The Los Angeles Dodgers are both the best team in the National League annually and a club that constantly reloads when their stars get too expensive or their reclamation projects turn back into pumpkins. It’s very impressive how different their supporting cast always is — and how often they make the right call on who to keep and who to say goodbye to.
This offseason, LA took a significant chance on Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney (?) to fill out the back half of their rotation in piggyback mode, and early returns are very positive on both (when healthy). Add in a Cy Young-caliber season from Tony Gonsolin, and it’s difficult to question the personnel moves…
…Especially when you consider how the very few ex-Dodgers they let go are now performing.
Watching Corey Seager walk out the door was difficult, emotionally, and his performance in Year 1 of a 10-year contract will not factor in here, but … a 102 OPS+ has him just a hair above league average, and his .222 average and 13 bombs only look passable because of what Marcus Semien’s putting up on the other side of the bag.
Shoutout, too, to AJ Pollock, dealt to the White Sox at the buzzer for Craig Kimbrel with Opening Day just around the corner. After a very difficult start to the campaign, Pollock has hit .429 over his past seven games, and we wouldn’t be completist here without mentioning his recent success. Kimbrel could get there someday soon, too. For now, it might be nice to have Kenley Jansen and his 3.25 ERA/38 whiffs in 27.2 innings still available.
OK. Whew. That’s it for the big names performing just alright. These other three ex-Dodgers have either been complete messes in 2022 or have seen their stars fade significantly in recent weeks. It doesn’t feel good to chronicle their downfalls, but consider this a reference document.
These 3 2021 Dodgers are failing with other teams in 2022
3. Matt Beaty
We regret (?) to inform you that ex-Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Matt Beaty has had precious little to do with the San Diego Padres’ climb out of the middle of the NL West pack. It’d be a lot easier to swallow if one of 2021’s fill-ins was thriving, but nope. He’s barely been available, on the 10-Day IL since May 9 with a left shoulder impingement.
Prior to that trip to the shelf, Beaty was hitting just .108 in 37 at-bats, and somehow played poorly enough in limited duty to subtract 0.6 WAR from his club in what amounts to an extended cameo. That’s honestly impressive.
Beaty, a longtime Dodgers farmhand, was a breath of fresh air who teamed with Albert Pujols to hold things down in 2021 when things got especially bleak (especially for Cody Bellinger). Truly! He triple-slashed .270/.363/.402 in 120 games with a 104 OPS+! Just because it wasn’t technically good enough to sustain a playoff run doesn’t mean it wasn’t valuable in the meaty middle of a long regular season.
Then, Beaty added a heel turn to his resumé, playfully ready to call his old friends enemies for the duration of the 2022 division battle. So far, so good for his roster … but so far, very little from Beaty himself. Hopefully the Padres take a step back while Beaty comparatively thrives in the second half.