Due to their depth over the last few years, the Los Angeles Dodgers have become known for platooning and switching their lineup every day based on what hand the opposing pitcher throws with.
With the acquisition of A.J. Pollock, the return of Corey Seager and deeming Cody Bellinger an everyday player, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said during Spring Training that the hope is for fewer platoons and more consistent lineups during the 2019 season.
So far the Dodgers have played two games, one against a right-handed starter and one against a left-hander, and the team’s lineups on the separate days looked very different.
Roberts explained he’s going to continue to stick with the plan the team has in place to help them win as many games as possible and remain viable during the second half of the season, via SportsNet LA:
“For me, it’s very important. I think that is why in the last few years we have continued to ascend come August and September. We’ve been very productive with guys off the bench. It’s part of having a plan. Sometimes, yeah, it can be hard to deviate. I’m not saying that I’m in a box, but it’s the second game of the season. You have to be able to stick to the plan for at least a couple of games.”
As it currently stands, there is only one strict platoon for the Dodgers, and that is with Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor in left field. While Roberts is mindful of Pederson’s struggles against southpaws, he is expected to receive those opportunities this season.
Elsewhere, David Freese got the start over Max Muncy at first base against Robbie Ray on Friday night, but Roberts previously said that Muncy will get his chances against left-handed pitching as well.
While fans and pundits may not agree with the approach, it looks like the Dodgers will be doing plenty of lineup maneuvering again in 2019 as they look to return to and win the World Series for the first time since 1988.