The Dodgers are a special team in that even with their stars down for the count, the team is deep enough to send the next man up and still win games.
Both in the rotation with Tony Gonsolin and on offense with Matt Beaty and even with Gavin Lux, the Dodgers have used youthful talent to replace aging stars in order to fend off the injury bug. While it has worked to this point in the regular season, it may be a taller task for these rookies to perform at a high level when October rolls around.
October baseball is built on teams with players who have experience in the big moments. Sure, everyone has to start somewhere, but the young Dodgers of the future are going to be called upon like never before this postseason. Will they be able to answer the call?
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Obviously that’s tough to say. But one thing, or really two players, that should be able to help the young hitters mesh and find a groove despite the added stress of the playoffs are Max Muncy and Justin Turner.
Both having performed well on the big stage in the past, Muncy and Turner will need to demonstrate to the young kids how to go about your business and how to execute at the highest level on the biggest stages in the game against the stiffest competition.
These leadership and mentoring roles are of added import this season because of how Muncy and Turner both will be less than 100% healthy headed into the postseason. As they hobble towards October along with Rich Hill, these two veterans will need to act as shepherds more as their playing role diminishes.
Turner and Muncy both are still who I’d want to start against any pitcher on any night over Lux or Beaty, but with the health problems being accounted for, Muncy and Turner will have to be resting more often than I’m sure they’d like.
JT came back Sunday, but he will likely still be shaking off the rust throughout this week. Muncy will be back in action soon it seems, but no timetable has been set.