LOS ANGELES —— A lot was made of the Dodgers uses platoons last September and while Joc Pederson generally does not start against left-handed pitchers, the rest of the lineup tends to not be specifically set depending on which arm the opposing starting pitcher uses.
Part of this due to injuries, particularly A.J. Pollock and now Corey Seager’s setbacks, but the other part is the success that Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Alex Verdugo have had against left-handed pitching.
Currently, those three players have .900+ OPS against left-handed pitching and Cody Bellinger leads all left-handed batters against same side pitchers (minimum 50 PA)
LHB against LHP - Best OPS (min. 50 PA)
Manager Dave Roberts said that just because the Cubs have a left-handed pitcher starting, that was not the reason Verdugo was out of the lineup today.
“This is more for Alex to manage his body, giving Kyle a start, absolutely, I have no problem Alex playing against lefties, but also to have him on the bench too and to give him, run him out there, understand that we have 13 games in a row whatever, just to kind of know that, yeah, that has nothing to do with the handiness for him.”
Roberts also said that this season, both Bellinger and Muncy have the ability to do something that has made them successful this season against same-sided pitching.
“I think that it is attributed to they both know that they can carry the outfield from right-center field over,” Roberts said, “and I say that because when you face left-handed pitching, you got to be able to handle spin. And so if you look to the big part of the field, it allows to stay on the baseball”
“And so this year, they’re doing a very good job of that. And so guys that don’t hit left-on-left, right-on-right, they can’t handle spin, they’ve done a great job.”
David Freese has also continued to hit well against left-handed pitching while wearing a Dodger uniform. He has a .970 OPS in 73 PA (.271/.411/.559) with five doubles and four home runs.
Justin Turner has gotten off to a slow start against left-handed pitching with a .740 OPS.
The Dodgers are 14-9 against left-handed starters this season and will hope to improve that mark today.
Dodger offense having their own June swoon
The Dodgers nearly had their second 1-0 win in their last six games and if you thought the team had not been scoring many runs this month, you would be right.
NL Team Offense for June 2019
The Dodgers rank 13th out of the 15 National League teams in June with their 54 runs. Averaging just over four runs per game, this is their lowest scoring month this season.
- March - 10.5 runs per game (4 games)
- April - 4.7 runs per game (28 games)
- May - 5.4 runs per game (28 games)
- June - 4.2 runs per game (13 games)
Also their hitting with runners in scoring position has slowly gone down this season;
Dodgers overall this season with runners in scoring position - .260/.357/.442 (697 PA)
- March - .400/.544/.550 (58 PA)
- April - .267/.336/.495 (244 PA)
- May - .242/.344/.401 (278 PA)
- June - .229/.336/.385 (117 PA)
Update on A.J. Pollock
A.J. Pollock is beginning his baseball activities and while the Dodgers won’t get too specific, manager Dave Roberts did outline what was upcoming in the outfielder’s rehabilitation.
“As far as the next two weeks, it is going to be a ramp up,” Roberts said, “as far as for the hitting, from dry swings to tee, to flips, to some batting practice, and we’ll see how it goes after two weeks and reassess. And the same thing with his throwing progression.”
“Each day, he is going to do a little bit more and I just think in two weeks, we’ll have a really good idea of where he is at.”
At some point, Pollock will go on a rehab assignment and while not specifically saying that all of the plate appearances he needs are in actual games as opposed to some simulated games, Pollock will need to get some work in before returning to the major league club.
“For me, it is going to be a 40 to 50 at bats ramp up,” Roberts said, “I just think that where we are at, I think it is fair to A.J. and it’s fair to our ball club that he’s got to be able to hit the ground running.”
“Obviously the player wants to be there sooner than later,” Roberts said, “and I can appreciate that. But once he’s get going out there, we’ll know more but I kind of look at it as spring training all over again.”