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Dodgers & American League Parks: Not A Good Combo

We have reached the point in the schedule when the Dodgers, and 27 other teams, begin interleague play. The Dodgers happen to start in Chicago tonight against the White Sox, meaning the Dodgers are on the road in an American League park. For the last six years, that has generally meant disaster.

Dodgers In American League Parks
Year W-L RS RA
2005 0-9 19 45
2006 1-8 24 54
2007 3-6 36 52
2008 1-5 21 39
2009 5-4 41 40
2010 1-5 24 31
Totals 11-37 165 261

In five out of the last six seasons, the Dodgers have laid an egg in AL parks, only able to put up a winning record in 2009. The Dodgers play the Angels in a home-and-home series every year, though they have fared better against the Halos in the last six years than in other American League stadiums. From 2005-2010, the Dodgers are 5-13 (.278) in Anaheim, and 6-24 (.200) in other parks, including 1-5 in Chicago (sweep in 2005, 1-2 in 2009).

Part of the reason for the Dodgers' struggles in AL parks is that they simply haven't had good enough hitters to play at designated hitter. Since 2005, Dodger DHs have hit .235/.317/.317 with two home runs (by Luis Gonzalez and Manny Ramirez) in 205 plate appearances. Last year, the Dodgers had the perfect designated hitter in Manny Ramirez (remember him?), who was DH all six games in 2010 and hit .360/.407/.480. From 2005-2009, Dodger DHs hit .215/.303/.291.

It's not necessarily fair to simply use numbers as designated hitter, because the position is sometimes used to give a regular starter a pseudo day off, with a new insertion into the lineup is actually playing a position. For instance, Matt Kemp will be tonight's DH, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe get "days off" as well this weekend as DH. That said, here are the Dodgers to start at DH in the last six years.

Dodgers Designated Hitters 2005-2011
Player Starts OPS
Olmedo Saenz 14 .481
Russell Martin 7 .560
Manny Ramirez 6 .887
Mark Loretta 4 .661
J.D. Drew 4 .561
Mark Sweeney 2 .000
Kenny Lofton 2 .873
Mitch Jones 2 .929
Marlon Anderson 2 .900
Delwyn Young 1 1.500
Juan Pierre 1 .833
Antonio Perez 1 .650
Andruw Jones 1 .000
Luis Gonzalez 1 1.800

The Dodgers have had a hard enough time this year fielding a lineup with eight players. Good luck finding a ninth batter out of this team.