is kind of an oxymoron (emphasis on the “moron” because we’re referring to the Guhhenholes). Paying that much necessarily raises expectations that you’ll reach the World Series, at least. Otherwise, how stupid can you be paying out that kind of money. Unfortunately, we know the answer to that from the last couple of years’ experience.

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    • Considering we still have AGon and Crawford at $20M apiece, Dre at what $15-16?, I’m surprised its still at only $200M. Eliminate those three and we’re down to $145M, $28-$30M of which goes to Kersh. Sad thing is, if you could eliminate the first three guys I don’t think you’d miss them, especially Crawford.

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      • It’s said they’re going both ways ,”rebuilding” and “winning”. I think it’s tough to do both at the same time.

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  15. Of course, you’ll note that the Front Office numbers and payroll are keeping in tune with the huge overpaid salaries given to the players who’re underachieving maybe even more than the Front Office. What a waste!

    Not bragging, but I think if I worked really, really hard (and I’d promise to do that) I could probably replace at least three of the Vice Presidents of this and that at the Front Office level.

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  16. I wouldn’t regard it as a surprise, but they’re obviously all in on Cuban players, so several more are likely to be signed. It’s even possible that still in my lifetime the team will be known as the LA Cigarillos.

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    • Kinda makes you wonder why the Guggs don’t just buy the whole friggin island.

      Wouldn’t say the first batch is working out too well. Spent what $1.25Mish on them? Arry has an attitude problem and isn’t even on the 40 man. Guerrero can’t field and I’m not too sure he can hit. Puig, well… Olivera is playing for Atlanta – poorly.

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      • So far, I haven’t seen any difference between the new regimes deals and our old buddy Nedcompoop and the McCourts ownership. Except now you can’t watch them underperform on TV….

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          • Doing well. How about you?

            Looking forward to Spring Training getting started. I’m very curious to see how this team performs under Roberts.

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            • I still be here in Texas where men are men and the cattle are scared.

              I’m looking forward to this season. Not that I think they will win, but its year 1 of the rebuild and I want to see how the young guys develop both in majors and minors. Farm appears to be stacked, and maybe in 2019 we may really have something.

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  17. Well it doesn’t look like they are paying any attention to Howie Kendrick but neither is anyone else. I was just thinking, because I’d rather have him than Utley. I think they feel that Kendrick has a lot more left in him and would block somebody they might want to bring up from the farm.
    Apparently they’d rather wait for that “young’ Drift Pick, they’ll get for him, so I guess there’s no surprise here.

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  18. I really like the fact they are doing this during his lifetime. He himself will drive along it. Congrats to him, he truly deserves a tribute like this.

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    • If Kendrick becomes the starting 2B, that makes Utley a very expensive utility infielder at $7 million. But why am I complaining? It’s not my money.

      Utley may be needed at 3B for a bunch of games. I don’t know that Turner can play 162 games with the knees that he has.

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  19. Congratulations to Vinny for having a street named after him even if he would rather not. I am sure Vin has been badgered to death about the yearning of everyone to honor him while we still can. Amazing how one person who never put on a uniform (ok, he did tell a story about the one day he did), never took an at bat, never threw a pitch, never had a bad word said about him (except for Mike Piazza and who cares what he thinks); could have such an impact on generations of listeners.

    As for the bad TV deal, Plashcke did address this in today’s L.A. Times and seemed to nail it on the head when he said Dodger executives will do anything to dodge this problem. I can tell you that Time Warner doubled the surcharge for it calls “Sports Programming” to $5.00. Not sure how many subscribers TW has but doubling this surcharge will certainly soften the financial blow it must be taking over this bad deal. Should I conclude that because TW cannot get Direct TV and others to pay for Sportsnet LA, its subscribers will do for now? I do realize TW has plenty of other sports channels that this surcharge helps support but somehow I cannot help but think the other sports channels are not to blame for this increase.

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  20. For me, the re-signing of Howie Kendrick comes as the best news this off season. I have to say I feel a lot better now that he’s back. Halleluia! I think it’s the most sensible move this present front office has made.

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  21. Had the good fortune to arrive at Fan Fest yesterday to see Vin address the crowd. And what a crowd! There were long lines for most activities but no one seemed to mind. A lot of people were happy to sit in the stands and watch everything on the video board. We did not stay long but it was fun walking in the outfield and looking at the perspective the players have. We did not purchase any of the VIP experiences but a lot of folks did.

    I am not sure I agree that Guggenheim is treating Vin poorly due to the TV deal. His legacy has not been hurt by this mess. It is the fans who through no fault of their own are being deprived of enjoying the last seasons of Vin’s time with the Dodgers.

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    • lbirk, just to play devil’s advocate, of course Vin’s legacy hasn’t been tarnished; he’s miles and miles above whatever crumb of good feelings the Guggenheims can generate for themselves. But even Vin said that regardless of the size of his audience, he’s going to approach the broadcast the same way. How pathetic is that? Ever the professional, Vin takes the high road. And Vin doesn’t get the broadcasts in his own home (though I bet they’ve remedied that.) This ownership group can throw all the fan-fests it wants to. But they’ve lost me for good…and I’ve been a die-hard since 1969. You just DO NOT treat your fan base and its beloved legend in this way. No excuse. None.

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  22. I don’t think I’d like to live in LA again, unless it was in Hermosa Beach, down by the pier. If that isn’t possible, I could be Chief of Scouting Operations, South West. That way I could get out of the cold and down into the deserts of AZ and NM more often. I’d even go to a ball game once in awhile.

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  23. Did anyone hear the rumor that the Dodgers are not peddling Andre’ Ethier, at this time? I’m hoping this is true. It’s said that they want to get a better look at the outfield first.

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    • I had not yet heard that rumor. However, I would say that Ethier was the only consistent offensive performer in the outfield last year. I’m not sure why the Dodgers would trade him now, given that both Pederson and Puig are big question marks for 2016.

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    • I am hoping it is true also. He was our most productive outfielder last year. As well as one of our most productive players…

      At the current rate, his salary for a +2.0 WAR player is not that much out of line…

      It will all come down to how Pederson, Grandal, and Puig perform… We’ve got some good pieces, they just need to get it done…

      Also, our bullpen from the sixth inning to the ninth needs to be alot better. They just didn’t get it done last year…

      I am hoping that Roberts can get these guys focused.. The talent is there.. We just need to get the horsepower to the road..

      JMO

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  24. I’m glad to see that Kendick is officially back and will be a big part of the infield regardless if it’s at second base or third base, I like his bat and mainly his experience.

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