Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Doesn’t Know Why the Team is Struggling

The Dodgers are not off to their usual dominant start this 2023 season. Through 21 games, the Dodgers are a below average 10-11, and just suffered arguably the MLB’s most embarrassing loss of the season, a 13-0 defeat to the Cubs where the team didn’t get a base runner until the 8th inning.

The Dodgers played their worst game of the year in every facet of the game, and are below .500 this late into the year for the first time since 2018.

Inconsistencies have plagued the Dodgers all season long. Some days the bats are hot and the pitching is cold, and some days, it’s the other way around. However, on Friday, it was everything, as the Dodgers offense mustered just one hit and three total base runners, and the pitching was shelled for 13 runs on 17 hits.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about the team’s struggles after the game, and didn’t have a firm answer for why they’re playing this poorly in April.

“I think it’s been two weeks since we won back-to-back games,” Roberts said. “Each game it’s a different reason. Today it was obviously both sides of the baseball. I don’t really know the reason for it. I think we’re just going to try to flush it. I know I’ve said that more times than I care to in the first month of the season. Right now, that’s all you can do.”

Roberts is right. The team hasn’t won consecutive games since they won three in a row from April 3 to April 6. Since then, it’s been a lot of losing, with some wins sprinkled in.

Why are the Dodgers Struggling?

If I had to give a guess at why this team is struggling, I’d say that, flat out, this team is nowhere near as good as the one that won 111 games last season.

Injuries haven’t helped, as Gavin Lux, the team’s starting shortstop, suffered a season-ending torn ACL in spring training, taking away one of the team’s more important bats. Also Will Smith hasn’t played in over a week, and he was one of the more consistent bats in the team’s lineup.

On the pitching side of things, Tony Gonsolin, a Cy Young candidate for the first half of last season, hasn’t pitched, and Michael Grove — now also on the injured list — struggled in his place.

In the bullpen, RHP Daniel Hudson, who the team was planning on having this season, hasn’t been able to work his way back from the torn ACL he suffered last June, and won’t be back until June now that he’s on the 60-day IL. So injuries have definitely played a part but, also, this team just isn’t as good as last year’s.

The team definitely misses Trea Turner at the top of the lineup, and Chris Taylor being unable to bounce back hasn’t helped. Miguel Vargas’ slow start hasn’t been what the team was hoping for, and none of the outfielders outside of James Outman have emerged as an everyday-caliber player just yet.

Why You Should Be Hopeful

However, there’s an important thing to remember. It’s still early.

We’re just three weeks into the season, and are not even done with April yet.

Yes, the Dodgers are on pace to have their worst April in a while. And yes, it’s even more difficult to watch this team play .500 baseball after they were 60 games above .500 a season ago. But there’s more than enough time for the Dodgers to figure things out and, as their players slowly start to return, they will.

With Smith in the lineup, the Dodgers will have one of the better top sixes in all of baseball with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Smith, Max Muncy, J.D. Martinez and Outman. Then, throw in some better hitting from any of Vargas, Taylor, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson and Jason Heyward, and the Dodgers will be in a much better position offensively sooner rather than later.

On the pitching side, Gonsolin will be back soon, which will shore up the starting rotation. And the bullpen seems to be getting better as of late — don’t worry, Andre Jackson and Jake Reed aren’t going to be up much longer.

So yes, the Dodgers aren’t playing great baseball right now. And yes, it’s not what we’re accustomed to seeing. But the team is going to figure things out. And I think once Smith gets back in the lineup, this team is already going to be significantly better, at least on the offensive side of things. So don’t lose hope yet, Dodger fans. We have a long season ahead of us.

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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.


  1. Roberts doesn’t know why the team is struggling? Maybe he just can’t say it, but three words, Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. With good, but not great offense thrown in. The Dodgers have in recent years have had a way of pulling the rabbit out of the hat, and they might still, but I don’t see it this year. Maybe a wild card and quick exit in the postseason. Things may change, but that’s what I see.

  2. If Davey doesn’t know why the team is struggling, then he can’t have a remedy either. Looks like Oct. arrived a little early this season.

  3. Doc ” doesn’t know why we’re struggling”?! Isn’t that his damn job?!?! Srly! True….! ..true…. It’s not Doc’s fault we have 1763 dodgers on the freakin’ IR; But we have a ton of depth, a ton of homegrown studs on the farm, as well as a bunch of so so’s ( 1trick ponies that can do just 1.thing to fill the void , Like: Wynne – he can. Call good game, not boot errors, n block the plate and throw runner out good enough. Can’t hit or run or anything tho. ). So we e got all these major leaguer’s with minor league contracts as well. Plus we have the MLB’s best coaching staff, and a top 5 GM & Prez , that can fill the void with a phone call to trade or call up.

    So Doc doesn’t know why we’re losing and got 1 hit 2 hit 3 hit twice, and 2 , four hitters against us so far! Grove had a damn flu, so he gets a pass so far, Thor will be a work in progress. we have 2 rookies in our lineup too; and yeah, one is the 2023 ROY, and 5th place MVP in Outman, but he’s still green, and there is always going to be a chemistry gap. I don’t care if he wins triple crown, 55 homers, 30 sb ( 30-30 club) all rooks take up extra time and bumps to the team. And Vargas will take prob another season or 2 to get going consistently too.

  4. I agree . Plus…. We’re getting back: Reyes,Trienan and Hudson at or B4 break a lil. And Fierheisen around Deadline, along with Walker around August, maybe doing rehab assignments, September Bullpen work perhaps. Maybe even be a low depth playoff roster guy? We got Busch ready to rake, and Our Prez ready to rake… With his cell phone! Lol. Sho , Barnes n whoever we can pilfer from the A’s or Rox or reds , white or red Sox?! Plus Verdugo is rumored to be on the block as well?? Lmao. I think the Rsox wood rather trade away Danvers for CT3 at this point tho?

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