Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Not Sure Where Team Would Be Without Yasmani Grandal
Gregory Bull-AP Photo

Coming into the 2018 season, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal’s role on the team was uncertain after Austin Barnes supplanted him as the starter behind the plate down the stretch and in the postseason in 2017.

Grandal has put an end to those question marks, however, with a strong spring and an even better start to the regular season. The 29-year-old was again the hero in Tuesday night’s 7-3 win over the San Diego Padres, hitting a two-run, game-winning double in the top of the 12th inning.

After the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was complimentary of Grandal, pointing him to a big reason for what the team has managed to accomplish even in a slow start, via SportsNet LA:

“I don’t want to imagine where we would be without him, behind the plate and obviously at the plate. Coming up with big hits for us, getting on base, driving runs in. Catching 12 innings tonight, he’s done amazing things.”

Grandal went 1-for-6 in the victory, but he is still hitting .347/.429/.612, tied for the team lead with three home runs and leading the Dodgers with 12 RBI in 13 games this season.

The Padres traded Grandal to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp before the 2015 season, and through the first two games of the series at Petco Park, their former backstop has driven in seven runs.

Getting off to a hot start to a season is not something new with Grandal. He typically fares well in the first half but then battle battles inconsistency and cools off after the All-Star break.

But this is arguably the best Grandal has opened a campaign, and should he manage to remain healthy, conceivably could sustain the production throughout the year.