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Forsythe has been one of the bigger disappointments this year. He’s bee injured and unproductive, two things that really get a team’s fan base when you’re a newcomer. On the season Forsythe is hitting .230 with four home runs and 28 RBI in 98 games. Those numbers are a shade of his career .252 average and 20 home runs he hit with the Rays last season.
The question with Forsythe is why does Dave Roberts continue to jam him into lineups against right-handed pitching. Against lefties, Forsythe is more than competent hitting .301/.443/.447. But against righties are where he really struggles with a .194/.317/.249 slash line. Roberts has platooned Forsythe with Chase Utley for the greater part of the season, but it might be time to look at options besides those two.
Austin Barnes is the best backup catcher in the league. He’s even more valuable to the team because he can play second base. Michael Wittman made a case for Barnes becoming the everyday second baseman while the Dodgers figure out their log jam in the outfield, and I can’t say that’s a bad idea. Barnes is hitting .294/.405/.480 on the season and ironically enough hits righties (.346 BA) better than lefties (.250 BA).
Barnes drastic splits could be evened out with more playing time. Another option Roberts could consider is put Chris Taylor back at second base and rotate the several outfielders we have. At this point, we have more talented outfielders than infielders. Forsythe could thrive in the bench role in the postseason. He’s not a super utility player like Kike Hernandez, but he’s able to play multiple infield positions and has even played some outfield this year.
I wonder if Roberts would consider leaving Forsythe off the postseason roster if he continues to struggle. I don’t think it’s likely, but if a young outfielder like Alex Verdugo or Joc Pederson start squaring up the ball leaving Forsythe off the roster is something that should be considered. I understand that by inserting Barnes at second base leaves the bench without a backup catcher, but Barnes could make the switch in a game if needed.
I can see Forsythe’s experience giving him the edge to land a roster spot, that’s fine. But how much longer is Roberts going to accept this type of production when there are capable bats on the bench?
Panic Meter: 6/10 – “We need to fix this soon…”