Dodgers Way Quick Hits: Kershaw, Turner, Bellinger, Trade Deadline

Clayton Kershaw successfully completed his simulation game on Saturday, May 26th, where he threw four innings in 61 pitches. The staff ace then spoke to media and in his post-simulation press conference, Kershaw told media that he would be ready to pitch in five days if the team decides to do so. Kershaw last pitched in a game on May 1, close to a month ago and his return seems to be close. If the Dodgers do choose to start Kershaw in five days, he would line up to pitch against the Phillies, in Los Angeles, on Thursday, May 31. The Dodgers have not announced their plans yet and those will be made clear in a Quick Hits article when the news becomes available.

 

Other notes…

 

  • Despite the Dodgers 7-5 loss to the Padres on Saturday, May 26, Justin Turner enjoyed another nice night at the plate where he notched his first home run of the season. Turner is hitting .282 on the season with a .800 OPS. With him in the lineup, the Dodgers have looked much better as an offensive unit and that should continue so long as the 33-year old third baseman can continue to hit well from the three-hole in the lineup and stay healthy.
  • Unlike his teammate, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger has hit a brick wall in terms of his production and to the dismay of many fans, he appears to be stuck in the infamous sophomore slump. Bellinger has struggled at the plate lately, going just 7-54 in his last 15 games, a .130 batting average. The reigning Rookie of the Year has struggled mightily to produce at the plate and is hitting below .200 with runners in scoring position. On the year, Bellinger is hitting just .237 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs. Although he is not the only one struggling on the Dodgers’ roster, it is starting to become apparent that opposing pitchers have figured the 22-year old out to a certain degree and until he can recapture his success, Bellinger will continue to hit towards the bottom of the order.

 

  • Also a third of the way through the season, the Dodgers are yet to break .500 and, with a few exceptions, have looked very poor in 2018. The team’s struggles may, however, open a new door to how the team will approach the trade deadline and this new approach can ultimately benefit them during the upcoming mega-free agency class. This new take on the deadline would see the Dodgers trading away big contracts and in return, taking minor leaguers to bolster an already strong farm. Players like Yasmani Grandal, Rich Hill, Hyun Jin Ryu, and even Matt Kemp could all go up on the block in hopes of making some more space between the payroll on the luxury tax limit to increase spending room this offseason. This, however, will not work if the rest of the division continues to struggle as it would make the Dodgers probable buyers come July 31.