Dodgers: David Freese Should be the Dodgers’ Starter at First Base
The Dodgers brought David Freese back in 2019 to fill the veteran presence role and provide valuable at-bats off the bench. Freese hasn’t slowed down earning more starts in 2019.
The Dodgers decided to bring David Freese back in 2019 to fill the veteran presence void left by Chase Utley’s retirement. Unlike Utley, Freese’s bat still has plenty of life left in it and he has pushed for more playing time. While LA primarily used him against lefties in 2019, this season, David has hit righties even better posting a .342/.432/.658 slash line against right-handed pitching.
One player the Dodgers were counting on in 2019 was Kiké Hernandez as he improved against right-handed pitching in 2018 after being known primarily for his versatility and ability to hit left-handed pitching. This season, however, Kiké has once again slumped against right-handed pitching and has become nearly unplayable against righties posting an OPS of just .606.
With Kiké once again ineffective against right-handed starters, the Dodgers should take advantage of Max Muncy’s newfound versatility and start Muncy at second base. The team could then take advantage of David Freese’s resurgence and start him at first base. If Justin Turner is still dealing with his nagging hamstring injury, the Dodgers could even IL him and the lineup wouldn’t miss a beat with Muncy and Freese able to play the hot corner.
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Since coming to the Dodgers at the waiver trade deadline in 2018, all Freese has done is hit .322 with eight home runs and 26 RBI’s as a Dodger. He was also one of the few players to hit well in the World Series as he hit over .400 with one home run. The Dodgers currently lead the National League in wins and their lineup still has some players who have struggled. Kiké Hernandez is one of those, and Freese should get starts while his bat is on fire.
As the season progresses, David Freese might cool off and Kiké Hernandez or Chris Taylor could re-emerge as the starting second baseman against righties. Right now, the team needs to find a way to fit Freese’s bat into the lineup on a regular basis and the easiest way to do this, is to start him at first base with Max Muncy at second base.
The Dodgers have a loaded team and with that, they are going to have some very good players sitting on the bench. While David Freese has been one of those good players sitting on the bench, it’s time for the Dodgers to capitalize on his resurgence and start him regularly at first base. The Dodgers’ lineup may be an everchanging ordeal, but right now Freese is too good to keep on the bench.