Dodgers: Will the Real Chris Taylor Please Stand Up?

The Dodgers’ struggles have continued as we are now halfway through the month of May.  One of the many players who has struggled to repeat his performance from last season is Chris Taylor.

The Dodgers offense is still struggling as their latest defeat came Tuesday at the hands of a starting pitcher with an ERA over ten.  One of the biggest surprise contributors who led to last season’s World Series appearance is Chris Taylor.  For Whatever reason, Taylor has seemed lost at the plate as he is amongst the leaders in strikeouts on the 2018 Dodgers.  Most of his strikeouts have come looking as for whatever reason, Taylor is having issues pulling the trigger with two strikes.

It wasn’t too long ago that Chris Taylor was seen as the trade of the decade for the Dodgers.  Taylor was a light-hitting infielder who was acquired in a trade for failed top prospect Zach Lee.  Last season it look as if the Mariners would regret the trade for years to come.  Now the trade still looks good for the Dodgers but it is appearing less regretful for Seattle with the struggles of Chris Taylor.

Last season Chris Taylor put up this solid line:

.288 AVG  21 HR 72 RBI .850 OPS

This season, Taylor’s stat sheet looks far more mediocre

.234 AVG 5 HR 15 RBI .720 OPS

Chris Taylor’s OPS is down over one hundred points and his average is down over fifty points.  One of the main reasons for the decline is that last season, Taylor had an extremely lucky BABIP of .361.  This season, however, Taylor’s BABIP has fallen all the way down to 287. While this may just be a bad stretch of games for Chris Taylor, there is also a chance that last season’s breakout season was a fluke.  Afterall, this isn’t 10-15 games we are talking about, it is a quarter of the season.

Like many Dodgers at the moment, Chris Taylor is struggling to drive runners in with runners in scoring position.  Tuesday evening, there was once again a chance to drive in a runner from third with less than two outs but Taylor ended up stranding Puig at third.  This season, CT3 is hitting an abysmal .139 with runners in scoring position.  Whether that is due to some bad luck indicated by his BABIP or his increase in strikeouts, Taylor needs to heat up soon.  Chris Taylor leading the team in strikeouts is also a bad sign since he was the Dodgers’ primary leadoff hitter last season.

If Corey Seager was healthy, the Dodgers would have a very interesting dilemma on their hands.  Is Chris Taylor still good enough to start?  Since Seager is out for the season, the Dodgers are not going to pull Chris Taylor from a starting role.  The best case scenario is that Taylor heats up and starts hitting like he hid last year.  If he doesn’t then the Dodgers will have to figure out what to do for the centerfield position this winter.

We are at a stage where the season is still relatively young and there are 121 games left, but it’s not super early anymore.  Chris Taylor would still have value to the Dodgers as a very solid backup utility man if he proves that last season was a fluke then that opens up another hole on this Dodger squad.  Should Taylor continue to struggle into the month of June, then it will be crystal clear that Chris Taylor has been hit by regression.  The question that will need to be answered sooner or later is who is the real Chris Taylor?