One Grand Addition Could Make The Los Angeles Dodgers Unbeatable, But It’s Not The Grand Addition You’re Thinking Of
“Historic.” “Amazing.” “Unbelievable.”
Such have been the words to describe the Dodgers’ season. Cody Bellinger has the rookie of the year title probably sewn up. Justin Turner is second in the race for the batting title. Alex Wood and Clayton Kershaw are 29-3.
It’s all gravy.
Turner got hurt after starting the year hitting .400 and he hasn’t looked
right since his return, hitting .248 after the All Star game.
Kershaw is out with a back strain.
Wood is out with sternoclavicular joint inflammation.
And we all, ahem, know what that is.
The worst injury of the bunch may be Bellinger’s however. He has been the real lynchpin of the Dodger offense. And without him, Milwaukee became the first team since early June to win two-of-three games from Los Angeles.
Add to the mix the return of aging slugger Adrian Gonzalez, he who dropped from 28 home runs in 2015 to 18 in 2016, and there’s going to be a problem with at-bats when Bellinger returns.
Time for panic? Hardly. Time for concern? Absolutely.
The biggest concern in this lineup is the one occupied by center field. Shocked was this longtime observer of Curtis Granderson attempts to hit a curve ball…by the acquisition of Curtis Granderson and the demotion of Joc Pederson from the outfield to the minors.
Granted, Pederson has been slumping.
Okay, there’s got to be a better word for two hits in 39 at-bats.
But, even though he’s hitting .215 for the year, he still is having far better at-bats than Granderson who reminds me of a Rockford Peach: can’t hit the high fastball. Though Kit could hit the breaking pitch as I recall.
I just don’t get the lineup swap of one struggling centerfielder for another. Granderson’s hitting only .138 since the deal with the New York Mets and he’s stolen a grand total of five bases on the year.
And as far as his playoff career: .239 average, .797 OPS.
Pederson last year: .250, .714 OPS.
Granderson’s big highlight – a grand slam on his birthday- and Joc’s defense and playfulness on the field aside, neither is the answer.
Maybe Los Angeles has the answer in AAA.
I can’t think of a better time to bring up the team’s number-two prospect Alex Verdugo and his AAA statline: .315 average, 52 walks, 49 strikeouts in 116 games as well as 37 outfield assists in his first two seasons.
The rags in Los Angeles seem to think he’s trade bait. He shouldn’t be.
The Dodgers have the perfect spot for him. They already have 90 wins and a playoff berth all but in the bag. So, no pressure on the kid. They should recognize the Granderson acquisition for what it is and bring up Verdugo.
The Dodgers have hit a minor speed bump. To keep the winning percentage above .700 and an easy trip through the playoffs, they still need a little help and not a Grand mistake.
They need Verdugo. They need him now.