If you thought that there was no need to panic before, well now there is a legitimate reason. Corey Seager is out for the season, Justin Turner is still not back yet, Yasiel Puig is on the disabled list with a sore hip pointer and Logan Forsythe is out with inflammation in his shoulder. What else could go wrong? Oh yeah, Dave Roberts benching Cody Bellinger could be in the mix. As well as the front office saying that they won’t reach out to outside resources to replace Seager. Which means, another no name from the minors will appear with the Dodgers and that won’t satisfy the fans.
I know I’ve just laid out a lot of topics and I know that there’s more to talk about. Anyways, sorry for the postponement of this post. Yesterday was a wild day all around. Let’s start with the most important issue at hand before I break down what happened over the weekend in San Francisco.
Corey Seager is out for the season with Tommy John surgery. For those that don’t know what this means, it’s equivalent to tearing your ACL and not being able to return for a while. While this injury is mainly dealt to pitchers, it occasionally happens to regular fielders as well. The most recent player to have this injury and surgery was Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees. Since Corey Seager is a fielder, he won’t need as much recovery time as opposed to when a pitcher requires the surgery. Nonetheless, Seager will still be out of the game until next season at the earliest.
A frustrating part of this situation is what could have been done to prevent it. This injury has been lingering on since last season. Seager rested for the last month of the regular season and tried to play through the torn UCL injury. He was advised that surgery would remedy the problem but he’d have to sacrifice not playing in the World Series or he would have to sacrifice not being able to play much of this current season. Seager didn’t have the surgery and hoped natural rehabilitation would work better during the off season. Hindsight is 20/20 for this and unfortunately this day was bound to happen. In the back of my head I would always ask myself, “What would happen if Clayton Kershaw or Kenley Jansen would need Tommy John?” Never did I think that someone just as important such as Corey Seager would need the operation.
Now, it’s time to gripe about something else. The Dodgers are doing terrible, ridiculously underperforming and unable to sync up on both sides of the field. One game the offense will blow up and score an ample amount of runs, but the pitching will be awful and blow the game. The next game the pitching will be stellar but the offense will be frozen with nothing to show for. It’s rather frustrating and I believe that Dodger fans have a reason to be angry and critical. Just because we are fans doesn’t mean we can’t be critical of the horrible job this team is doing. Many of these issues can’t be blamed on any one person but certain things that happen can be pinned to one person: Dave Roberts.
I’m not one to blame the manager for everything that happens and I don’t think that should be the case at all. However, Roberts needs to find a way to manage the bullpen better and put a consistent lineup out there day in and day out. I’m being a bit hypocritical while writing this because even I have said that it’s hard to manage the bullpen as a manager. Still, there should be some blatantly obvious decisions that should be taken into consideration during a game.
Starting with a pitcher named Pedro Baez. Baez, Dave Roberts and the Dodgers Front Office have a strange love triangle that fans can’t seem to figure out. Pedro Baez has proven that he isn’t a high leverage situational pitcher. For years he has came out during the 7th, 8th and 9th inning during a close game or a tied game and has blown the game completely out of the water. Eventually leading to the Dodger losing the game. This leads to a roaring wave of “boos” as he is announced in the game, certainly not helping his case or confidence. But, for whatever reason it may be, the Dodgers refuse to let Baez go or demote him to the Minor Leagues.
In addition to the struggling bullpen and management of the bullpen, can we point fingers at those that are responsible for this mess: the front office. The Dodgers front office treats one of the largest market teams with one of the highest budgets in baseball like they’re the Oakland A’s or the Minnesota Twins. They refuse to spend money where the money is needed and they refuse to complete trades that would benefit the team. For some reason President Andrew Friedman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi are attached to the prospects at the minor league level. It was a real shock last season when they made the trade for Yu Darvish but unfortunately, something like that might not happen again.
Last season, the Dodgers had an elite bullpen in the World Series. All thanks to Brandon Morrow, Kenley Jansen and a few other arms. Notably, Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson along with Kenta Maeda. Anyways, the front office let Brandon Morrow walk away just to go sign with the Chicago Cubs for $11 Million. Then, Tony Watson left and signed with the San Francisco Giants. One amazing reliever and another good reliever disappear to A.) division rival and B.) a team that the Dodgers have faced the last two seasons in the National League Championship Series. Well now that’s just great! Instead of shelling out some petty cash ( I know $11 Million is not petty cash but in the world of baseball contracts, it is) the front office let them sign with teams that will be threats to the Dodgers this year.
I can’t figure out the whole moneyball mentality that the Dodgers have. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Kyle Farmer are all good players, but they’re not superstars or high dollar players. The Dodgers are paying these players next to nothing and thinking they’re going to put up Bryce Harper or Nolan Arenado type numbers. Bargain shopping isn’t going to win a championship. Frankly, Zaidi and Friedman feel that Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez are good enough to replace Corey Seager at shortstop. However, I don’t buy it at all. In house options are not enough to make up for the loss of Seager. The front office has to sacrifice some key prospects to bring in a superstar caliber player that will put the Dodgers back on the path to the World Series. That player, Manny Machado.
Manny Machado’s career stats so far are: .282 Batting Average, 147 Home Runs and 428 RBI’s. Not to mention he’s a 3X All Star, 2X Gold Glove Winner and has been Player Of The Week multiple times in his short career. This season has been one of his best starts to as he has a .361 Batting Average, 9 Home Runs and 22 RBI’s.
Machado is in the final year of his contract with the Baltimore Orioles, a team that is currently 8-20 with no hopes of rebuilding any time soon. Machado would be a rental but he’d be a five month rental and not a two month rental if the Dodgers act now instead of the trade deadline. The only thing holding the Dodgers back is the asking price for Machado and the luxury tax. Manny Machado has $16 million remaining on his deal for this season, that would put the Dodgers over the luxury tax threshold unless the Orioles either eat part of the salary, or take on a player from the Dodgers that is still owed money. Probably won’t happen but these teams know how to work deals. The other thing holding them back is the asking price in prospects. Like I said before, Friedman and Zaidi don’t part with prospects and likely won’t deal any top tier Major League ready players. The Orioles would probably want either Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo or both with an additional pitching prospect thrown in. Basically, the Orioles are going to rip off the Dodgers since they’re desperate.
I’m off schedule with this post and I feel like I’ve just written a new post about something that doesn’t pertain to the games that happened this weekend. Instead, I’ve summarized multiple concerns or frustrations from the Dodger faithful. As I was talking to my dad last night he was saying, “Start wearing an Angels hat and jump ship” to which I replied, “Just because the Dodgers are my favorite team, that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical of what is going on”. I think that is important for people and fans to realize. You can still love your favorite team or support that team and be critical of the things that they do right and wrong. No team is perfect and every team for every sport does things that every fan will have an issue with.
Stay tuned for Friday when I post about the series that is currently happening in Arizona and the upcoming series in Monterrey, Mexico against the San Diego Padres. In addition to that, hopefully there will be new news regarding the Corey Seager incident or the plans to replace him.