On May 5th, Rafael Furcal played what would be his last game for the Dodgers in at least a month. Furcal was one of the best players in baseball at the time of his injury, hitting .366/.448/.597. Since he went down, the Dodgers offense has collapsed, scoring only 3.18 runs per game with a team OPS of .638. Many sources have directly correlated the loss of Rafael Furcal to the Dodgers collapse, and while it has played a part, the problem extends to the entire Dodger offense. Consider how well our corner guys have done since May 6th:
James Loney: .293/.333/.434
Blake DeWitt: .292/.357/.449
Matt Kemp: .287/.362/.383
Andre Ethier: .287/.319/.414
Juan Pierre: .257/.314/.284
While the non-Pierre entries on this list haven’t been horrible, they haven’t been good either. You should expect an .800 OPS from someone who plays on the corner (a bit less from a third baseman), and only DeWitt barely makes this cut off. While the corner guys do have high averages, only Kemp is walking frequently, and none of them have shown any real power. If your corner players aren’t carrying an offense, your players up the middle need to make up for that by not being slappy glove only guys. This is where the Dodgers have failed miserably:
Chin-Lung Hu: .138/.188/.185
Luis Maza: .220/.273/.293
Jeff Kent: .192/.232/.308
Andruw Jones: .188/.289/.344
While our corner guys can be described as below average, our players up the middle can’t be talked about without using four letter words. When the remains of Andruw Jones are putting up the best numbers out of this group, it’s a sign that something needs to change. Only Russell Martin has been significantly above average since Furcal went down, and even then his .326/.398/.402 line represents only an .800 OPS, and he has only five extra base hits in this time span.
What makes this worse is that the Dodgers are getting nothing from the top of the order since Furcal went down.
Even if Rafael Furcal came back tomorrow, he wouldn’t fix the offense because the blame can be shouldered on everyone, not just Hu or Maza. If only one guy in your lineup can be described as above average, you just aren’t going to score any runs, and Furcal coming back isn’t going to change that. Everyone in the lineup needs to turn things around, there are no quick fixes for the Dodgers right now.
Matt Kemp has been suspended for four games for his role in Tuesday's brawl, pending appeal.