The Dodgers received bad news on Wednesday as Alex Verdugo suffered a setback. The news boosts Matt Beaty’s postseason roster chances.
At the end of September, the Dodgers are going to have some tough decisions to make regarding their playoff roster. For a club loaded with a ton of talent, several good players are going to miss the cut. With everyone fully healthy, Matt Beaty might have been one of those tough cuts. With Alex Verdugo suffering a setback, Beaty’s odds of making the postseason roster go up exponentially.
With Gavin Lux at second base, and an outfield of Pollock-Bellinger-Pederson, the Dodgers’ five-man bench for the postseason would likely consist of Russell Martin (or Barnes), David Freese, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, and Alex Verdugo, Now that Verdugo is looking shaky to have enough time to return and make his own playoff roster case, that final spot would likely go to Matt Beaty.
Beaty is the type of bat the Dodgers would love to deploy off their bench in the postseason. He has a grinder mentality at the plate and is tough to strikeout. For the season, he has struck out in just 11.8% of his at-bats. He also has been clutch for the Dodgers, delivering several game-winning hits and hitting .411 with runners in scoring position.
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Outside of his clutch heroics, he hits no matter when or where he bats. Matt’s slash line currently sits at .288/.338/.491. Against right-handed pitching, he has been even better posting a slash line of .315/.367/.547. Despite his low walk rate, Beaty is a contact hitting machine who will even surprise with some unexpected power.
While the Dodgers’ love Alex Verdugo’s contact first approach, Beaty has the same mindset and has been excellent as a pinch hitter. Off the bench, he has hit .286 with an OPS of .902. Not many batters are comfortable pinch-hitting cold off the bench, but Beaty has been able to produce coming off the bench.
Aside from hitting, Matt Beaty would also supply even more versatility to LA’s postseason bench. Beaty recently played third base, and he has also played first base and the outfield. In a pinch he could also play second base if needed, giving the Dodgers three super-utility players off of their playoff bench.
If Alex Verdugo can come back within the next two weeks he might be able to bounce back enough to edge out Beaty on the postseason roster. Coming off an oblique/back injury, that isn’t a sure thing, especially since it has been bothering him since May. The Dodgers will have plenty of tough cuts to make but if Verdugo is injured and off the postseason roster, Matt Beaty won’t be one of those tough cuts.