Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Dave Roberts Talks About the Challenges of Keeping Players Rested But Not Rusty

The Dodgers handled business earlier this week against the Arizona Diamondbacks as they clinched the NL West for the 9th time in 10 years. After a season where LA and arch rivals, San Francisco Giants battled till the end for the division, it took the Dodgers only 141 games to clinch the division this year (only one other team has clinched a playoff berth).

It was business as usual for the Boys in Blue as they took to a normal victory formation after the game and a celebratory champagne shower in the locker room. 

However, now that the Dodgers have no less thing to worry about and will more than likely secure the number one overall seed, what’s there to do for the next two and a half weeks in the regular season? Well, for one is for players to stay and remain healthy, while having guys who are injured come back and get in some reps.

And most importantly, have guys not be complacent or rusty. Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts spoke with AM570’s Petros and Money the day after clinching and explained the challenges of how to deal with his players during this time. 

“I think that that’s kind of the debate and I don’t think there’s one way to handle it. I think that it’s more individual based. But I still believe in the sentiment that players want to play. And so with that, When you start kind of trying to impact, affect things too much and manipulate, you take the edge away. And all year long since spring training, we’ve been talking about winning a baseball game that particular night. … There’s going to be days down the road where you give a guy day off here and there, but I think the most part is you got to keep these guys competing, playing because I just don’t believe in that ability to turn on the switch when you need to.”

Rest vs Rust. Pros and Cons to both but in the grand scheme of things I see it as an easy decision for the Dodgers. Rest, all day, every day. We saw what happened last year when players gave it their all to win the division and then ran out of gas in the NLCS. Rest is exactly what this team needs and will heavily benefit from it in the long run. 

With that being said, this will be quite possibly one of Roberts greatest challenge in the coming weeks. You don’t want to have our top guys rusty but at the same time you don’t want to over use them as well.

Good thing for us is that we don’t have to push our guys until Game 162 this time. Let’s get our guys healthy and have a long, successful run in October. 

Ricardo Sandoval

I write about sports. Staff writer at Dodgers Nation, LA Sports Report network of sites, and Newsweek. I’m also lifelong Dodgers and Lakers fan.

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