The Los Angeles Dodgers went through an extremely uneventful offseason where they made virtually no big additions. J.D. Martinez, Miguel Rojas, Noah Syndergaard ... really?
After such a disappointing ending to what felt like a magical 2022 season, Dodgers fans watched guys like Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, and Chris Martin sign elsewhere while the team felt like it was punting 2023 with eyes on Shohei Ohtani. The vibes were not good heading into the new campaign.
The Dodgers have recovered from their slow start and have possession of first place in the NL West, but it feels like this team has so much room for improvement. And these three players are clearly leaving the door open for upgrades because they're not getting the job done as the patience of the fans gets tested.
Since Chris Taylor signed his four-year, $60 million contract, it feels like he has been a completely different player. He struggled mightily last season, and while he's hit for more power in 2023 and still provides helpful defense, he continues to look like a shell of the player he once was.
We know that strikeouts will always be a huge deal when it comes to Taylor. He led the league in strikeouts back in 2018, and has struck out at least 160 times in each of the last two seasons. That's still out of control for him as he's whiffed 39 times in 35 games (34.8% of his at-bats). That's better than last season's mark of 35.2%, but barely.
In the past we've been able to live with the strikeouts because of everything else he provided. Taylor's versatility is well-documented and he's always had some power and speed as well. His other hit tools and on-base ability have just completely vanished.
From 2017-2021 Taylor slashed .265/.343/.461 while averaging 16 home runs per season. He had an .804 OPS and a 113 OPS+ in that five-year span. In the last two seasons he's slashed .214/.293/.389. He has a .682 OPS and an OPS+ of 87 over that span. He's hitting for more power this season with seven home runs after just 10 last year, but he's hitting under .200 with a .250 OBP.
We know the things he's done and we know the Dodgers aren't exactly flooded with talent in the outfield right now, but it's becoming harder and harder to justify giving this guy at-bats.