In the wake of being swept by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped to just 3-14 over their last 17 games. The club’s recent stretch of sloppy play can be attributed to a number of factors, but perhaps none more than their inconsistent lineup that has struggled to score runs at times.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been reluctant to make changes thus far, but not because it goes against the team’s approach. “It’s not a philosophical thing,” he recently said.
“In years past, I think I have shown the willingness to move players around. I’ve also kind of been victim of doing it too much. I think right now, I think getting guys individually going, I don’t think is a lineup construction thing.
“I think guys are going through individual struggles. I do see it turning. The lineup, construction-wise, makes sense. It looks right. Now it’s just I want these guys to feel confident, go out there, take good at-bats, and I think the production will be there.”
One change to the Dodgers lineup that many have suggested is moving Max Muncy out of the cleanup spot. The 30-year-old had been mired in a lengthy slump that saw him draw more walks than hits over a near two-week stretch.
Muncy, however, has been swinging a better bat of late, going 3-for-10 in the Dodgers’ three-game series against the Cubs. “I think the thing is if you look at Max, he’s getting on base,” Roberts said last week.
“Having C.T. back, having AJ swing the bat well, I think is going to change things as far as there’s a cost to walk Max. Whereas if you look back at the last seven to 10 days, we just didn’t have the guys behind him and it was clear that these guys were pitching around him.
“Now I think our lineup is a little bit longer as far as AJ, C.T. is back; losing McKinstry certainly hurts. I’ve thought about it, but I think right now we’re going to stay the course with where we’re at.”
Roberts believes lineup changes can be beneficial in some cases
While Roberts does not plan to make any changes to the Dodgers lineup at this time, he is aware that some players benefit from moving up or down a couple of spots. “Sure. Absolutely. I think if you look at outside of the one, two and three, we have done that,” Roberts said.
“There’s not a thought of moving Mookie out of the one, there’s not a thought of moving Justin out of the three. He’s been our most consistent performer. And he’s in a little bit of a lull right now, but Corey is doing just fine with an .800 OPS. Four, five, six, seven, I think we have kind of changed it up.”
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