4 takeaways from the Dodgers' up-and-down first week of the 2023 season
The Dodgers' outfield is stacked
Through six games of the season, great performances at the plate from multiple outfielders have forced Dave Roberts' hand. Should Roberts let an outfielder play DH for a day? Should Roberts just stick to platooning and favoring advantages in righty vs. lefty matchups? Well, the skipper came up with an interesting solution in two of the first six games. Trayce Thompson belted three home runs in his first start of the season on Saturday night.
With Thompson taking a position in the starting lineup, which of the Dodgers' outfielders would Roberts sit? None of them was Roberts' final answer. The outfielders performed well enough that instead of moving one of them out of the lineup, the Dodgers moved Betts to second base to allow Thompson, Outman and David Peralta to stay in the outfield. Later in the game, Betts moved back to right field, and saved a run for the Dodgers with his magical right arm.
In the Dodgers 13-run performance against the Rockies on Monday, the outfield showed up again. Jason Heyward hit his first home run of the season, while Outman had the Dodgers' first multi-triple game since 2014.
It is no surprise to know that four Dodgers outfielders are currently in the top six of the OPS leaderboard for the team so far. Thompson, Heyward and Outman all have an OPS higher than 1.260 on the season, with each of them only trailing Will Smith or fellow outfielders for the team lead. Betts had a relatively slow start to the season, but his multi-hit game on Tuesday night leaves him at a .990 OPS after the first week of games. Regardless of who the Dodgers have started in the outfield so far, they've all contributed.