The Dodgers have been reliant on the top third of their starting lineup to factor in the majority of their offensive output. Not to be overlooked is one of their offseason signings in designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who after a torrid two-week stretch now leads the National League in slugging percentage at .612.
Martinez exploded in the month of May after returning from the injured list. He boasted an impressive 16-game hitting streak before going hitless in the Dodgers’ defeat to the Yankees on Saturday. Within that timeframe, Martinez clobbered eight home runs, drove in 22 runs batted in, and posted a batting average of .313. His adamance on paying attention to the most minute details in his swing have helped him regain his power, a power he best demonstrated in his near triple crown season back in 2018 with Boston.
When talking with Kevin Rosenthal of Fox Sports prior to Saturday’s game against New York, Martinez reflected on how he’s felt regaining his dominant power at the plate:
“It feels great. Obviously, it’s one of those things where you work really hard and I’ve been grinding. I feel like I’m on a good little rhythm right now and I’m just trying to continue it.”
- Cary Osborne of Dodgers Insider delves into the impact that catcher Will Smith has made on the team this season, noting how he has been an integral piece in cultivating the team’s newest identity:
“But maybe Will Smith, a player who had not won one of baseball’s premier awards or had ever been an All-Star, helped define that identity... ‘He’s critical,’ says manager Dave Roberts. ‘He’s essentially the quarterback of our ballclub.’”
- More than 80 Dodger Stadium gameday workers protested outside the ballpark on Saturday and threatened to go on strike if the Dodgers don’t meet contract demands by the end of June, reports Jorge Castillo at the Los Angeles Times.