It was an up-and-down April for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the club finished on a strong note by winning four consecutive games to push their record to 14-12 — good for third place in the National League West.
Like last season, the Dodgers are weathering a plethora of injuries with its excellent depth assembled by the front office over recent years. The team has received noteworthy contributions from a range of Major League veterans to young players waiting for their opportunity to shine.
Now that the calendar has turned to May, let’s look back at which players found success and those who struggled during the opening month of the 2017 regular season.
Justin Turner: Picking up where he left off from last season, Turner continues to play at an elite on both sides of the ball.
The Long Beach, Calif. native slashed .404/.465/.562 with an NL-leading 11 doubles, to go along with one home run and 12 RBI.
Turner has also shown an early improvement against left-handed pitching, hitting .333/.436/.455 against southpaws in 39 plate appearances.
What’s more impressive, Turner is in the midst of a career-best 16-game hitting streak and became the first Dodgers player to bat over .400 in April (minimum of 90 plate appearances) since Matt Kemp’s .417 mark in 2012.
Corey Seager: The 2016 NL Rookie of the Year is showing no signs of a sophomore slump thus far.
In 25 April games (107 plate appearances), Seager hit .319/.411/.549 with a team-leading five home runs and 17 RBI. The young shortstop also produced 0.9 Wins Above Replacement, second-highest on the team behind Turner’s 1.4 mark.
Clayton Kershaw: The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner was his usual dominant self in the first month of the season, earning four wins behind a superb 2.29 ERA, 2.51 FIP and minuscule 0.79 WHIP — not to mention a ridiculous 39-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Yasiel Puig: Back as the team’s everyday right fielder, Puig appeared in all but one April game for the Dodgers. In 104 plate appearances, he posted a solid .765 on-base plus slugging and tied Seager and Andrew Toles for the team-lead in home runs with five.
Puig was also just one of two Dodgers players to eclipse 100 plate appearances during the month of April, with Seager being the other.
Chase Utley: After a terrific showing in Spring Training, Utley struggled vastly during the first month of the season.
The 38-year old collected just five hits in 41 April at-bats — amounting to a .122 batting average. He did, however, draw five walks to boost his on-base percentage to .217.
Kenta Maeda: It was a rough start for Maeda, who yielded 19 runs in 26 innings pitched (6.58 ERA). The right-hander posted solid strikeouts and walks per nine ratios, but his home runs were up (2.4 per nine) and struggled at times with command.
Sergio Romo: In his debut month with the Dodgers, Romo allowed more earned runs than innings pitched (nine in 8.1 frames), posting a 4.94 FIP and 2.04 WHIP.
Scott Van Slyke: It was a disappointing month for Van Slyke, considering that he’s finally healthy again after missing a large chunk of last season.
In 21 games (36 plate appearances), the 30-year old hit a feeble .129/.250/.258 with two extra-base hits (one home run, one double). Van Slyke wasn’t that much better against left-handed pitching either, posting a .596 OPS in 29 plate appearances.
Brandon McCarthy: The right-hander has enjoyed a resurgent season thus far after battling with multiple injuries a year ago.
In five starts, McCarthy posted a 3.10 ERA and 130 ERA+ in 29 innings pitched, with 25 strikeouts to nine walks.
Alex Wood: The lefty showed his versatility in April, making three starts and two appearances out of the bullpen.
Overall, Wood put up a dazzling 2.29 ERA, 2.95 FIP and 0.97 WHIP in 19.2 innings with 19 strikeouts compared to eight walks.
Cody Bellinger: Though he opened up the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bellinger received a call-up during the final week of the month and immediately made an impact in the Majors.
Through his first six games, Bellinger is batting .286/.375/.571 with a pair of home runs.