Dodgers Team News

Andrew Friedman Remains Confident in Bottom of Dodgers’ Lineup

As good as the top three hitters in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup have been, the bottom three have been just as bad.

Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman have hit a combined .333 with 23 doubles, two triples, and 12 home runs in the first 24 games of the season. The bottom three — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has rotated several players through the bottom third of the order — have a collective .168 batting average with six doubles, five home runs, and 25 RBIs. They have also contributed 80 strikeouts to the team’s National League-leading total of 226.

James Outman, Gavin Lux, Kiké Hernandez, and Chris Taylor have been playing in the seventh through ninth spots mostly and have taken most of the heat for the poor performance. However, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman isn’t losing faith in them just yet.

“A decent chunk (of the blame),” Friedman told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register about thos players’ responsibility for the team’s slow start. “I also feel like there are (poor) stretches every year. Last year, we scored over 900 runs and we had this same conversation at one point. So I think some of it is the nature of the game, with the ups and downs. There’s a week period where we’re scorching hot with runners in scoring position and it feels like we’ll never lose a game. And then we’ll go a couple games where we’re not and it feels like we’re never going to win again.

“I think that is the nature of this sport. And for us, it’s about sifting through that as much as we can to make bets on what will happen in the future. We’re still collecting that information in order to make bets in the future – and I don’t just mean in ’25 and beyond. I mean, in August and September and so on.”

For now, the bottom third of the lineup has become a place where rallies go to die and only the players themselves can figure out how to turn that around. Hitting is contagious, which was proven on Sunday in a 10-0 win over the New York Mets. Andy Pages collected both hits for the bottom of the batting order. Outman and Lux were a combined 0-for-6 with two walks and two runs scored.

Friedman doesn’t want to jump to conclusions too soon because the season is still in its infancy.

“I’m confident that these guys will hit,” he said. “Obviously at some point, we’ll make decisions and figure it out as we go.”

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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