The Dodgers have very few question marks with their starting lineup looking ahead to next season. They have their core starters with Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Yasiel Puig. That leaves left field and second base as the lone spots up in the air. Despite a disappointing season by Logan Forsythe, a good postseason could put him back in the Dodgers plans.
To say the Forsythe trade has been a let down for the Dodgers is an understatement. Forsythe only appeared in 119 games and struggled all season, turning into a platoon player at second base. Forsythe hit .224/.351/.327 with six home runs and only 36 RBI.
Forsythe was brought in from Tamp Bay to provide some stability atop the Dodgers lineup and improve the club’s numbers against left-handed pitching. While the top of the lineup experiment failed, Forsythe was more than competent hitting lefties (.290/.418/.452). That means he still brings some value to the team.
Although Forsythe is looking at a diminished role this postseason, his performance could dictate whether the Dodgers decide to pick up his club option.
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The Dodgers traded away their only reasonable replacement prospect Willie Calhoun for Yu Darvish at the July 31st deadline. So the farm system doesn’t look like a solution. Calhoun was never a natural second baseman and needed a lot of improvements defensively, so there’s a reason why the front office was willing to part ways with him.
We’ve seen Austin Barnes emerge and play both second and catcher this season. There’s a good chance the Dodgers make him the favorite as the everyday second baseman next season. But he provides more value for the Dodgers is at catcher, even with Grandal on the roster. Aside from Barnes, Utley is looking like he’s at the end of his career and Kike Hernandez is best utilized as the utility player.
Chris Taylor could potentially be a solution with a switch back to the infield. But Taylor has established himself as one of the better outfielders for the Dodgers. That would also mean that Joc Pederson would need to recapture his spot in center field and Alex Verdugo or Andrew Toles would need to make a significant impact in spring training.
Forsythe will make about 9 million next season if the club elects to pick up his option. Looking at the upcoming free agent class, there aren’t many viable options available outside the players with club options.
Some beat writers have reported the Dodgers may look to reach out to shortstop Alcides Escobar. That could be interesting considering Corey Seager’s arm concerns and potential position change. But I don’t see that as a plausible outcome. Which is why the door is wide open for Forsythe to walk through.
Forsythe has undoubtedly been frustrating this season. But he’s solid against left-handed pitching and can play multiple positions. Forsythe should continue to start against lefties this postseason, and this will be his last opportunity to prove his worth to the Dodgers. We’ll just have to wait and see how he performs in October.