The Dodgers are sitting at an ugly 3-6 after splitting their series in San Francisco this past weekend. Surprisingly it feels like they are lucky to be only three games under 500.
The Dodgers offense is averaging about three runs a game and has been widely inconsistent and largely ineffective outside of their nine-run game in the finale of their first series with Giants. A common theme that fans have sent us in result to the Dodgers early season offensive struggles is that Andrew Toles needs to be called up to ignite the Dodgers offense.
There are a couple of problems with that belief. For one, Andrew Toles is coming off of major knee surgery. While ACL surgeries are pretty common throughout sports, it is still a significant injury to come back from. Sometimes athletes take a while to fully come back from that type of injury. The Dodgers made the right call in letting Toles work himself back in the minors. Once Toles tears it up in the minors and shows the Dodgers he is ready, they can then think about calling him up.
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Matt Kemp has gotten off to a slow start like the rest of the Dodgers, but he has shown signs of waking up. On Sunday Kemp recorded two hits and knocked in one of the Dodgers’ two runs. Kemp even made a nice ply in left field and almost gunned out Evan Longoria but he just beat out the throw. Kemp appeared agile in the outfield and even if Toles was out in left there is no way he could have done a better job on that play than Kemp did. Toles himself has gotten off to a slow start in a small number of at-bats as he is currently hitting .231 for the OKC Dodgers.
Andrew Toles has been a nice reserve player in his brief Dodgers career but he is still largely unproven. With a total of 201 major league at-bats, Toles has basically played the equivalent of half of one big league season. He is not yet proven, and could end up regressing especially coming off major knee surgery. Toles only has one stolen base with the Dodgers so despite his impressive minor league numbers, he doesn’t appear to be a legit base stealing threat in the Major Leagues. This is very reminiscent of how Joc Pederson stole bases in the minors but once he became a big leaguer, the stolen base numbers became non-existent.
The Dodgers offensive woes have gone beyond just left field, meaning that unless Andrew Toles is going to hit three to four home runs a game, he would not help the Dodgers anymore than their current left fielders have. Logan Forsythe, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, and even Chris Taylor have gotten off to slow starts. Until the core group of Dodgers start hitting the ball, their offense is going to be pedestrian and Andrew Toles is not enough to save them. It hasn’t even been ten games this season, so it’s time to slow down on the idea that Andrew Toles is the Dodgers’ savior.