Dodgers Way Quick Hits: Machado Debut, Toles, Forsythe, Buehler
By Jacob Rudner
Manny Machado will be in uniform to make his Dodgers debut in their first game back since the All-Star break.
Manny Machado will make his Dodger debut this evening, Friday, July 20, in Milwaukee. The recently acquired Machado will wear number eight with the Dodgers and he will be playing shortstop in his debut with the team. Shortly after Machado was acquired, General Manager Farhan Zaidi told the media that Machado is, “on board with our plans for him in terms of defense” and that he is “ready to help the team win.” Zaidi shared that they discussed defensive versatility and the value that has to the Dodgers. Machado was receptive to the conversation and is prepared to play both positions on the left side of the infield, an idea he was not so open to in his time with Baltimore this season. Machado’s addition of power, production, and defensive flexibility are all things for Dodger fans to get excited about especially now that he has joined the team.
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In order to make room for Machado on the roster, the Dodgers chose to option Andrew Toles back to Triple-A OKC. The move is not surprising as the addition of the All-Star shortstop will force Chris Taylor into a utility role. Taylor will see a ton of time in the making Toles the odd-man out in terms of playing time had he been kept on the big league roster. Cody Bellinger and Enrique Hernandez should also see time in the outfield, all the more reason why Toles had no place on the roster.
Logan Forsythe will look to bounce back after a very slow start to the year in which he has almost totally lost the support of the fanbase. Forsythe, who was acquired for Jose De Leon prior to the 2017 season, has been disappointing in his first two seasons as a Dodger and there have been reports that the Dodgers have him atop the list of active players to trade. If no match can be found, it may be safe to assume the Dodgers will let Forsythe, who is hitting just .208 with a 56 OPS+, go. The priority for Forsythe should be to include him in a trade but his list of suitors figures to be short.
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The rotation for the second half is still unclear especially with the trade deadline looming. But, it looks as the Walker Buehler will rejoin the team when he is first eligible and force the Dodgers to deploy a six-man rotation. The strategy is rarely used on the Dodgers but Ross Stripling’s excellent season makes it impossible to move him back to the bullpen.