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Dodgers: Jansen, Seager, Pollock & More; What Happened to Guys from the 2021 NLCS Team?

It wasn’t long ago the Dodgers were taking on the Braves in the 2021 National League Championship Series.

There were high hopes for that team, but the long season of a tight divisional race and some untimely injuries got the better of the team.

They were ousted in six games, and entered an offseason of uncertainty.

A lot has happened to the Dodgers’ roster since then, most notably the addition of Freddie Freeman.

They retained a lot of the guys from that team, but weren’t able to keep them all.

There were nine guys who made an NLCS appearance that have since moved onto other teams. And one who hasn’t been in the Majors all year.

Let’s take a look and see how their 2022 seasons have gone:

Corey Seager:

A first-round pick by the team in 2012, the Dodgers was all Seager knew. He spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the team, but elected to move to Texas this year for a massive 10-year, $325 million contract. That’s about where the good stops for Corey.

Seager hit a career-worst .245 this year, but did slug a career-best 33 home runs. He stayed healthy for a full season for the second time in his career, playing in 151 games. But that didn’t translate to wins. The Rangers were one of the biggest disappointments of 2022, going just 68-94, and missing the playoffs. Good news for Seager is he’ll have nine more years to try to figure things out in Texas.

Kenley Jansen:

Jansen and the Dodgers went their separate ways this season after 12 years together. It wasn’t an easy breakup, but it was one that had to happen. Kenley ended up signing with the team the Dodgers lost to in the NLCS, and has experienced a rocky but overall successful first season.

Jansen finished the year with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, a 3.21 FIP, and a National League-leading 41 saves in 65 appearances for the Braves. He had three huge saves in their penultimate series against the Mets, propelling them to the top of the NL East. Jansen’s season is far from over as his Braves are getting set to host an NLDS matchup with the winner of the Cardinals-Phillies series. Should both teams continue to advance, the Dodgers and Braves would be set for an NLCS rematch in 2022. The storylines on that game would be something else.

Max Scherzer:

Scherzer’s half-season with the Dodgers didn’t exactly go as planned, so it was no surprise the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement in the offseason. Scherzer bolted to the Mets for a three-year, $130 million contract, forming what was supposed to be one of the scariest duos in the league next to Jacob DeGrom.

When they’ve played, they’ve looked great. But unfortunately, health was a factor for Scherzer in his age 38 season. He finished with an 11-5 record, a 2.29 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, a 2.62 FIP, and 173 strikeouts. The Mets are about to open their Wild Card series with the Padres, with a trip to Los Angeles up for grabs. Hopefully for the Mets, Scherzer’s arm stays alive for this postseason.

AJ Pollock:

AJ Pollock was pretty shockingly traded to the White Sox right before the season began. I don’t think we need to talk about what the Dodgers got in return.

While the move hasn’t looked great on the Dodgers side, Pollock hasn’t been all that special in his first season in Chicago, either. Pollock slashed .245/.292/.389 in 138 games with the White Sox. He hit his lowest home run total since 2017 with just 14 dingers, despite playing in significantly more games. I’m not saying the Dodgers won the deal by any means, but it’s looked more like a lose-lose than anything.

Albert Pujols:

I don’t think anybody was mad at Albert Pujols when he chose to return to St. Louis for his final season, the team he spent the first 11 years of his career with. Pujols did give the Dodgers credit for revitalizing his career, and allowing him to love the game again. It made him hitting his 700th career home run at Dodger Stadium even that much more special.

Albert has enjoyed his most productive year since 2019, hitting 24 home runs, 68 RBIs, and an impressive slash-line of .270/.345/.550. The Cardinals are set to open a three-game Wild Card series with the Phillies, so it’ll be interesting to see if the magic continues for Pujols. If they keep winning, the Cardinals and Dodgers could meet in the NLCS.

Corey Knebel:

Corey Knebel was having a decent year in Philadelphia before having a season-ending shoulder injury. Prior to the injury, Knebel boasted a 3-5 record with a 3.43 ERA, 12 saves and 4.46 FIP. His team is in the Wild Card round, but he, unfortunately, won’t be able to contribute.

Joe Kelly:

Joe Kelly signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the White Sox in March. To put it nicely, that move hasn’t really worked out. Kelly finished the season 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA, but did have a 3.06 FIP. He also only gave up two home runs across his 37 innings. But overall, not much to write home about for the disappointing White Sox.

Matt Beaty:

The Dodgers traded Matt Beaty inside the division to the San Diego Padres right before the season began. Little did Beaty know, that would also spell the end of his career in the MLB.

A career .262 hitter in his three years with the Dodgers, Beaty hit just .093 in his 43 at-bats with the Padres. He had zero home runs and one RBI, before the team tried to option him back to Triple-A. Beaty declined the option, and was left to become a free agent back in early September. He’s yet to find a new home.

Steven Souza Jr.:

We’ve reached the point in the article where you’re probably asking yourself, ‘That guy was on the NLCS roster?’ Don’t worry, it’ll get worse when we get to the last guy.

Yes, Steven Souza Jr. made the Dodgers’ 2021 NLCS roster. No, I don’t want to talk about it. But if you’re wondering, he went 0-5 with three strikeouts.

Souza was “shockingly” not re-signed by the Dodgers. But, he did end up finding a home in the Majors for a week of 2022. From May 13-19, he went 3-19 (.158) with the Mariners and was never heard from again.

Andy Burns:

Only real Dodger fans remember Andy Burns. Actually, I’m a real fan and I barely remember him. I think I’ve just tried to block that part of the Dodgers’ season from my memory.

Anyway, Andy Burns was not named to the initial NLCS roster, but did get called up when Justin Turner went down with an injury. He went 0-2 in the series, but, unlike Souza, didn’t strike out once!

In 2022, he was not on an MLB roster. He actually found himself right back in Oklahoma City for the Triple-A affiliate of the Dodgers, where he promptly hit .223 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs.

Now I don’t know if you’re noticing the common theme with a lot of these guys. But it does seem like being on the Dodgers translates to success, and leaving them, well, not as much.

Nevertheless, there’s your update on the Dodgers 2021′ NLCS roster. Hopefully next year we’re providing an update on the World Series champion 2022 roster.

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3 Comments

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  1. Great summary catch up for these players… and while some are quite loved by Dodger organization and fans .. it did seem like right step to move on for both organisation and player.

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