Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Says JD Martinez Will Play DH ‘Every Day’

The Dodgers had 17 players get a plate appearance as the designated hitter in 2022, including five who got at least 50. Justin Turner was the main DH, with more than twice as many PAs as the second-most, Will Smith, but even JT only had 250 PAs at DH. It was very much a position Los Angeles used to get days off for a lot of different guys while keeping their bats in the lineup.

That won’t be the case in 2023, according to LA manager Dave Roberts. The Dodgers signed JD Martinez this offseason, and Roberts says the plan is for Martinez to be the DH.

Martinez has definitely been better against lefties than righties in his career, but his .843 OPS against righties is still outstanding. His OPS last year against righties was just .729, but even that was about seven percent better than league average. So Martinez clearly wasn’t brought in to be a platoon player.

Of course, Roberts probably doesn’t really mean every day, but it seems like the plan is for Martinez to get 140-150 starts at DH. Any days off for Martinez would presumably be earmarked for Smith, who played 25 games at DH last year to get him out of catcher’s gear once in a while. Whether Martinez’s presence means more games behind the plate for Smith or just fewer games overall remains to be seen, but if Smith can split the difference and get 15 starts at DH and catch 10 more games than last year, he’ll come out even.

Max Muncy is the only other Dodger who got significant time at DH last year, also starting 25 games there, but that was probably more about getting JT time at third base than getting Muncy a break. He’s penciled in as the starting third baseman, and his days off will likely be real days off, not DH days.

So go ahead and look for Martinez in the starting lineup nearly every day, and that’s one question we’ve answered on the very first day of spring.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. JD will bring consistency to the DH. One less decision for Roberts to screw up!

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