Dodgers Perspective: Is Adding Right Handed Bats The Right Thing To Do?
A.J. Pollock, Dodgers
Marcio Jose Sanchez-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers current 40-man squad has a bit of an imbalance in terms of left-handed and right-handed players. Prior to the trade of some right-hand hitters like Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, the squad was already heavy on left-handed players. The Dodgers haven’t gotten a like for like replacement for any of these above traded players.

Agreed that they sit at the top of the National League West. But if they are to maintain that position they will need a more balanced squad adept at facing any challenges. With Major League Baseball among the biggest leagues in sports betting, maintaining the their winning ways is what fans are demanding. In short, when it comes to the Dodgers, the stakes are now higher for those who who pull for the Dodgers and for those who engage in sports betting.

Original Plan

After trading away the three right-hand hitters mentioned above, the Dodgers thought they had a plan in place. Despite being short on options for right-hand hitters, there was no plan for bringing in “like for like’ replacements. Instead they were prepared to lean what they already had with one addition. Namely right-handed batter Chris Taylor, All-Star Cory Seager who bats left, but hits right-handed pitching well, and on only one new right-hand hitter. Free agent in A.J. Pollock who they signed in the off-season. No more additions were in the cards in this department.

However, that plan took a significant hit with Pollock’s recent injury. That injury which could have Pollack out for two months or more, has added a significant burden to a team hoping to get to the World Series for the third straight year. Short term Alex Verdugo and Enrique Hernandez have split time in center field since Pollack landed on the injured list

Internal Options AAA Oklahoma City

The Dodgers have Matt Beaty, who got a chance to advance from Oklahoma City not because of his quality. but only because there was no obvious replacement of Pollock. Kyle Garlick might be another option instead of Beaty. Though Garlick is currently struggling at the plate, he has a fine career slash of .281/.340/.507 in almost 1500 at bats in minor league. Unfortunately, that is where the list of options ends at the AAA level.

Extended Options

For the Dodgers, you have to look back as to 1981 for an example of a successful promotion from Double or Single A ball to the big leagues. That year, Steve Sax made is memorable debut. Now 38 years years removed shows that successful transitions from A-ball are a rarity in baseball. This year might actually be an exception. Cristian Santana has taken the baseball world by storm. In 2018 he slashed .274/.302/.447 and had hit twenty-four home runs, with 109 RBIs in 131 games for Single-A Rancho Coucamunga. This year year he’s continued to tear the cover off the ball slashing .312/.341/.464 in 32 games for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers. Then there here is a bit of history too. Santana is playing in the same Texas League through which Sax made his breakthrough all those years ago.

One thing is certain that the Dodgers approach in the off-season has to change. They need to have a long-term plan in place if they are to maintain their superior position in the National League West and perhaps win their first World Series since 1988.