On Saturday, the Dodgers reportedly made a move for a certain future Hall of Famer that Dave Roberts would not comment on before LA’s 7-0 win over the Marlins. That move was made in part due to the team’s struggle to find production off the bench in 2021.
Over the past few seasons, the Dodgers have had quality options off the bench like Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez among others. This year, the core of Edwin Rios, Sheldon Neuse, DJ Peters, Austin Barnes, and Luke Raley have left a lot to be desired. And even one of the better options, Matt Beaty, has been slow to get going in the pinch hitting role Roberts prefers him in.
Lacking veterans, the bench has struggled to hit much over .200 as a unit. Doc talked about what he’s seen so far in a way that only Doc can.
We have guys now on the bench that are thrust into this situation. The bench role is a very difficult role because there’s not regular playing time. It’s an opportunity for these guys to get their feet wet. It’s not something we’ve been used to in past years as [opposed to] having guys who are familiar with that role. They’re doing the best they can.
Now, the club adds that future Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols, in an attempt to bolster a weak spot on the roster. The 41-year-old Pujols was released by the Anaheim Angels last week. And, despite his own struggles, he’s performed well against left-handed pitching this year. Another area where the Dodgers are lacking.
As the team gets healthy once again, a glaring weakness could become a true strength once AJ Pollock and Corey Seager return from the injured list. Plus Cody Bellinger is expected back in the next week or two. But for now, the team will look to piecemeal a bench together with the likes of Pujols and trade acquisition Yoshi Tsutsugo.