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Dodgers playing time during the 13-game stretch

Finishing up a gamut before Thursday’s off day

MLB: MAY 23 Dodgers at Braves Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wednesday night marks the end of 13 game days in a row for the Dodgers, tied for their longest stretch without an off day this season. They only have one stretch longer than six days in a row through the end of July.

Freddie Freeman starts at first base for the Dodgers in the series finale against the Braves, which isn’t news at all. He’s started every game for the Dodgers this season, and since the start of 2020 Freeman has started every game but one while his team was still battling for the division.

Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Max Muncy are each starting their 12th game in this 13-game stretch. Martinez homered in three times in the first two games of this series, and has driven in 15 runs in the first 12 games of this stretch.

Miguel Vargas starts his 11th game after getting an off day Tuesday.

Recent Dodgers playing time

Player Starts PA*
Player Starts PA*
Freddie Freeman 13 56
Mookie Betts 12 51
J.D. Martinez 12 49
Max Muncy 12 48
Miguel Vargas 11 42
Will Smith 10 43
James Outman 9 39
Miguel Rojas 9 36
David Peralta 9 32
Jason Heyward 8 29
Chris Taylor 6 20
Trayce Thompson 3 13
Austin Barnes 3 11
Starts from May 12-24 *Plate appearances through first 12 games (May 23) of 13-game stretch

Will Smith starts his 10th game behind the plate, with all three off days coming in one the two games in a night/day combo. In the 38 games he’s been active, Smith has started 26 times behind the plate, plus four more at designated hitter while Martinez was sidelined. That’s playing time (starting 79 percent of the time) in line with all of last season (80 percent), when DH was a revolving door.

Confidence remains in James Outman and his plus defense in center field despite his 4-for-32 slump with 14 strikeouts, but he’s not starting on Wednesday. He’s started 44 of 51 games, but four of his seven non-starts have come in this 13-game stretch.

A similarly struggling Chris Taylor makes just his sixth start in his stretch, with two hits in 16 at-bats.

Opting for defense where they can find it has resulted in Miguel Rojas starting nine times at shortstop, thought not on Wednesday. Rojas had a five-game hit streak snapped Tuesday, though he scored a run. Similarly, David Peralta has started nine times in left field, with Wednesday night his fifth consecutive start.

The non-Betts/Outman outfield starts were split between David Peralta (nine starts) Jason Heyward (seven, plus one at DH), Thompson (three), and Taylor (two, plus two at shortstop and once at third base).

Two more 13-game stretches await, from August 1-13 (hosting the A’s, at the Padres and Diamondbacks, hosting the Rockies) and from August 22-September 3 (at the Guardians and Red Sox, at home for the D-backs and Braves).

But for the next 10 weeks, regular built-in off days will be the norm.