Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Chris Taylor’s Late Offensive Surge Comes at the Right Time

Chris Taylor did not have a very good time in Arizona this spring. Coming off a down year in 2022, Taylor was hoping to enter the new season, and get back to being the player he was earlier in his Dodger career. Instead, he did quite the opposite.

Before the Freeway Series, in Taylor’s 48 plate appearances in Arizona, the 32-year-old hit .125 with just six hits and 23 strikeouts. It was so bad that ahead of Sunday’s Freeway Series opener at Dodger Stadium, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Taylor will be a platoon in the outfield, playing when the team faces left-handed pitching — not exactly what you expect to do with your $15 million a year outfielder.

However, when Taylor got back to Los Angeles for the Freeway Series, things started looking up a little bit. In the first game at Dodger Stadium, Taylor went 1-3 with a home run, and, maybe even more notably, zero strikeouts. He followed that up with a 1-4 game on Monday at Angel Stadium, but again hit one over the fence (but did strike out once). And on Tuesday, in the team’s final game before the regular season, Taylor went 1-2 with a double, two walks and a strikeout.

Obviously, those numbers don’t exactly jump off the page, but considering Taylor only had one extra-base hit in Arizona, this is definitely progress. And his manager is taking notice (per Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times).

“He’s way more on time than he was the last few days, and the homer was a byproduct,” Roberts said after Sunday’s game when Taylor homered. “Even the other at-bats, I thought he took some good swings and was looking over the baseball much better.”

Again, this isn’t where Taylor wants to be during the regular season, but it’s definitely progress from what he was doing in Arizona. He got half the amount of hits in three days in Los Angeles than he did during his entire month in Arizona. So, clearly a good sign.

For now, though, Taylor is going to start the season in a platoon, and will have to earn his playing time. But he feels confident in his ability to work his way back into an everyday role (per J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register).

“It’s a long season. I’m not thinking about the whole year,” Taylor said. “I’m just trying to get myself right. If I play the way I’m capable of, I’ll play against lefties and righties.”

We all know Taylor has what it takes to be an everyday player on this team, he’ll just need to prove that he can get back to being that guy during the 2023 season.

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.

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