Dodgers: Brian Dozier Needs to Start Against Right-Handed Starters

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 31: Newly acquired second baseman Brian Dozier #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches the ninth inning of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers from the dugoutat Dodger Stadium on July 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 31: Newly acquired second baseman Brian Dozier #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches the ninth inning of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers from the dugoutat Dodger Stadium on July 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers finally filled their offensive hole at second base when they acquired Brian Dozier just before the non-waiver trade deadline.  Now that the Dodgers have Dozier, they need to play him every day.

When Dave Roberts first spoke about the acquisition of Brian Dozier, he mentioned that Dozier would start against left-handed starting pitchers and that he would not be an everyday starter against right-handed starters.  That move makes little sense if the Dodgers really want to get offensive production out of second base.

After mixing Logan Forsythe, Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and Chase Utley among others at second base, the Dodgers’ second base rotation ranked second to last in MLB with a .217 batting average from the second base position.  When it comes to slugging from the second base position, the Dodgers rank 28th in slugging percentage and 20th in home runs.

It’s not that hard to see why the Dodgers pursued Brian Dozier, even after the acquisition of Manny Machado.  If the Dodgers want to bolster their offense from second base, they need to start Brian Dozier every day.  Starting him sporadically is shortchanging Brian Dozier and the potential of the Dodgers offense.

While Brian Dozier is having a down season hitting only .217 against righties this season, sixteen of Dozier’s eighteen home runs this season have come off a right-handed pitcher.  When changing the sample size to the last three seasons, Dozier has hit 75 of his 104 home runs from 2015-2017 against righties.  Dozier also posted an .802 OPS against righties which is very solid.

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Even in Dozier’s current “down” season, he is still posting a better slugging percentage and OPS against righties compared to his stats against southpaw pitchers.  The Dodgers didn’t acquire Dozier because he hits for a high average, they acquired him because he is one of the best power hitters at second base, and they need to play him as such.

As if the Dodgers needed another reason to make Brian Dozier an everyday starter is the fact that Dozier turns into Babe Ruth in the month of August.  For his career, Dozier has hit 37 home runs in the month of August to go with a .542 slugging percentage and a .901 OPS.

When the calendar hits August, Brian Dozier goes bonkers at the plate so it doesn’t make any sense for the Dodgers to hold back on starting him every game.  Kiké Hernandez has not hit righties well in his career, and Max Muncy has proven incapable of playing second base adequately enough to keep his bat in the lineup.

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Chris Taylor is the only other option to hit right-handed starters at second base, but Taylor doesn’t possess the kind of power that Brian Dozier does.  The Dodgers need to quit playing roulette with their lineup and plug Brian Dozier in at second base every game (except his rest days).  If they do that they will flip second base from being an offensive hole to being a position of strength on the team.

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