Dodgers: Projecting the Dodgers’ ideal batting order
When the Dodgers are finally healthy and at full strength what will the line-up look like? What happens when Corey Seager returns to his “rightful” spot in the batting order?
Corey Seager has had a virtual lock on the Dodgers’ number 2 spot in the batting order ever since proving he was the real deal after being called up late in 2015. Max Muncy and Alex Verdugo have taken most of the reps in the two-hole during Seager’s injury and while he’s been working to get his stroke back.
With a slash line of .353/.400/.588/.988 over the last week, it shouldn’t be too long before Seager is back hitting second again. So what does that do to the rest of the line-up? The Dodgers have been struggled to find a lead-off hitter ever since trading away Dee Gordon.
Joc Pederson has seen a significant number of starts in the lead-off spot this year. While it’s an added plus when Joc can ambush the starting pitcher with a lead-off home-run, the simple fact is that Joc still strikes out far too often and he’s just too much of an all or nothing hitter to bat lead-off.
I think it makes sense to move Verdugo to the lead-off spot in the order. He hits for a higher average and is in the top-ten in the league at making contact. I know it’s an old-school view, but there are a lot more chances to get on base when you put the ball in play then when you strikeout. Dugie also takes his fair share of walks as well.
Moving to the heart of the order, at 3-4-5, is the formidable trio of Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Max Muncy. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems like the Dodgers have not done a great job of providing protection for Bellinger in the line-up.
Now that Muncy has shown that 2018 was no fluke, he should be a fixture at #5, backing up Bellinger. Then following Muncy at fifth would be A.J. Pollock hitting 6th.
The last two spots in the order will have less certainty. I think Will Smith probably hits 7th when he starts, leaving whichever of Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor or Enrique Hernandez is starting to hit 8th in the order. That probably flip-flops for Russell Martin’s starts.
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Given how the Front Office likes to keep everyone involved, I’m sure that there will be days when they tweak things around. Whether because someone is hot/cold or just to make sure that everyone gets their reps. But for the most part, I suspect the day-in-day-out line up will look something like this:
1. Verdugo (LF)
2. Seager (SS)
3. Turner (3B)
4. Bellinger (RF)
5. Muncy (1B/2B)/Freese (1B)
6. Pollock (CF)
7A. Smith (C)
8A. Pederson (LF/1B)/Taylor (IF/OF)/Hernandez (IF/OF)/Beaty (LF)
7B. Pederson (LF/1B)/Taylor (IF/OF)/Hernandez (IF/OF)/Beaty (LF)
8B. Martin (C)
- With Taylor and now possibly Hernandez on the IL, the Front Office should really think about taking a hard run at Whit Merrifield
- Given their history of injury, the Dodgers are playing with fire if they don’t bolster the pitching staff with another reliable starter – Worst case scenario it gives you more flexibility with the bullpen down the stretch and for the post-season
- I miss Vin Scully telling me how many wild pitches a pitcher has whenever a runner gets to third base