When Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez came off the IL, it was too little fanfare amongst most Dodger fans. Yet, the pair are both thriving during this slump that the Dodgers are in.
The Dodgers’ super-utility men have found a way to avoid at least some of the “Dog Days Blues” afflicting much of the rest of the lineup. In fact, both are putting up stretches better than when they were playing earlier in the year.
For Taylor, he’s picked up right where he left off before heading to the shelf. His .361 OBP after 28 July ABs has dipped only slightly (down to .321 through 24 ABs in August), but the power has ticked up dramatically.
Through nearly as many ABs in July, CT3 had one extra-base hit, a lonely triple all the way back on July 2. His August ABs have yielded more power though, with the former playoff standout smacking a pair of doubles, a triple and a home run.
Sounds too good to be true amidst this scary slump? That’s right.
For starters, Taylor has racked up only two hits since Toronto left town, though both are doubles. On top of that, the speedy utility man has yet to steal a base since his return, and including the Toronto series, Taylor has been punched out in every single game since returning from the IL. And his lone walk came back in his triumphant August 20 return from the IL, in which he knocked in 4 RBIs, blasted a home run, and went 3-4.
So despite the overall numbers looking good for Taylor, he has not been quite as immune to the slow August as the numbers suggest.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Kevin Kiermaier being ‘top target’ to replace Cody Bellinger is bad sign for Dodgers
- Giants laughably sign pitcher that Dodgers absolutely own
- Dave Roberts’ quote about Padres in NLDS should motivate Dodgers
- Former Astro seemingly takes uncalled for shot at Cody Bellinger after Cubs deal
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
What about Kiké? He seems to have been struggling of late as well, especially against the Yankees.
Like his teammate CT3, he’s struck out a lot, 5 times since his return to be exact. Also like Taylor, he has yet to steal a base, and he has only walked twice, with both coming in the series opener with the Padres.
But, unlike Taylor, Hernandez really was hot before his IL stint, and he is maintaining some of the key things that get him hot. Not the power, but the batting average.
For Kiké, when the hits are dropping, the big flies usually aren’t very far behind. And unlike most of the Dodgers right now, Hernandez is at least having some balls fall safely to the ground in the outfield.
Against the Yankees, Kiké went 3-7 with a run, an RBI and a pair of doubles. Plus, he’s collected a home run, a pair of walks, and a few hits already in the first two games of the Padres series. If he can heat up in the power department, he may be able to insert some life back into the offense, especially against left-handed pitching. Southpaws have been giving the team fits as of late, from aces like Paxton to lower-tier hurlers like CC Sabathia and Eric Lauer.
If both of these super-utility studs can find their power strokes while maintaining nearly team-leading OBPs, they will be just the rut-busters the Boys in Blue needed to end their August skid and head into September with the best record in baseball still intact.