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Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Sends a Message to James Outman with Night Off

The rookie needed a night off. Dave Roberts said so. Mired in a 5-28 slump, James Outman was on the bench to start the game for the Dodgers on Monday. Doc felt a night off to just watch a ballgame was in order for the outfielder that has been struggling on both sides of the ball of late. The manager said he sent the kid a text with the idea a day before.

Maybe a bit of a reset was needed, even if Outman wasn’t really in need of one mentally, per se

“I don’t see any extra anxiety panic in his demeanor.” … “I think it’s more magnified because it’s a younger player. I could say the same thing about Mookie and that’s a superstar player. So it’s baseball. It’s hard to hit.”


Roberts expanded on what he’s seeing from the 26-year-old.

“The quality of at-bats are good. I think that what’s happening is they’re pitching him up in the zone and some borderline calls are going against them down below, but I still think the intent to put together an at-bat are good. The results haven’t been good, but that’s part of it. I don’t think any of us expected this season to just be completely linear. And that’s okay. So, I do know he’s prepared everyday and he will find his way out of it.”

The feeling is that maybe Outman has been expanding the zone, chasing balls up and down a bit too much. “I think that to kind of chase both, That’s a tough way to go about it.

Outman ended up getting in the game as a pinch hitter in extra innings and struck out on 3 pitches. A look at the at-bat echoes what Roberts said is getting the rookie. Swing and miss up and down in the zone.

James Outman’s 11th inning strikeout.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Outman get one more day on Tuesday but more than likely he’ll be back in the lineup against Twins right-hander Bailey Ober.

Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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