In the first of hopefully many pieces, we hope to share some of the best online and offline personalities in the Dodgers community.
Our first guest is Taylor Nielson and he currently runs the twitter account @DodgersReddit as well as the Reddit page /Dodgers. We shot him some questions on how he got started and what his thoughts are on the current season.
1. How did you get started with Dodgers Reddit?
Just really was looking for somewhere to be a fan and sound off on what was going on with the Dodgers.
2. Who is your favorite Dodgers player of all time? Why?
I loved Kirk Gibson. He was the ultimate team player and focused on winning at all costs.
3. What has been your best experience at Dodgers Stadium?
I got the opportunity to sit in the LFP back when Puig was playing center field. That night he threw someone out at home and turned around and gave me a thumbs up then threw a ball to me in the next inning. It was amazing.
4. How would you rate Dave Roberts’ job so far?
I feel like Roberts has done a great job in managing the bullpen and pitching staff, but something is missing when it comes to the lineup. It’s still really early to tell, but I feel like he has done B plus work so far.
5. Is Kershaw on his way to his second MVP?
Undoubtedly. Barring a three inning, seven run outing against the Indians or something, he’s going to be in the conversation at the end of the season.
6. What do you think Puig’s role should be moving forward?
I still think he has the chance to be a .265/20-25/85-100 type guy. He is working through some issues at the plate, but is still only 25 and under a team friendly contract for a few more years. It’s sometimes hard to remember, but Puig had 3 months in double-A ball before making the jump to the big club. I think if he adjusts his swing and continues to work on getting on base, he can be a big help to the club this season.
7. Do you think Urias will stay up or is his success short-lived? Why?
I think Urias stays until Ryu is able to pitch. Brandon McCarthy made his rehab start recently and is probably closer than Ryu, but I don’t think he will be the guy who move Urias out of the rotation, especially if Urias continues to throw 6+ innings of 2-3 hit ball. However, I think once Ryu and McCarthy are back in the rotation for good, Urias will be back in triple A until next season.
8. Seager is currently not on the ASG ballot. Will he or any other Dodger make their way to the All-Star Game?
Kershaw, no doubt. Seager should, but I don’t know if Dodger fans are the get out the ASG vote types. Personally, I’m not too angry if the Dodgers don’t have a ton of guys on the All Star team, only because this squad looks like 4-5 days off might help more than anything.
9. Ross Stripling is set to “definitely” return this year. Management has not said when or if he will be throwing as a starter or reliever. What are your thoughts on his return in regard to the current bullpen?
I think Stripling will be the 4-5 starter after the All-Star break. He’s shown his stuff is serviceable in the big leagues and with Mike Bolsinger getting shelled in his first few starts, I think Stripling has a definite chance to be back in rotation sooner rather than later.
10. Is the lack of a true power bat in the middle of the lineup worrisome?
The entire offense is worrisome. If the Dodgers went out tomorrow and got Giancarlo Stanton, I don’t know if it would change the lineup dynamic at all.
11. How effective do you think Anderson/Ryu/McCarthy will be when they they get back?
McCarthy seemed to be making strides before TJ surgery, but he gave up a lot of homeruns. If he can come back and pitch well, it’ll be a boost to our rotation. For Ryu, I think he can come back and be a solid starter, barring any other setbacks on his way back. I don’t know if Brett Anderson will pitch this season, as he just began throwing last week.
12. What prospects are you most excited for that are still in the minor league?
Frankie Montas? Is that cheating? He’s throwing 100 and the Dodgers are starting to work him out as a starter. That’s magical. The other one I would think is Cody Bellinger. The heir apparent to AGon at first, I hoping he can make the jump from double A to the big club in Sept and get some AB’s.
13. Will we make a big trade before the deadline? If so, what position will we/should we target?
No idea. This front office isn’t the trade deadline mega deal type, but if the Dodgers offense keeps scuffling, who knows what could happen. As much as it pains me to say it, a third baseman who could hit would be nice. Or maybe even a Troy Tulowitzki to play SS and move Seager to 3B. I’m terrible at trade deals though.
14. What happens with Ethier comes back?
No idea. I don’t even know if Ethier will play this season. He hasn’t been cleared for any activity yet, and we are halfway into June. If he does come back, I think he’ll be a platoon guy in LF/RF with Puig? Tough decisions coming for Doc Roberts.