The Dodgers have played 38 games this season, meaning that we have nearly reached the end of the first quarter of the regular season. Sitting at 23-15, and owning the second-best record in the NL, the boys in blue have had a successful start to the season. Overall, the season has been good, but that does not mean this campaign has been flawless. Between injuries and numerous paternity list stints, there have been times where the Dodgers have seemed out of sync, but recently that has not been the case.
The Dodgers dipped to 10-11 after being shutout by Drew Smyly and the Cubs on April 21, but since that day, LA is 13-4. It goes without saying that while it is still relatively early in the season, there have already been major peaks and valleys for the Dodgers as a team, and especially for certain players on the roster. Some players are still in the midst of those rough patches, but others (and the team as a whole) have already broken out. Five players, specifically, have been able to discover what was going wrong at the beginning of the season and have since righted the ship.
5 Dodgers who've shaken off slow starts to 2023 season
Through April 26, Heyward was hitting .159, with a .269 OBP, ,386 SLG, .656 OPS and three home runs. According to expected statistics, he was getting slightly unlikely at the start of the season, but he has been able to hit the ball hard consistently through his rough patch. Recently, his hard contact has been rewarded. Although he only has one home run in the nine games since his rough start, he has gotten on base a lot more, and has hit four doubles to raise his slugging and OPS.
Heyward’s last nine games have been better than any other Dodger’s last nine games, in fact. He is hitting .381 in those games, and his four walks have given him a .480 OBP in the same span. Add in his .714 SLG and you have a 1.194 OPS to lead all Dodgers hitters in their last nine games. It seems as though Heyward’s habit of crushing baseballs has started to pay off not just on his Statcast page, but on the actual playing field, and if he is able to keep up this level of production, he will be a shoo-in in the middle of the order against right-handed starters for the rest of the season.