Chris Taylor didn’t start Sunday against the Marlins, but he did enter later, doubling and drawing a walk.
The good results were welcome, since Taylor has struggled mightily since coming back. Since returning from a broken foot, he’s hitting just .197/.284/.361 with 27 strikeouts in 69 plate appearances. That’s a 39-percent strikeout rate, and helped drag his seasonal line down to .230/.311/.399, a league-average 100 wRC+.
Of note is his career-worst 36.2-percent strikeout rate, well above Taylor’s 27.5-percent career mark entering this year. His 2022 strikeout rate is second-highest in the majors, behind only new teammate Joey Gallo.
Taylor has started 15 of 21 games since getting activated from the injured list, but whether that continues going forward remains to be seen. Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register wrote about Taylor’s struggles, and how it could mean reduced playing time down the stretch:
“CT, with what he’s done, certainly deserves an extended leash. I have no problem saying that,” Roberts said. “But the strikeout rate, the swing-and-miss rate is alarming. I know he’s not trying to swing and miss, trying to strike out. But I think for me to feel confident to run him out there more consistently, it’s just got to get better. And I know he understands that too. He’s more frustrated than anyone is.”
This is not without precedent for Taylor, who hit .121/.212/.190 last September, with a 34.3-percent strikeout rate. He didn’t start either of the first two Dodgers playoff games. But Taylor won the wild card game with a walk-off home run, started the final 10 playoff games and hit .351/.419/.784 in October.
Dave Roberts said Mookie Betts, after going 8-for-15 with four home runs in the first three games of the series, will sit on Monday in Miami, per the Associated Press, saying, “Four days on the turf isn’t ideal.”
Juan Toribio was feeling it in his latest MLB.com newsletter entry, comparing Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman to the Miami Heat “Big Three” of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh from a decade ago.
“The talent of the trio is indisputable. It becomes suffocating for opposing pitching staffs,” Toribio wrote. “But, according to everyone around the team, what has made this trio so successful this season has been their ability to push each other to be even better.”
There’s a Dodgers-related trivia question in the always informative David Laurila Sunday notes column this week at FanGraphs.