Dodgers April review: Offensively challenged

Denis Poroy

Will the return of Hanley Ramirez revive a Dodgers offense that was mostly dormant in April? Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez could sure use some help.

One might think the Dodgers are lucky to be at .500 after a month in which they used nine starting pitchers in 26 games, and were without their starting shortstop and number five hitter for all but the last two days of April. That's probably true, but it didn't make the month any less frustrating.

Matt Kemp was nonexistent for most of the month, still trying to find his swing. Andre Ethier was mostly mediocre, though his three home runs are second most on the team. The two opening day starters on the left side of the infield combined to hit .150, and the Dodgers struggled to score runs, just as they did down the stretch in 2012. Just think how bad the offense might have been without the Punto Trade™.

Dodger Batter of April: Carl Crawford was just what the Dodgers needed at the top of the order, and he hit .308/.388/.516 with 20 runs scored in his first month as a Dodger to capture the award narrowly over Adrian Gonzalez, who hit .333/.398/.473. Gonzalez led the club with 18 RBI, and drove in Crawford eight times. What helped push Crawford to the top, aside from leading the club in extra-base hits, runs scored, slugging percentage, and OPS, was his team leading four home runs.

Honorable mention goes to Nick Punto, who hit .400/.488/.429 in 42 plate appearances. In April, the three imports from the Red Sox combined to hit .333/.409/.484, while the rest of the position players hit just .225/.305/.324.

Dodger Pitcher of April: This award was another close one. Clayton Kershaw narrowly edges Hyun-jin Ryu, after each pitcher ended their month with a 12-strikeout game. Kershaw was 3-2 with a 1.73 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 12 walks. Ryu was 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 10 walks.

April Record: 13-13
88 runs scored (3.38 per game)
108 runs allowed (4.15 per game)
.407 pythagorean winning percentage (11-15)

April National League West Standings
Club W-L Pct GB RS RA
Rockies 16-11 .593 --- 141 116
Diamondbacks 15-12 .556 1 115 99
Giants 15-12 .556 1 115 111
Dodgers 13-13 .500 88 108
Padres 10-16 .385 101 123

Game of the Month: With all due respect to the pair of 12-strikeout games by Kershaw and Ryu in the final three days of April, the game of the month came on opening day. Kershaw did it all on Apr. 1, not only pitching a shutout with no walks to beat the Giants but also producing at the plate with his first major league home run, breaking a scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Pop up video: After enjoying his half season in the sun with the Dodgers in 2012, April for Luis Cruz was a lost month. He hit just .089 (5-for-56) and popped out to an infielder an astonishing 15 times, tied with Matt Dominguez, in just 60 plate appearances. In 2012 with the Dodgers, Cruz popped out in the infield 20 times in 296 PA.

First & last: The Dodgers got two runs batted in out of their pitchers in April, on both the first and last day of the month. Kershaw hit the home run on opening day, and Ryu hit an RBI single against the Rockies on Apr. 30. Ryu, who said during spring training that he hadn't picked up a bat in eight years, since high school, batted .333 (4-for-12) with a double in April.

Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters were terrible, with four hits in 28 at-bats, including a home run, hitting .143/.172/.250. The National League as a whole hit .216/.273/.340 as a pinch hitter.

Runners in Scoring Position: In April, the Dodgers hit .213/.319/.275 with runners in scoring position in 258 plate appearances. The entire NL hit .252/.338/.382 with runners in scoring position during the month.

They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 51 times, and got the runner home 27 times, or 52.9% (the entire NL scored 384 of 757 times, 50.7%).

They had a runner on second base with nobody out 38 times in April, and the runner advanced 23 times, or 60.5% (the entire NL advanced the runner 309 of 562 times, 55.0%).

April Weeks in Review: April 7 | April 14 | April 21 | April 28

April Stats

Player PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB/CS BA/OBP/SLG OPS
Ramirez 5 5 1 2 1 0 1 1 0 0/0 .400/.400/1.200 1.600
Crawford 103 91 20 28 5 1 4 6 9 4/2 .308/.388/.516 .905
Gonzalez 108 93 7 31 7 0 2 18 11 0/0 .333/.398/.473 .871
Ellis, M 80 73 10 25 2 0 2 11 2 1/0 .342/.363/.452 .815
Ethier 102 90 7 22 5 0 3 9 11 0/1 .244/.333/.400 .733
Ellis, A 86 72 2 18 5 0 1 8 14 0/0 .250/.372/.361 .733
Kemp 107 96 11 25 5 0 1 11 8 4/0 .260/.318/.344 .662
Sellers 71 64 6 13 1 0 1 2 5 0/0 .203/.282/.286 .547
Cruz 60 56 3 5 0 0 0 2 1 0/0 .089/.119/.089 .208
Starters
722 640 67 169 31 1 15 68 61 9/3 .264/.334/.386 .720
Punto 42 35 5 14 1 0 0 2 6 1/0 .400/.488/.429 .916
Uribe 43 32 6 7 0 0 2 4 11 0/0 .219/.419/.406 .825
Hairston 46 43 4 10 1 0 1 5 1 0/0 .233/.244/.326 .570
Schumaker 44 36 4 5 1 0 0 1 7 0/0 .139/.295/.167 .462
Hernandez 20 18 0 1 1 0 0 1 2 0/0 .056/.150/.111 .261
Federowicz 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 .000/.167/.000 .167
Bench
201 169 19 37 4 0 3 13 28 1/0 .219/.332/.296 .628
Pitchers
51 41 2 7 1 0 1 2 3 0/0 .171/.227/.268 .496
Totals
974 850 88 213 36 1 19 83 92 10/3 .251/.329/.362 .691
Pitcher G W-L Sv IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP FIP*
Greinke 2 1-0 -- 11⅓ 7 2 2 1 10 1.59 0.706 1.85
Kershaw 6 3-2 -- 41⅔ 26 10 8 12 47 1.73 0.912 2.56
Magill 1 0-0 -- 6⅔ 4 2 2 2 7 2.70 0.900 1.89
Billingsley 2 1-0 -- 12 12 4 4 5 6 3.00 1.417 4.42
Ryu 6 3-1 -- 37⅔ 33 16 14 10 46 3.35 1.142 2.82
Beckett 5 0-3 -- 30⅓ 33 18 16 8 25 4.75 1.352 5.46
Lilly 2 0-1 -- 8 14 6 5 4 9 5.63 2.250 5.59
Fife 1 0-0 -- 4⅔ 7 4 4 1 5 7.71 1.714 5.02
Capuano 1 0-1 -- 2 5 5 5 2 0 22.50 3.500 6.09
Starters 26
8-8 -- 154 141 67 60 45 155 3.50 1.205 3.54
Capuano 2 0-0 -- 2⅔ 2 0 0 1 4 0.00 1.125 1.21
Schumaker 1 0-0 -- 1 2 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.000 6.09
Jansen 13 1-0 1/1 14 10 2 2 3 15 1.29 0.929 2.73
Belisario 13 2-2 -- 12⅔ 12 4 4 7 14 2.84 1.500 2.30
League 11 0-0 8/9 11 10 6 5 1 4 4.09 1.000 4.09
Rodriguez 14 0-1 -- 8⅓ 5 4 4 3 8 4.32 0.960 2.25
Guerrier 11 1-1 -- 9⅓ 7 6 5 6 2 4.82 1.393 7.05
Howell 11 1-0 -- 9⅓ 8 5 5 6 11 4.82 1.500 2.98
Wall 6 0-1 -- 7 17 14 14 6 7 18.00 3.286 6.09
Tolleson 1 0-0 -- 0 0 0 0 2 0 ---- undef undef
Relievers 26
5-5 9/10 75 73
41 39 36 65 4.66 1.447 3.75
Totals 26
13-13 9/10 229 214 108 99 81 220 3.88 1.284 3.61
*FIP is estimated
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