With Andrew Toles going down for the season on Tuesday night, the Dodgers have a gaping hole at the top of their lineup. LA can plug in Joc Pederson atop the order for nights they face right-handed pitchers, but that is it.
As it currently stands, Logan Forsythe is set to return after the Dodgers‘ series against the Rockies next week. Forsythe was playing well before his injury, shown by his .295 batting average and .407 on-base percentage. He was doing great off lefties, hitting to a tune of .429 with an on-base percentage over .500, which is another aspect of his game Los Angeles is missing.
Where Forsythe can return and help LA the most is out of the leadoff spot. Andrew Toles was hitting very well and served as a spark plug at the top of the order. Forsythe has a .385 average with a .452 on-base percentage as a leadoff batter this season and is a career .300 hitter as a leadoff man.
He would be able to stabilize the top of the order since his splits against right and left handers are not as big as Joc Pederson’s. Forsythe also does not strike out as much as Joc so he would be able to work the count and put the ball in play more than Joc would.
By Forsythe hitting lead off, the Dodgers could put Joc lower in the batting order, so when Joc does homer, as he often will, there is a higher chance that runners will be on base. If the Dodgers choose to hit Joc leadoff, then Forsythe will likely slide into the fifth spot in the order against right-handers and put the contact hitter after the meat of the Dodgers’ order and in front of big swingers like Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig.
With the current injuries the Dodgers are facing, the only seasoned veterans in the lineup are Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal. Forsythe would add veteran stability to the lineup and prevent Chase Utley from playing, which is a good thing since Utley is off to a rough start this season.
Forsythe could also come back and fill in at first base if needed since Adrian Gonzalez might still be on the disabled list. Forsythe also happens to be the Dodgers’ second-best fielder at third base and will backup Turner when the starting third baseman needs rest.
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In his return, the Dodgers will get a very underrated yet vital part of their lineup back. Forsythe will provide solid defense at second base, a leadoff hitter who gets on base often, and a hitter who can drive in runs when placed in the middle-of-the-order.
He will also make sure Los Angeles does not lose much defensively when Justin Turner needs a day off. In the event Gonzalez is still out, he can also play first base or allow Turner to move over to first base and take the mantle at third.
Forsythe gives the Dodgers a lot of options and a veteran presence that is solely needed with the injuries they have been hit with early on.