Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Impressed By Quality Of At-Bats
The Los Angeles Dodgers new front office made plenty of moves this winter, but the jury was still out as to whether they improved a team that won consecutive NL West titles.
While it’s still early in the season, the way the team has played couldn’t have played out any better for Andrew Friedman and co. The Dodgers are 9-3 and are on a seven-game winning streak highlighted by a well-rounded offense and an improved bullpen. Offensively, the team is leading the NL in several offensive categories and has scored at least five runs in each game of the winning streak.
Even though it’s likely what he envisioned, Friedman is impressed by the offense thus far via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
The quality of our at-bats has been tremendous and has played a large role in the offensive success we have enjoyed to date.”
From top to bottom, the lineup has gotten deep into counts and came up with hits when it mattered. One of the biggest differences from last year that has been present this year is the team’s ability to come back later in games. The Dodgers have already won more games after trailing in the sixth inning than they did all of last season.
Another notable difference is the offense’s ability to not miss a beat when the starters get a break. Friedman also expanded on this:
We feel like we have a very deep lineup,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations. “We have seen a number of guys step up in the early going, which speaks to the depth of our lineup and bench.”
Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke have all done their job when getting their chance, making it hard for Don Mattingly to go too long without using them.
If the Dodgers can continue this pace on offense, a third straight NL West title and deeper run in the postseason seems likely.
Adrian Gonzalez Discusses Approach To Hitting
Naysayers have been quiet all week…
Alex we can all agree to disagree. We are all Dodger fans and want the best for the Team and fans. I am very glad they have Garcia, Rodriguez and Baez in the BP. Peralta has been great and also I have read is an excellent mentor for the younger guys. Which is great you cannot have enough leaders and high character guys. Hatcher has been a pleasant surprise. I thought Pederson would have a solid year and so far so good. He is learning and his defense has been a real game saver. Still not a Grandal fan as i do not think he is a smart Team hitter. He fails to move the runner too often and has a lot of pop ups and DP’s for someone who is supposed to be a good hitter. Mechanically his is fundamentally bad. The last game he had two passed balls that moved the runner from 1st to 3rd in the same inning. If you want to win in the playoffs when teams are evenly matched it is the small errors that are the difference between winning and losing. The last two years the Dodgers were terrible defensively and did not work the count well. It proved to be what beat them at the end. If we are in a tight evenly matched game I want Ellis catching as he is fundamentally sound. I hope Grandal gets better defensively. I also hope he starts to move runners over. He is still fairly young so I really hope he improves. He has great potential and I am sure that is what the Front Office saw when they traded for him.
As long as we’re winning and most of our players are doing great, I don’t see much to complain about. Maybe Grandal is just a stop-gap for someone else. Who knows? We are always looking to upgrade, and anyone who underperforms for too long will get cut quickly.
And you are right, the trade was based on potential, so it is a gamble that will hopefully pay off soon when his offense comes around.
As for defense, agree to disagree, but I feel that catching defense goes beyond PB and CS. I saw Grandal catch a throw from Pederson that bounced very high (watch the replay), and he protected the plate with his foot and tagged out the runner. I saw him make a perfect run and throw to Uribe the game where Robinson Cano fell asleep. I’m seeing him catch fringe strikes and pulling them into the strike zone faster than AJ Ellis can. It’s instantaneous, whereas AJ Ellis (and most other catchers) take two steps to do it. Don’t get me wrong, PB is definitely a concern, but hopefully he makes up for it with all the home runs he should be able to hit this year.
Speaking of offense, yes it has been bad, but hopefully it’s only because he’s focusing on learning all the new pitchers and getting good at catching them first (aka being a team player). Russell Martin is only batting .143 right now!
I don’t know who else we realistically could have gotten instead. We were outbid on Russell Martin. All the top catching prospects are either untradeable, good hitters but bad catchers, or bad hitters but good catchers. I suppose we have enough depth for a trade, but seeing how the catching market is extremely thin next Winter, I’m not sure we can pull something off that would significantly upgrade one position without depleting our bench or bullpen.
I would entertain the idea of batting Grandal 8th for a while before moving him back up in the lineup when his swing comes around.
If he’s still hitting this way by June, I’ll start to get worried, but at least we are enjoying a 7-game win streak. Tough schedule ahead, so hopefully we go at least 5-4. Go Doyers!
Yes I hope Grandal comes around. We need him to be at least average. I would not have bid for Martin at his contract parameters. It was way too long of a contract, he was hitting in a park tailor made for his swing and he had an unconsciuos year. I like what I have seen of Barnes. He looks to have good defensive mechanics and is a contact hitter. I agree the Team needs to do well during this stretch of games lets hope they do. As to the Front Office they are very smart guys and working hard to build for the future so Guggenheim can build from within and make HUGE amounts of money. Which we are all OK with if the team can win a couple of Titles. Hell jsut one would be wondreful. Seeing they have 4 of the first 74 in this years draft and are reported to be very aggressive on the Cuban market we can project the Dodgers will be better every year from now on. Go Blue!
Not saying a word….