The Dodgers are going to be at full strength when Cody Bellinger returns from the disabled list on Wednesday. When they get him back, Adrian Gonzalez and Logan Forsythe should be platoon players.
Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez has shown some life with the bat since his return from the DL, including a home run against the Pirates and a near home run on another fly out to the deepest part of PNC Park. Logan Forsythe, on the other hand, has been a great hitter against left-handed pitchers but against right-handers, he is below average. As a result of this, they should be platoon players and not full-time starters.
When facing right-handers, the Dodgers should play Chris Taylor at second base, Adrian Gonzalez at first base and Cody Bellinger in center field. Bellinger has not played much center field in the big leagues, but he played there at all three major levels of the minor leagues. Against left-handers, the Dodgers can play Forsythe at second base, Bellinger at first base and Chris Taylor in center field.
With everyone healthy, the lineup will essentially come down to either Adrian Gonzalez or Logan Forsythe starting. Against right-handers, Forsythe has a .207 average this season which is far worse than Gonzalez’s .247 batting average against them.
That is also including all the at-bats that Gonzalez had earlier this season when he was attempting to play through his bad back. Adrian was removed from Sunday’s game with back tightness, so it will be interesting to see if this was related to his previous back injury.
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Against left-handers, Gonzalez is only hitting .220, so he should be benched when the LA faces a southpaw starter. Forsythe has mashed left-handers this season and has been a big reason why the Dodgers have not struggled this season against them. Forsythe has a 301 average with an impressive .441 on base percentage versus them.
The Dodgers front office loves to play the match-ups so this could be what they choose to do once Bellinger returns. The one thing that is clear is that Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger will be in the lineup every day regardless of who is on the mound.
Puig has turned himself around and is an everyday player, and Granderson has been such a tough at-bat in the Dodger lineup that he will start whenever a right-hander is on the mound. Kike Hernandez will man left field against left-handers due to his lefty masher tendencies.
The battle for playing time between Forsythe and Gonzalez could get even more heated if the Dodgers choose to give Joc Pederson a chance to earn his starting center field spot back in September.
For now, Gonzalez and Forsythe are essentially two dogs fighting for one bone. Even in his younger playing days, Gonzalez did not fare well against left-handed pitchers so he should never start against lefties. Forsythe has hit right-handers in the past, but this season he has slumped against them.
Some may make the case that Gonzalez should be nothing more than a pinch-hitter because he is only hitting .246 since his return from the disabled list. Still, when there is a right-hander on the mound, Gonzalez has a better shot of doing damage.
Forsythe could put up tough scrappy at bats, but he doesn’t get many hits off right-handers. Regardless of what the front office chooses to do, Dodger fans should have complete faith in them since they are the ones who helped build this juggernaut that has already reached 91 wins before September.