Dodgers: Did the Front Office Overthink Things?

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Corey Seager /

The Dodgers will resume their regular season later today after two days off.  While the Dodgers are struggling, some of it may be due to the front office overthinking things this spring.

One instance where the front office and Dave Roberts may have over thought things this spring was with Kenley Jansen.  Jansen was brought along slowly this spring as the front office wanted to manage his early workload due to the Dodgers extended run last October.  Most of Kenley’s spring training work came in the back fields compared to regular spring training games.  While Jansen’s struggles may be injury related, it is clear that altering his schedule was a bad idea this spring.

Corey Seager is another player the Dodgers’ front office may be over managing.  This spring Seager was primarily a DH for games as the front office wanted to limit his time in the field.  It’s still unknown what the problem is with Seager’s elbow but the general speculation has been that he could need Tommy John surgery at some point in the near future.

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That seems to hint at ligament damage.  If Seager indeed has an injured ligament the front office should have had him get that fixed in the offseason, rather than let it be an ongoing issue.  Currently, Seager is one of the many Dodgers who is struggling offensively.  Seager is hitting below .200 and whether that is due to injury or just a slow start I would bet his elbow plays at least some part in his struggles.  All of Seager’s hits have been singles and that only draws more suspicion that perhaps he is playing injured.

Last season Seager had some early season issues on defense because of missed time due to injury and although he didn’t miss much spring training time this season, he was still brought along slowly on the field.  Every time Seager gets a ground ball, you just hope that he makes the throw and doesn’t start grabbing his elbow afterward.  It feels as if the front office is playing Russian roulette with Seager’s elbow rather than fully addressing the injury.

The most obvious part of the team where the front office is overthinking things is with their starting pitchers.  Besides Clayton Kershaw, almost every Dodger starting pitcher is being pulled with less than 90 pitches.  The front office cannot expect the Dodgers bullpen to keep throwing four or more innings every time someone besides Kershaw starts a game.  Roberts and the front office need to give their starting pitchers a longer leash and ease the burden on the shoulders of the bullpen.  Relying on the bullpen may work in October, but over a 162 game schedule, the rotation needs to eat more innings to avoid a burnout in the bullpen.

Next: Is Kershaw losing some of his legendary stuff?

There is no doubt that the Dodgers front office is one of the best in baseball.  That doesn’t mean they come without flaws and one of those flaws is relying on the bullpen for too many innings and tinkering with some of their stars schedules too much in the spring.  Regardless of how this season goes, hopefully, next spring the front office lets guys like Seager and Jansen get ready on their regular schedules.  While I am not joining Fraudman twitter, it is fair to wonder if the team’s spring training plan was a little too thought out.