The Dodgers front office and management team have had to do a lot of on the fly adjustments this season due to a large number of injuries that have occurred this season. Lately, the management team has made some questionable calls.
Dave Roberts and the Dodgers’ front office team of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi are certainly no strangers to criticism. Dating back to last year’s World Series, the front office and Dave Roberts have been questioned for pulling starting pitchers too early and sticking with Yu Darvish in game seven. Despite these criticisms, the management team has done a very good job during the Friedman era.
The Dodgers management team is also very good at making level-headed decisions and not overreacting to what occurs on a game to game basis. Despite that, the management team has made some critical errors in the last week. One of those errors was rushing Walker Buehler back to pitch in Thursday’s game instead of letting Buehler work his way back on a minor league assignment.
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Buehler was clearly off after not pitching in exactly twenty days and the results were obvious. Not only did Walker Buehler not record a single strikeout in his inning-plus of work, he also allowed five runs. It was clearly a mistake to let Buehler rehab in a major league game and the fact that it came against an elite opponent like the Cubs makes the move even more puzzling.
The Front office decided last night to make Buehler go to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga for a rehab assignment which makes Thursday’s decision even more mind-blowing. If the Dodgers knew that Buehler would need to work his stamina back up in rehab starts, why did they let him pitch in relief on Thursday? This is the same kind of juggling act they did with Julio Urias when they kept transitioning him back and forth between the pen and in the end, he was injured.
Dave Roberts is in a managerial funk of his own most specifically with the management of his starting pitchers. Rich Hill threw 110 pitches last night which is the most pitches he has thrown this season. Why is it that Roberts let blister prone Rich Hill throw 110 pitches yet he has pulled Ross Stripling at 86 pitches and Kenta Maeda at 84 pitches in their most recent starts? Dave Roberts needs to extend his starters to at least 95-100 pitches a start if they are pitching well or else the leaky bullpen is going to get hit even more if they’re running on fumes.
One of the more glaring errors Dave Roberts made this week was when he let Javier Baez hit against Edward Paredes with the bases loaded. Roberts had Goeddel, Hudson, and Fields at his disposal but he let Paredes pitch to Javier Baez and Baez unleashed a grand slam that put the game out of reach. Paredes is holding lefties to a .050 batting average in his time with the Dodgers this season where righties hit .250 against him. Leaving him in to face an elite right-handed hitter was not a smart move.
The last piece of head scratching moves is the decision to keep starting Logan Forsythe at second base. Outside of last year’s World Series run, Forsythe has been a big disappointment in the 1 1/2 seasons he has spent in LA. Forsythe is hitting .204 this season with an OBP under .300, meanwhile, the Dodgers have other viable options in Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes, and even Chase Utley.