The Dodgers need to start making some changes to the lineup, but not the ones Don Mattingly has been making. Mattingly keeps shuffling the lineups and going with these lame match-ups, and rotations. Match-ups don’t really work most of the time. They’re low percentage plays. The rotating the outfielders, and match-ups are not working.
The Dodgers are not getting on base. That’s another huge problem. While the club is striking out at a rate like we’ve never seen before, the club ranks at the bottom of the league in on base percentage, and at the top in whiffs.
The Dodgers rank 23rd in the majors in team batting, (.241), and rank 24th in OBP (.303).
1.The Dodgers should put the top OBP guys, and hot hitters at the top of the lineup
The one universal truth of lineup creation is to always bat the high OBP guys at the top of the order. The Dodgers just aren’t getting guys on base, and it’s another big problem with the offense.The Dodgers need to play the hot hands, and put them at the top of the lineup.
I think the Dodgers need to bench Carl Crawford. He’s off to a dreadful start, and I am sure it’s only a matter of time before he gets hurt again and lands on the disabled list again. He’s old, and in decline, and can’t hit or throw anymore. Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig need to play every day, but I think the Dodgers should play Andre Ethier in left field against right handers. Even though he’s off to a slow start with the bat too, at least Ethier can play defense, and he has a much stronger arm than Crawford. Scott Van Slyke can still play against left handers.
The Dodgers need to play Dee Gordon every day. He’s one of the few guys that are actually hitting and getting on base. The Dodgers need to stop playing Justin Turner against left handers. There are only three guys hitting right now, and that is Adrian Gonzalez, Gordon, and Juan Uribe. Hanley Ramirez, and Puig have both started to perk up a bit, but they’ve gotten off to poor starts.
2. The Dodgers should bat Gonzalez third in the order
Another truth to lineup creation that I believe is that clubs should always bat their best hitter in the number three spot. Right now, Gonzalez is obviously the Dodgers best hitter. He’s off to a tremendous start. He’s batting .300 and has already slugged seven home runs. He’s certainly found his power stroke again, and is on pace to hit 40 home runs. Seriously Dodgers, bat Gonzalez third. Hanley can hit cleanup behind him.
3. Stop benching Gordon against left handers
Can we please stop benching Gordon against left handers. How is he ever going to learn how to hit against them? There is no reason to not play Gordon (who is now hitting .347) every day now. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I am now sold on Gordon. He’s been fantastic this year, and has been getting on base and stealing bases at a great clip. He’s making contact, and his hard work has really payed off this year. I was wrong about Gordon. Play him every day, or suffer the consequences.
The Dodgers lineup should look like this against right handers.Gordon 2B Uribe 3B Gonzalez 1B Hanley SS Puig RF Kemp CF Ethier LF Fedex C Pitcher P
Notice we have the top three hottest hitters at the top of the lineup. Uribe is smashing the ball right now. Let’s bat him second, Why not? Who cares about speed at the top of the order. You need to have guys that get on base at the top of the order. Gordon, and Uribe are doing that, and they’re being buried at the bottom of the order on most nights.
Here’s how the Dodger’s lineup should look against left handers.Gordon 2B Uribe 3B Gonzalez 1B Hanley SS Puig RF Van Slyke LF Kemp CF Fedex C Pitcher P
Yes, I have Kemp batting seventh. He’s not hitting, and until he does, he shouldn’t be batting higher than sixth. Van Slyke has been swinging the bat very well this year, and I like him hitting behind Puig. Notice the top of the order looks the same with Gordon, and Uribe batting first and second.
4. Stop striking out so much
The Dodgers are on pace to break their all-time record for most strikeouts in a season. The club is constantly striking out every game. You now it’s very hard to score runs, when you can’t even make contact. If you don’t put the ball in play, then you’re going to be in trouble.
5. Please get some situational hitting
The Dodgers have no situational hitting at all this year. It’s unbielievably infuriating. Even when the club does get a couple of guys on base, they can’t score them. The Dodgers are batting just .236 with RISP, ranking them 17th in the majors.