Dodgers News: Dave Roberts likes new MLB return to play proposal

Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts thinks there are some potential benefits in the latest MLB return to play proposal.

Dave Roberts knows a thing or two about his team and the advantages that he has when building his lineups. Being the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers has its benefits, after all, a team as deep as any in MLB.

He also knows how to spot a gift or two when they land in his lap.

The Major League Baseball owners outlined their first return to play proposal with the players earlier this week, leading to hope that the MLB season could finally get underway in early July. While the focus of the initial introduction was on the testing parameters, there was also discussion about logistics, including the size of the schedule, implementation of a universal DH, and more.

As currently outlined, the proposed schedule would include an 82-game sprint of a regular season. That short-burst requires that teams be ready to go and succeed out of the gate, but it also requires that teams have the depth and flexibility to adjust to injuries, double-headers, and other obstacles that may present themselves in a shortened season.

In talking with Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Roberts identified two potential boons that the Dodgers could potentially expose in the 2020 season. The first of which is the Dodgers flexibility from a pitching standpoint.

"“The multi-inning reliever who can get lefties and righties out is absolutely going to be important.”"

That is an advantage for the Dodgers, as they have two such arms in their bullpen in Ross Stripling and Tony Gonsolin. Both pitchers have shown consistency against platoon splits and both can take the ball for multiple innings, effectively stretching out games and providing respite to starters and relievers alike.

Ross Stripling Splits:

Platoon Splits
vs RHB825922072940187.268.306.452.318113
vs LHB771601652051190.231.281.373.28586

Tony Gonsolin Splits:

Platoon Splits
vs RHB788122717.174.256.333.196103
vs LHB857142820.182.259.312.21897

Roberts was also quick to add his consent to the talk of a universal DH, regardless of it that runs counter to baseball purists. The key here is that the discussion is only for the current season, and designed to further limit injuries.

"“The ability to have a legitimate DH and flexible players to rotate a roster and give guys a day off without losing production is going to be valuable.”"

The Dodgers, perhaps most among other National League teams, could take complete advantage of utilizing a DH rather than having their pitchers bat. While the Dodgers were one of just four teams to get a positive fWAR out of their hitting pitchers in 2019, they still hit a collective .157/.192/.201 last season. By plugging that hole daily, the Dodgers line-up becomes increasingly dangerous, especially in a shortened season. We outlined potential DH candidates for the role in a piece earlier this week.

Regardless of what advantages the Dodgers press under this scenario, they will remain a team to contend with during the 2020 MLB season. These additions may simply push them over the edge and potentially toward a World Series title.