The Dodgers final game of the season epitomized the team’s greatest weakness – the inability to consistently score runs. In his end-of-year press conference on Wednesday, Dodgers President Andrew Friedman addressed a myriad of topics. The unreliable offense being one of them.
Friedman stated that the Dodgers lineup, after acquiring Trea Turner from the Nationals, was the best he’s ever built. He also noted that the offense didn’t perform to its true potential.
Dodgers fans can certainly vouch for that.
After we made the Trea Turner deal, in my opinion, 1 through 8, it was the deepest, best lineup I’ve been around. But it didn’t quite play like that over those two months. It was just a little lumpier than I would have expected…we hit some real stretches where five or six guys were struggling in the lineup at the same time.
Friedman also didn’t shy away from the lackluster run production being a major challenge for the Dodgers in October.
To me, that’s a big part of this postseason was just our struggle to consistently score runs and feeling like we had the lineup depth to do that. It just didn’t play out that way and figuring out the why is important. As we all know, a lot of things in baseball are hard to tease out get to the why.
A Trio of Struggling Infielders
Notably, two mainstays of the Friedman-Dodgers era were not quite themselves in October: Corey Seager and Justin Turner. A year after winning the NLCS and World Series MVP awards, Seager slashed .188/.264/.375 in the playoffs. He also led the team with 14 strikeouts.
Justin Turner, a Dodgers postseason hero, stumbled to a .416 OPS. He battled a neck injury before pulling his hamstring in Game 4 of the NLCS. He was eventually removed from the roster for the final two games of the series. After that, Friedman and manager Dave Roberts struggled to construct effective lineups without primetime Turner.
Friedman surely expected more out of Trea Turner during the playoff push as well. The other Turner had just two extra-base hits, twelve strikeouts, and a single stolen base en route to a .245 OBP.
A Pivotal Offseason for Friedman
The Dodgers team president and the rest of the front office have a big winter ahead of them. Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and Max Scherzer are all free agents.