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 Featured James Loney Jerry Sands Juan Uribe Justin Sellers Mark Ellis Matt Kemp Popular Scott Van Slyke Tony Gwynn Jr.

  • DodgerBaseball2

    @LasordasLair @fansided not sure you want AJ 4th. He is a better 5 or 6 guy. Abreu should be 4.

    • LasordasLair

      @DodgerBaseball2 As long as he is in the lineup somwhere. I would be fine with Abreu cleanup, and Ellis fifth.

      • DodgerBaseball2

        @LasordasLair i think one key 2 AJ’s success is that he isn’t take to seriously. You move him up in the lineup, pitchers pay more attention

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerBaseball2 remember as a catcher he’ll need 2 days off a week, especially on 7 straight games like this week, so early in the season

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 no they key is all the pitches he sees you move him up people take him seriously and are even more careful adding to that

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean i don’t think he sees pitchers best stuff when he is lower in the order. They would rather take chances with our pitcher

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean that is usually why #8 guys in the order see a lot of pitches and get walks

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 on the contrary its like the old saying you never throw a changeup to a pitcher you dont slack against the 8th guy you

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 him your best stuff and make sure he doesnt beat you

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean lets see how many walks he gets now that he is moved up. Im guessing there is a difference.

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 there should be as 5 hitter you cant be looking for walks i know that negates my previous statement about seeing pitches

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 but like i said pitchers will be more careful and make more mistakes much like bills does w/ everyone he will be given

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 too much credit

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean but seeing pitches was what we like about Ellis. Thats why i think he is well suited for lower in the order

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 well to be honest i just like that he gets on base i think he should bat second

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean Bills is a bad example. He is a headcase. I like AJ a lot, but i hope he doesn’t suffer by being moved up

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 i was using bills as an example how people pitch to ellis, bills gives everyone too much credit, nd thats how i feel when

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean i actually agree with you on the 2nd spot. Especially if we can find a leadoff batter to actually get on base

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 people pitch to ellis

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 yeah but ol fashioned nattingly will never bat him there

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @DodgerFan_Sean like it or not Mattingly decisions are working. So until we lose a lot more we have to give him some credit

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 lol no matt kemp andre ethier and the pitching staff was working ill give mattingly credit when i see us start winning wout

        • DodgerFan_Sean

          @DodgerBaseball2 kemp

        • LasordasLair

          @DodgerBaseball2 Once Kemp comes back you can move him down in the order, as long as he is playing every day. he is a good hitter

        • LasordasLair

          @DodgerBaseball2 Most of them, however his bunting, and bases loaded pitching changes, do not and never work

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @LasordasLair well how do you explain our record.

        • LasordasLair

          @DodgerBaseball2 I said I like Mattingly, but not everything he does works. He has done well, but he could do better. he can always improve

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @LasordasLair agreed. But lets not be overly critical, which i think happens on here at times

        • LasordasLair

          @DodgerBaseball2 Your right, I am way too critical. I guess its just my nature, I analyze too much

        • LasordasLair

          @DodgerBaseball2 It is also because I want the Dodgers to win every game. I mean I want Dodgers to go 162-0. Unrealistic I know, but I want

        • DodgerBaseball2

          @LasordasLair ok, even i admit that this lineup is kinda messed up today

        • LasordasLair

          @DodgerBaseball2 How you loving AK batting fifth? pretty much garantees Ethier gets walked every time a base is open

      • DodgerBaseball2

        @LasordasLair AJ will need 2 days of in a week when you play 7 straight like this week, especially so early in the year…..

      • DodgerBaseball2

        @LasordasLair one reason i was ok with him sitting yesterday. We’ll need him for the long haul

  • MorelosLLB

    Wow!  I had to admit that the previous 2 days lineups were bizarre.  I agree with others comments that AJ should not bat 4.  He is still not being taken seriously by opposing pitchers.  If he is in 4 he is going to scrutinized much more.  He is a great contact hitter.  Why not put him in the 5 hole?  Abreu still has some pop in the bat.  I would put him at 4 with Ethier at 3.  Ellis is doing a great job at the 2 hole.  Gwynn should be in the lineup every day and he is not a horrible leadoff.  His defensive skills are needed in center.   

