Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Concedes Shortstop Situation is ‘Not Ideal’
Dodger fans have been blessed with great shortstop play over the better part of the last decade.
Corey Seager manned the position starting in 2016, and all he did was win a Rookie of the Year Award, two Silver Slugger Awards, make two All-Star teams and, of course, win an NLCS and World Series MVP.
When he got hurt in 2018, the Dodgers had another superstar named Manny Machado manning the position.
Seager then signed with the Texas Rangers after the 2021 season, paving the way for another All-Star to take over the position in Trea Turner.
Turner made the All-Star team and won a Silver Slugger in his only full season with the team in 2022, earning himself a lot of money with the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason.
That left Gavin Lux in prime position to finally get his opportunity as the starting shortstop of the Dodgers, but he tore his ACL, ending his season before it even began. That left the Dodgers with a bit of a predicament at short.
This season, Miguel Rojas, Chris Taylor, Luke Williams and six-time Gold Glove Award winning right fielder Mookie Betts have played the position. While Betts has been the best option because of his bat, he’s also, like I said, a six-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field.
The Dodgers were hoping Rojas could be the main starter, but he struggled mightily at the plate before ending up on the injured list until Monday.
Neither his bat nor Taylor’s bat have exactly been great, which is why the Dodgers have had some issues filling the position this season.
Ahead of Monday’s game against the Phillies — where Turner was making his return to Dodger Stadium — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about the team’s shortstop position. He admitted that it hasn’t exactly been ideal.
“There’s no one way to manage a roster, but typically the shortstop position is pretty consistent,” Roberts said. “Sometimes you concede the bat for the consistent defense; we just haven’t had that this year. … It’s not ideal. Whether it’s good or bad, I think time will tell.”J.P. Hoornstra, Orange County Register
These are pretty harsh words from Doc, but he also is spot on.
You look around the MLB, and shortstop is one of the most talented positions. We saw this past offseason when four shortstops signed huge deals, and those aren’t even all the great shortstops in the game.
The Dodgers, however, decided to sit those bidding wars out, and are now paying the price.
To be fair, they weren’t expecting their starting shortstop to go down with an injury in spring training. However, Rojas did not turn out to be a great contingency plan.
It’s still early in the season, and things could change. But if Rojas and Taylor continue to struggle, and the Dodgers don’t want to take Betts out of right field too often, they could be in the market for a move at the deadline.
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Let Chris Taylor take shortstop and Rojas come in for late inning defense. Taylor’s batting should come around soon enough. I wouldn’t hold my breath on Rojas ever hitting above the Mendoza line again. No reason the Dodgers should’ve given Rojas an extended contract after the Miami trade.
Miguel Rojas, Luke Williams, David Peralta, Jason Heyward, Trayce Thompson, and Yonny Hernandez are just the Dodgers attempts to get creative (aka cheap) without adding much to the offense.