Since the dawn of interleague play the Dodgers have been at the bottom of baseball in production from the designated hitter position. But this season, with the DH a daily reality, a rotating cast of characters have made it one of the teams’ strongest positions.
Interleague play began in 1997, and the Dodgers’ .678 OPS out of the DH spot is second-worst in baseball, behind only the Expos/Nationals. LA’s 15 home runs from the DH spot are dead last among 30 MLB teams.
Three of those home runs have come this season, with Dodgers designated hitters batting .274/.384/.500, their 154 wRC+ at the position ranking sixth in MLB. Only right field (.288/.342/.644, 170 wRC+) has been better on the team, thanks to Mookie Betts.
Max Muncy starts at DH for the Dodgers on Tuesday against the Padres, his second start at the position this year. The Dodgers have had seven players make at least two starts at DH through 18 games, counting Tuesday night.
“Muncy’s a guy that we’ve been running out there a lot, and has been playing more second base than I envisioned. To get him off his feet a little bit, I thought it was beneficial,” manager Dave Roberts said on a conference call Tuesday. “The hope is tomorrow to give [Justin Turner] a day. Corey [Seager], certain times he was a DH to get him off his feet. I think it’s worked out pretty well.”
Cody Bellinger shifts to first base for this one, his first start of the season at the position. A.J. Pollock fills in for Bellinger in center field, his second start of the season in center.
It’s more of the same for Corey Seager, who swung a bat, ran, and played catch on Monday and Tuesday, but hasn’t yet taken batting practice. As of now, there are still no plans yet to place Seager on the injured list.
“It’s going to be a slow progression,” Roberts said. “For the next couple days, we’re okay kind of sitting where we’re at with that.”
Edwin Uceta, Cody Thomas, and Zach Reks are still on the injured list (for undisclosed reasons), and haven’t yet reported to the alternate training site at USC, Roberts said.
Time: 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA