Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

If I Wrote the Dodger Lineups....

After back to back forfeiture losses for the Dodgers, I am beginning to notice some annoying patterns. Don Mattingly has decided to experiment with the lineup card, and it’s already cost us two games. Make no mistake about it, but the lineups used the last two games were ridiculous forfeiture concoctions created by Mattingly. As soon as I saw the lineups the past two nights, I knew we were doomed. Yesterday’s game was the absolute worst. There was just no excuses for putting out a lineup that pathetic. I don’t care what the scenario is. So with that being said, maybe Mattingly needs some help with the lineup cards?

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

I may complain a lot about Mattingly during games, but I will admit, he is doing a good job. Yes the Dodgers have the best record in Baseball, and I am a complainer, however every game counts, and it still doesn’t excuse Mattingly for punting away two games. I understand Matt Kemp is out until May 29, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to field a lineup filled with minor leaguers, utility auto outs, and Adam Kennedy. I know this will be a hard couple of weeks to get through without our best hitter Matt Kemp, but I think I can offer a few pointers for Donnie. Even with all the injuries we still can put out a respectable lineup. So I will offer my thoughts, on how I think the Dodger lineup should look. For what it’s worth, here are my two cents….

First of all, stop playing all of the bench players. Put the bench guys, and minor leaguers on the bench where they belong. These four players should be in the lineup every day. Bobby Abreu, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, and Tony Gwynn. These four players should be on the bench, Adam Kennedy, Jerry Sands, Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers. There we go. Problem solved. Well, at least it’s a lot better. It really is this simple. Here, let me explain. The four players mentioned above are certainly not posting Ruthian like numbers, but are all at least league average at getting on base (A.J. Ellis is way better than average, he is awesome, I’ll get to him in a minute). We need guys who are going to get on base. Abreu, is still getting on base at a league average clip. He is 8 for 27 (.296) with the Dodgers. His OBP is .345, and his career on base is .396.  A.J. Ellis should never be out of the lineup right now. With Matt Kemp hurt, Andre Ethier, and A.J. Ellis are the Dodger’s only two offensive forces. A.J. is batting .322, with a .455 OBP. His on base skills rank him third in the league. Yet he was not in the lineup yesterday. I get he has to have days off every once in a while, but come on, he’s not going to fall apart, play him. The other Ellis, Mark, is also having a nice season. Mark, is batting .279, with an impressive .385 OBP. Our second baseman Mark is another experienced hitter who is adept at getting on base. Again he has to play. The last of the four is Tony Gwynn. He’s not a great hitter, but he is out there more for his glove. Gwynn is the best defensive outfielder to play center field. His bat isn’t as bad as everyone says it is. Gwynn has been swinging a hot bat of late. He has two game winning pinch-hits this week. He’s batting .270 with a .333 OBP, and 17 hits. This isn’t spectacular by any means, but respectable. Gwynn and the other three are Still miles ahead of the auto outs that these four would be replacing.

As for the aforementioned other guys, leave them on the bench. Adam Kennedy, Justin Sellers, Jerry Sands, are all pretty much auto outs. So you play Abreu in left, Gwynn in center, If you are not playing Gordon at short, either Sellers, or Herrera would do fine, although neither can hit at all. Third base is the real problem area. It’s like a black hole now ever since our portly third baseman went down with a wrist injury. Who knows how long Uribe is going to be out, and Hairston is still out as well. I think a platoon of Sellers and Herrera would be our best and only option, but I know Adam Kennedy, who is the outmaker, will get some starts. If Kennedy must play then fine, but can we please for god’s sake not bat him second? So we platoon Sellers, outmaker, and Herrera at third, and continue to play Gordon at short, and pray nobody else gets hurt. Sellers is the best choice defensively Maybe use Herrera there against lefties? I guess Sands can start at first against lefties, but I am not very high on Sands right now. He looked awful in spring training, and I am skeptical as to how much he is going to be able to contribute to the offense. I am a little curious to see Herrera, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to stick him at third, or short on some days. I guess you could also throw in Scott Van Slyke on a few days as well.

The lineup should look like this, against right handers.

  1. Tony Gwynn 8                                         
  2.  Mark Ellis 4
  3.  Andre Ethier 9
  4.  A.J. Ellis 2
  5.  Bobby Abreu 7
  6.  James Loney 3
  7.  Dee Gordon 6
  8.  Elian Herrera 5
  9.  Pitcher 1

 

The lineup against lefties should look like this.

  1. Tony Gwynn 8
  2. Mark Ellis 4
  3. Andre Ethier 9
  4. A.J. Ellis 2
  5. Bobby Abreu 7
  6. Jerry Sands 3
  7. Elian Herrera 6
  8. Justin Sellers 5/Adam Kennedy (Ughh)/Elian Herrera
  9. Pitcher 1

 

Call me old school, but I am not big on platoons. I think it is best to use a set lineup on most days I am not big on lefty/righty match-ups either. Obviously though, Loney and Gordon are so atrocious against lefties, you must bench them. So these lineups above do just that. We get Loney and Gordon the heck out of there against lefties, but at the same time keeping the top five the same. Tony Gwynn isn’t ideal to lead-off but there isn’t any other choice. His bat is respectable, and Gordon has to be moved down in the order for the good of the team. We need A.J. Ellis to bat cleanup behind Ethier. Which brings me to another point. Ethier should be batting third, and A.J., who is the next best offensive threat must provide lineup protection for Dre. A.J. is sure to get a lot of good pitches to hit. Abreu bats fifth, and then you can mix and match the bottom of the lineup like I have done above.

See? It’s not hard. I know we have a big lead in the division, but every game counts. Saying that these last two games don’t matter, or whatever just doesn’t fly with me. Every game counts. You put your best lineup forward no matter what. No excuses. If Mattingly doesn’t stop dicking around with the lineups, then we might not have much of a lead once Matt Kemp returns. Otherwise if these forfeiture lineups continue, then we better hope the rest of the division plays like crap until May 29. For the Dodgers and all of us, that date can’t come soon enough.

Tags: A.J. Ellis Adam Kennedy Andre Ethier Bobby Abreu Dee Gordon Dodgers Don Mattingly Elian Herrera James Loney Jerry Sands Juan Uribe Justin Sellers Mark Ellis Matt Kemp Scott Van Slyke Tony Gwynn Jr.

comments powered by Disqus