Dodgers: Andrew Friedman’s Attention to Depth Paying Off

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 22: Andrew Friedman, President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, walks on the field before the game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on May 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 22: Andrew Friedman, President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, walks on the field before the game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on May 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers are in good position to win their sixth straight NL West title with nine games left this season.  Andrew Friedman’s emphasis on quality depth has paid off.

The Dodgers are once again in good position to fend off the Rockies for their sixth straight division title.  The Dodgers’ season appeared to be on the ropes plenty of times this season, but thanks to Andrew Friedman’s emphasized importance on depth, the Dodgers are once again in the driver’s seat.

The Dodgers have suffered plenty of injuries this season to everyone in their starting rotation, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner among others.  While the trade for Manny Machado essentially covered Seager’s injury, the Dodgers still played two plus months without Seager and no Machado.

Without good depth, the Dodgers would be forced to play their injured starters like the Rockies have been playing Nolan Arenado.  Not only has Arenado clearly struggled through his shoulder injury, the Rockies don’t have a serviceable backup plan to fill in for their all-star third baseman.  When Justin Turner went down for two months, the Dodgers were able to plug in Max Muncy, a minor league signing, who not only filled in admirably, he broke out with a thirty home run season.

Until Manny Machado arrived, the Dodgers filled the void left by Corey Seager’s injury by playing Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez at shortstop.  The Dodgers abundance of outfield depth and talent allowed the Dodgers to move last year’s centerfielder to shortstop nearly full time with Seager sidelined.

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The Dodgers’ deep collection of talented depth has also allowed the Dodgers to field platoon type lineups.  Against left-handed and right-handed starting pitchers the lineup looks very different and they now have a set lineup against both types of starters.  Not only does it speak to the volume of depth the Dodgers have, but it also allows the Dodgers to keep all of their players fresh over the long rigors of the 162 game season.

While there has been some complaints about the Dodgers “platoon” lineups, the results have spoken for themselves.  The Dodgers have won nine of eleven games this month against three teams fighting for their playoff lives in the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Rockies.  The depth Andrew Friedman and the front office has built is the reason why this platoon lineup is even possible.

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The Rockies magical second half run screeched to a halt when Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado became injured.  The Dodgers first half was below average but they hung around due to their depth without their two best hitters in Justin Turner and Corey Seager.  Without Andrew Friedman’s yearly emphasis on building quality depth in the organization, the Dodgers’ 2018 season would have been derailed before it ever got started.

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