In 2017, Chris Taylor seemingly emerged of nowhere for the Los Angeles Dodgers to become an essential part of their World Series run, having an All-Star caliber season.
Taylor has not quite been able to replicate that success in 2018 though. He has had some strong stretches at the plate but has been largely inconsistent, struggling to put the ball in play as he leads the National League with 158 strikeouts on the season.
Four of those strikeouts came in Thursday night’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks when the Dodgers struck out 15 times as a team.
After the game, manager Dave Roberts commented on the struggling Taylor, saying that he is going to give him a day off on Friday against a tough right-hander in Zack Greinke, but he still remains confident in Taylor’s ability to turn it around, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“It’s been an inconsistent year for him. He really hasn’t found his consistent stroke and comfort level, and it shows. We still have 30 games left and we’ll continue to run him out there.” — Roberts, on believing in Taylor despite plans to sit him on Friday night against Zack Greinke
While Taylor has certainly struggled, it hasn’t been all bad for him in 2018. He ranks second on the team with 69 runs scored to go along with 14 home runs, 54 RBI, nine stolen bases and a .243/.318/.427 batting line.
But that slashline isn’t close to the .288/.354/.496 that he put up in his breakout 2017 season. And with Roberts having other options to fill out his lineup card, if Taylor does not turn it around soon then he may find himself in more of a utility role off the bench down the stretch of the season.