Dodgers Nation Mailbag: Wasting Kershaw’s Best Years, Screwy Lineups, Team Needs and More

Welcome to our first mailbag of the year where we take questions we receive from our social communities and send them directly to our available writers to answer.

Please remember to follow us so we can get to your questions (Use #DNMailbag) as well:


Brian Robitaille

Great question @heels_fan4ever. Assuming you’re referring to last Wed lineup, where Dave Roberts gave multiple starters (Seager, Pederson, Utley, & Grandal) a day off. With a lefty pitching, Roberts was probably thinking that this was the best time to give a rest to those guys. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of that lineup for a couple of reasons. One, Seager actually hits lefties just as good (and better in some categories) as righties. Plus, with the next day being an off day on Thursday, I’m not sure a rest day was really needed for everyone.

I understand keeping everyone fresh and all that. But to do it with multiple regular starters on the same day, when the Dodgers are trying to make up ground on the Giants, probably doesn’t help an already struggling offense. I think more consistency with the lineup could be beneficial.

Brian Robitaille

Both. But if I were the front office, and could only focus on one area, I’d probably say offense. Tough call, but I think the rotation will get a boost if Ryu and/or McCarthy ever come back. Urias, Stripling, and possibly Jose DeLeon could also give the Dodgers back-end of the rotation help, although they’ll all be on strict innings limits. They might be able to upgrade the bullpen from within, with guys like Frankie Montas, Carlos Frias, and Yimi Garcia. But the offense doesn’t seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel.

Question is, who’s available and what positions do you try to upgrade? Perhaps a Johnathan Lucroy & Ryan Braun package from Milwaukee? Also, a lot of this will depend on where the Dodgers are in the standings come the trading deadline.


Brian Robitaille

I hear this question get asked a lot recently, and I could probably write an entire article just trying to answer it. It’s difficult to say because there’s so many variables around it. The Dodgers are coming off 3 straight playoff appearances, and they’re not exactly in full-blown “rebuilding” mode. On the flip side, if we simply taking about this year, I think fans expected the team to do more to surround Kershaw with a contending team.

The general consensus is that Andrew Friedman and Co. are trying to tread water and stay competitive until the plethora of youth start to develop from the farm system. And we’re seeing it already. Seager is as good as advertised. Urias and DeLeon will get their feet wet this year, and could be ready to be in the rotation on a full-time basis by next year.

In short, it will all depend on what the Dodgers do in the next few years. Perhaps this year isn’t the year, but maybe they win one or two championships in the next 4-5 years. That’s probably how much longer Kershaw will be in his prime. So, would that be worth it? Probably. But if they don’t win, you can likely look back and wonder if enough was done. Also, the Dodgers better not get too cute with their strategy, because if they struggle to contend in the next couple of years, Kershaw has an opt-out clause in 2018 that I wouldn’t be surprised if he used.

Jody Wahl L

So many fans and pontificators concerned with Kershaw’s best years being wasted and I’m more concerned with Vin Scully’s last year being wasted and not involving calling one last Dodgers (winning) World Series. The emotional side of me wanted this for Vin and in turn for us fans. I believe Kershaw’s “best years” are going to be for a really long time. I firmly believe he will get his World Series ring with the Dodgers – sooner rather than later. But, this is Vin’s last year… Can you wrap your head around Dodger baseball without Vin? I can’t. The emotional side of me would have traded the lot of ‘em if there was a guarantee of one last World Series for Vin Scully.


Brian Robitaille

Grandal’s struggles have been going on for about a year now, and he’s hit a combined .176 since the 2nd half of last season. Many thought it was his injury last year that hindered his offensive performance, but I think we might have to face the reality that Grandal is just not a good all-around hitter. His power potential is there, and his ability to frame pitches still gives him value on the defensive side of things. But offensively, his struggles are a concern.

I haven’t been sold on Barnes as a full-time MLB catcher, and see him more as a utility guy. But at this point, I’d love to be proven wrong, and wouldn’t be against the Dodgers giving him a shot. However, I highly doubt they option Grandal, so in order for the Dodgers to make room for Barnes on a full-time basis, it would probably mean they either trade or DFA A.J Ellis, who is Clayton Kershaw’s favorite guy behind the plate. Or, maybe the better answer is in a trade? (See above mention to Jonathan Lucroy.)

Brian Robitaille

No, I don’t think so. That incident between the two guys was a while ago, and there’s nothing to indicate that either player didn’t move on from it. I think Grienke just wanted a better deal and Arizona was willing to give him that 6th year.

Brian Robitaille

According to reports, Ethier’s return might be a little longer than expected. He hasn’t resumed baseball activities as of last week, and right now there’s no timetable for him. Bigger question in my opinion is what the Dodgers do when he returns? When Puig gets back, you have to figure that Trayce Thompson has earned an everyday spot in LF. Plus, with other players like Howie Kendrick, Scott Van Slyke, and Kiki Hernandez all vying for playing time, where will Andre fit in? Will be interesting to see.

Gary Lee

Born and raised in Los Angeles. Huge Lakers and Dodgers fan with a passion for building websites and online communities. Find me on LinkedIn


  1. Screwy lineups for sure.  We’ve got guys batting .215 in the clean up spot.  In fact, on any given day, we have maybe one batter hitting .275 and the rest of the lineup somewhere between .195 and .235.  We’ve got guys playing third one day and LF the next and 1st the next.  Here’s a new one: Gonzo at SS, Seager at 1st, Ellis at 3rd, Pederson at 2nd, Puig catching, Turner in CF, Jansen in LF, Grandal in RF, and Slyke on the mound. Yeah, that works!  The whole organization is a joke.  Kershaw, the best pitcher on the planet and he will walk away when his contract expires, and rightly so.  The front office has DONE NOTHING to get starting pitchers who can consistently get us into the 7th or 8th innings so we don’t completely destroy our BP.  And the beat goes on, and on, and on……

  2. Bleed Blue Forever Wasn’t leaving players at one position mentioned while they moved DEE GORDON from center field to shortstop and then second base? As soon as he settled at second he excelled. Tommy the God Lasorda did the same with Pedro Guerrero. But when left alone in the outfield , he had a month to remember. These managers and FO PERSONAL are always covering their own butts. Why else after all the big talk about treating Urias like the prize that he is, all of a sudden throws him to the wolves.

  3. Robert Hamilton  Bleed Blue Forever I agree to the extent that a player or two over the past several decades had been moved around until they found a fit at a given position.  What’s been taking place under Mattingly and now Roberts however, is an abundance of “player shuffling” such that no one is really sure where they’ll be playing or where they’ll hit in the batting order.  I’ve never seen a successful team operate that way.  One thing I know for sure is that if I were Kershaw, I’d be outta here ASAP.  He’ll never get a ring in LA.

  4. Bleed Blue Forever Robert Hamilton Bleed Blue,  your assessment is so true.  I have myself felt that Kershaw has done all he can for this under appreciative FO. He knows that they won’t compete for at least four Or more years. This comes from their own mouths. By time that happens he will have had his best years. I was brought up on Walter Alston’s Dodgers, and love them dearly to this day. But I see now a team that looks only to steal TIME WARNER’S money, and Kershaw is a pawn.

  5. I too was brought up under Walter Alston. The changes to this organization have been drastic and frankly not healthy. Other than through Lasorda and Vinny, I no longer even recognize the team and how they (FO) approach the day to day ops of the organization. Once the premier MLB franchise, there’s no longer any distinction between them and any other team, except that they don’t win championships any more. Sad, and kinda like our country, i.e. lack of solid leadership. Someone once said “You can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been”.

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