Saturday, June 6, 2015

If Puig's return doesn't wake up this offense, then changes need to be made

Here are some June stats for you:

Andre Ethier: 4-for-22 (.182), two extra-base hits
Yasmani Grandal: 5-for-18 (.278), all singles
Jimmy Rollins: 5-for-18 (.278), one solo homer
Justin Turner: 6-for-21 (.287), one extra-base hit
Alex Guerrero: 3-for-12 (.250), one massive grand slam
Kike Hernandez: 7-for-20 (.350), one extra-base hit
Joc Pederson: 7-for-24 (.292), lots of big hits
Adrian Gonzalez: 10-for-22 (.455), quite a few big hits

What does this all mean?

Take away guys like Pederson, A-Gon, and for the most part Guerrero, the Dodgers have a whole bunch of single's hitters, and not much else.  That is, if they even bother to get a hit in the first place.

Yes, the offense has been letting the Dodgers down tremendously of late.  Take away the four games in Colorado to start June, and the Dodgers have scored 2, 0, 5, 1, 1, and 1 runs going back to the end of May.  From May 16-24, they scored 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 2, and 3 runs.  Let's see here... 19 runs in 14 games means they've scored 1.4 runs/game in that span.  That's really, really bad.

I don't know how much longer they can just shrug their shoulders and say "We're injured and we're tired."  Yes, they are injured.  Yes, they are tired, though so are countless other teams as well.  And yes, we hope Yasiel Puig is healthy enough to return this weekend like he says.

But let's be realistic - if Puig can't even wake up this deadbeat offense, then it's time to make some changes.

Corey Seager and Hector Olivera, I hope you two are ready.  You could (and should) be with the big club soon.

The baseball season is full of peaks and valleys.  While it wasn't fair to expect the Dodgers to keep up their torrid pace to start the season, there's no way we should have expected them to go into complete hibernation either.  There are way too many games this team just drags to the finish line.

Friday night was the perfect example.  Brett Anderson was sensational, taking a shutout into the eighth inning.  The problem?  His team spotted him a mere 1-0 lead, and a couple of runs given up later, the Dodgers lost another one to the Cardinals 2-1.  Call it pessimistic, but this was something I could see coming from a mile away - there was no way Anderson was going to pitch a complete game shutout.  The Dodgers could not score more runs to save their lives, and it cost them.  Again.

How many times are we going to watch guys like Rollins and Ethier groundout or strikeout?  How many times are we going to watch a couple of guys reach base, then nothing come of it?  If this team isn't hitting the long ball, then what?  They're just stuck in place time and time again.

Which brings me back to the two young guns ready to be called up.  Seager has played 32 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City, and is hitting .300 with seven doubles, a triple, four homers, and 17 RBIs.  Before that, he tore apart Double-A Tulsa, prompting the promotion.  How badly to the Dodgers need a jolt of life from him in their lineup?  Beats the heck out of watching Rollins day in and day out.

Olivera is getting started at Tulsa, but by all accounts, his bat is THIS close to being Major League ready.  He's playing third base, which just got a little less cluttered after the Juan Uribe trade.  After he works the rust off, then he can get time at third with Turner, putting Guerrero to play more in left.  Sounds good to me.

Before any of that happens, let's first see how the Dodgers look with Puig back at the top of the lineup.  It's laughable when people talk about how he's suddenly tradeable with Ethier's play this season.  It's true, Ethier has played well, but give me a break.  There's no way anyone can expect Ethier to put up better numbers than Puig.  That's just crazy.  And a bit delusional, too.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Dodgers have series against the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Rangers before seeing the Giants again.  And thankfully not the Cardinals.  If Puig in the lineup is making little difference, then it's time to bring the kids up to LA and let them do their thing.  If not, then the offense will continue spinning their wheels, and the Dodgers will continue to look average at best.

Yasiel, I hope you can go on a tear.  This team should does need it.

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