Lay Down Sacrifice Bunts
I can’t tell you how many times throughout the season where the Dodgers had an opportunity to push a run across but end the rally with a double play. Sacrifice bunts seem like the easiest (yet, it’s not so easy) aspect of baseball that is most underutilized.
The Dodgers had 31 sacrifice hits (commonly referred to as bunts) last season. That is in the middle of the pack in the MLB but 13th in the NL. 13th out of 15 NL teams with 31 sac bunts. That’s an average of about one bunt every fifth game. That stat is incredible when you consider that the Dodgers were 3rd in the NL in OBP (.334).
Yet the Dodgers grounded into 119 double plays 119 last season. That is the 8th most double plays in the league and averages out to about a double play ever 3/4ths of a game. With numbers that skewed, it’s frustrating to see Roberts continue to give hitters the green light when runners are on base.
I understand Roberts wants to chase the big inning, especially with a lineup this deep. But managing with the eye test figures to be the more efficient style of operating, just ask AJ Hinch. There are obviously situations when the team needs to move a runner over and play for one run.
I don’t expect Turner or Seager to lay down a bunt because they’re the best pure hitters in the lineup. But when you have a rookie that is dropping bombs and leading the team in RBI square up to bunt, it shows this team is bigger than any individual’s ego. I don’t think any player on this team has an ego too big not to bunt.
The Dodgers should not be at the bottom of the NL in bunts. They have a deep lineup that could drive in runs in any part of the order. Bunts and situational hitting allow for more runners in scoring position. This allows for more opportunities to score runs.