    • LasordasLair

       @MorelosLLB
       I’m fine with AJ batting fifth, but with Bison out we need either him, or Abreu to provide some kind of lineup portection for Ethier, or he’ll just get walked every time.

      • MorelosLLB

        Abreu has to step it up even more and become a threat.  He has done relatively well for being picked up off the scrap heap.  He has great potential as a “comeback” player even at this stage in his career.  Van Slyke also has great potential but I think it is just too soon for him to fill those shoes.

        • LasordasLair

           @MorelosLLB
           I like Abreu. I hope he can really get going here.

  • http://www.feelinkindablue.com/ Dustin Nosler

    A.J. Ellis is 31 and has never played more than 110 games (105 at catcher in 2007) in any season. He’s started 29 of 36 games this season. He’s on pace for ~130 games behind the plate this season. That’s where he should be.
     
    So, to say “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,” is short-sighted.

    • LasordasLair

       @Dustin Nosler
       That depends on how much we are talking about resting him Dustin. We can’t afford to lose his bat in the lineup. With Kemp out, you know this. we need all the offense we can get. You would really start Treanor two days a week? Ellis is hitting .322. So if you would have Treanor starting two games a week, then how do you suggest we replace his offense?

      • MorelosLLB

         @LasordasLair  @Dustin Nosler It is not as if Ellis is going to play every day for the rest of the season.  The Dodgers have a very anemic offense normally when healthy let alone with these injuries.  With Kemp gone for a couple of weeks, you can’t afford to sit someone batting over 300.  He could play a couple of weeks every day until Kemp gets back.  

        • http://www.feelinkindablue.com/ Dustin Nosler

           @MorelosLLB  @LasordasLair Might be more inclined to agree if the Dodgers didn’t have a six-game lead in the division.
           
          Plus, the Dodgers have one off-day before May 29 (Kemp’s projected return date).

        • MorelosLLB

           @Dustin Nosler  @LasordasLair It is going to be a bad ride in any event.  The slide has already begun.  No need to add fuel to the fire with these overly inventive lineups. 

      • http://www.feelinkindablue.com/ Dustin Nosler

        Check that; he’s started 29 of 37 games (on pace for 127 games).
         
        We’re in Week 7. Matt Treanor has started eight games. He isn’t playing twice a week. All I’m saying is, if A.J. Ellis gets overworked, his production is likely to slip. Look at what happened to Russell Martin — and we’re not even talking about a Russell Martin-like overworking.
         
        They can’t replace his offense. When Matt Treanor is the backup; that’s just something we as fans have to deal with.
         
        The Dodgers just have to ride out the storm with some funky, crappy lineups until Matt Kemp comes back and (hopefully) the offense is upgraded by July 31. I mean, if the Dodgers are relying on A.J. Ellis for THIS much offense, things are fundamentally wrong with the team’s depth.

        • LasordasLair

           @Dustin Nosler
           Just because were up by six games, doesn’t mean we should just go easy for the next two weeks. Now is the time to crush our opposition and bury them in the standings. Col, AZ, and the Giants are close to being buried. Now is the time to do it. 130 games for AJ is fine I guess, but no less than that. There are three to four scheduled days off per month anyways. AJ can rest twice per month, and mixed in with the three or four scheduled off days per month, is plenty to keep him fresh. Anymore time off that this is assuring that we will lose many games.
           
          Treanor’s offense just isn’t acceptable. Not right now. We can’t afford to have his Ohfers in the lineup, even just once per week. Rest AJ twice per month, but that’s it.

        • http://www.feelinkindablue.com/ Dustin Nosler

           @LasordasLair Pretty sure a team can’t be buried in May. There’s still four-plus months remaining.
           
          Seriously, would your rather have Ellis sit against the likes of the Padres or a team like the Cardinals?
           
          Yes, Treanor sucks. But Don Mattingly has to play the hand he’s dealt. Ellis needs days off. Period. It makes zero sense to burn him out in May or June when the Dodgers are going to need him in August and September.

        • LasordasLair

           @Dustin Nosler
           I disagree, yes you can be buried in May. Remember we were buried by June of last year.
          I would rather Ellis not sit against anyone. There is no need to rest Ellis more than two or three times in a month. The scheduled off days mixed in with his two or three days off, give him plenty of rest needed. He’ s not a fragile piece of glass, he’s not russell Martin. I think he canhandle playing 145 games per year. Why do you think  he is going to just fall apart?