1. Kiké Hernandez
Trading AJ Pollock has proven to be a bit of a mistake. Chris Taylor hasn’t been as effective in left field. Gavin Lux also isn’t a suitable defender out there. Cody Bellinger’s a tremendous center fielder, but his bat is still very much not good. Mookie Betts can really be considered the only “good” all-around outfielder on the Dodgers’ roster.
And now he’s injured, which prompted a trade for Trayce Thompson. That also will not be enough. The Dodgers will need more impactful moves at the trade deadline, and that’s not debatable.
Though the Red Sox have climbed out of their early-season hole to improve to 37-31, general manager Chaim Bloom will surely look to shed expiring contracts for some younger, controllable talent. Kiké Hernandez, despite a bad start to the year (.209 average and .613 OPS in 51 games), still possesses value due to his defensive versatility and penchant for coming up in clutch situations. Red Sox fans experienced that firsthand in 2021, and Dodgers fans know all about it.
Hernandez can play all three outfield positions as well as both middle infield positions. He fits like a glove with the Dodgers. If LA is serious about contending, Zach McKinstry just cannot be a major piece in 2022, and Lux/Taylor need to be put in a better position to succeed on defense. Bringing in Hernandez solves that, because then Roberts can take turns DHing Bellinger, Turner and Muncy — or, dare we say it, bench them altogether from time to time.
The Dodgers need to save runs and produce more. With Hernandez in the lineup, they’ll be able to do that simply because of the organic shift he’ll create with his presence.