With another deep roster in tact for the 2019 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers will naturally, at times, struggle to find playing time for many players deserving of a starting role.
Prior to A.J. Pollock being placed on the injured list, Alex Verdugo was relegated to a bench role despite his impressive start to the season.
Another player that has had to adjust to a reduced role is veteran infielder David Freese. A starter for the majority of his career, he is currently part of a platoon at first base with Muncy.
Freese receives most of his opportunities against left-handed pitching, although he will occasionally be penciled into the starting lineup against a right-hander as well.
Freese admitted that it is difficult being part of a platoon at times, but remains confident he can handle the role and still post solid numbers, per Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:
“It’s definitely a tough role, but I can handle it,” Freese said. “I’ve handled it before. You just want to do your part. That’s the most frustrating thing, even when you’re winning, which we are. It can hide some of your struggling aspects, but man, you just want to do your part.”
Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the 2018 Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline last season, Freese was immediately understanding of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ platoon method and believes he has produced when called upon.
In 46 games this season (24 starts), the 36-year-old is hitting a superb .292/.414/.573 with nine doubles, six home runs and 19 RBI over 114 plate appearances. He had a nine-game hitting streak that was snapped in a pinch-hit appearance against the Arizona Diamondbacks this week.
Despite his longtime success against left-handed pitching, Freese has actually fared better when facing right-handed pitchers this season. Against the same split, he is batting .333/.417/.643 in comparison to a .269/.424/.538 showing against southpaws.