With the departures of the two Turners, Miguel Vargas was hoisted as the starting second baseman to begin the season for the Dodgers. Although expectations weren’t high on the 23-year-old, he has struggled to become a league-average hitter at the highest professional level, which could prompt the Dodgers to reduce the amount of Vargas’ playing time.
Vargas has experienced a slump throughout the month of June, as he has posted a meager .150/.246/.300 slash line. It doesn’t help that he has only been able to muster just two hits in his past 42 at bats (a horrendous .048 batting average) since the beginning of their series in Philadelphia.
The Dodgers’ are thin in regards to the second base position with Chris Taylor being sent to the injured list and the recent demotion of Michael Busch in response to Max Muncy’s activation off the IL. The Dodgers have managed to strengthen their depth from within their active roster, notably playing with the defensive versatility of Mookie Betts, who has manned the position with terrific defense.
Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register breaks down Dave Roberts’ reaction to the rookie’s struggles and his decision to bench Vargas in favor of Betts ahead of their shutout victory over the Rockies:
“It’s a mental break more so than anything, to be quite honest,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, adding that Betts will make another start on the infield during the series in Colorado. “I had a great conversation with him (before Sunday’s game). I just wanted to kind of ease his mind, just continue to let him know how much the confidence hasn’t wavered.”
- The Dodgers have had countless of milestones reached by their seasoned veterans, including Freddie Freeman connecting for his 300th career home run and his 2,000th career hit as well as Clayton Kershaw recording his 200th career victory. Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic writes about the Dodgers celebratory toasts they’ve had this season, as they now acknowledge another milestone with J.D. Martinez becoming the newest member of the 300 home run club in their shutout win over Colorado.
- As the second phase of All-Star voting has reached its halfway point, Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com provides an update for the All-Star starter’s voting for each league, noting how Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez, and Will Smith are in contention to start the 2023 Midsummer Classic.
- Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times shares his thoughts on the Dodgers’ performance over the past two weeks, while also recognizing what Vin Scully meant to him in the latest edition of Dodgers Dugout.
- Jim Alexander of the Orange County Register delves into the ongoing lawsuit between former big league scouts and Major League Baseball.