Saturday, May 30, 2015

Grandal is back, and Rollins is dropped to 8th

A couple of items to discuss before the Dodgers once again try to solve the puzzle this is the St. Louis Cardinals...

* Yasmani Grandal is being activated from the 7-day concussion DL, needing the minimum amount of days to do so.  He got knocked around, literally, in the noggin against the Padres a week ago, so precaution was understandably taken.  Chris Heisey will be sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City, just four days shy of five full years of service time, meaning he could've refused the assignment.  I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that why he was the chosen one.

For now, the Dodgers plan on keeping three catchers on the active roster, meaning young Austin Barnes will be the emergency catcher.  I can't imagine that will last long; maybe only as long as Grandal shows he's fully healthy and there's no reason to worry about him.

The Dodgers definitely needed this bit of good news, as Ellis has given them next to nothing at the plate.  No one will ever question his heart and preparation with the pitching staff, but at the plate, he's about as lousy as one can get.  There is nothing about him with the lumber that scares anyone.

* The other bit of news is that after starting all 41 games he's played in the #2 hole, Don Mattingly has decided to slide Jimmy Rollins down to #8.  In his place will be Justin Turner making another start at third.

This is a move many people, myself included, have been clamoring for for many weeks.  Rollins is only hitting .210 with a .278 OBP.  But, if you look a little closer at the stats, you'll see that he's on a six-game hitting streak, raising his average from .194.  He also had the Dodgers' only extra-base hit on Friday, a double.

So why the switch?  I have to think it's because Donnie is trying all he can to wake up a deadbeat offense on the road.  They've gone an absurd 37 straight innings away from home without scoring one damn run.  That really is embarrassing.  So while Rollins has improved, it's not like he's killing the ball, it's been mostly singles.

I like the move because it gets some new blood at the top, as Turner is hitting .298 with a .383 OBP, five homers, and 19 RBIs.  He's one of those guys who consistently leaves a mark when he's in the starting lineup, so why not move him to a more important spot in the order?

The next domino falling in the order could be Joc Pederson.  He's had an exciting season, but is striking out way too much at 57, and has only taken two walks in his last nine games.  That's not exactly a good combination for the leadoff hitter.  He'll still have his games where he's tearing the cover off the ball, but when he's not, it's a whole lot of swings and misses.

Maybe Rollins continues to hit well from the #8 spot.  I can then see him becoming the leadoff hitter, moving Pederson down to #5 or #6 to drive in more runs with that wicked swing of his.  We shall see.

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