Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Won’t Platoon James Outman in Center Field, Dave Roberts Says

James Outman was one of the brightest spots for the Dodgers in 2023. Fans were clamoring for the rookie to take over center field after an impressive showing in spring training.

The Dodgers obliged and gave Outman his shot as the team’s full-time center fielder. The scouting report for Outman predicted his athleticism would allow him to be an above-average defender. The question was whether or not he could produce at the plate with what he once characterized as a “caveman” swing.

The 26-year-old did the most with his opportunity, slashing .248/.353/.437 with 23 home runs in 151 games. Defensively, he graded in the 94th percentile in Outs Above Average, according to Statcast.

This year, Outman can further solidify himself as a mainstay in an otherwise loaded Dodgers lineup.

Manager Dave Roberts intends to give him plenty of chances. In a recent article by Christian Romo of Dodgers Insider, Roberts said that they will not platoon Outman next year:

(Outman’s) defense in the last four months of the season was very good, and so playing a premium defensive position, I want him out there. It’s more of a, ‘How can I keep Manny (Margot) involved?’ situation.

Dave Roberts via Chrisian Romo of Dodgers Insider

As far as Margot is concerned, he figures to primarily platoon in right field with Jason Heyward. Roberts did say that Margot will roam the other outfield positions too, giving players a day off when needed.

Chris Taylor will also see time in the outfield, like Margot. How the tension for playing time might resolve remains to be seen. The Dodgers solidified left field when they signed Teoscar Hernández to a one-year, $23.5 million deal in January.

They solidified center field by drafting Outman in the seventh round in 2018.

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Kevin Skinner

Graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Biology and Philosophy. Despite growing up in San Diego, loves all thing Los Angeles sports

One Comment

  1. Trade Margot and all the platooning problems go away plus we get more prospects or another front line starter by adding someone else to the mix. I just do not see Margot as a long term option…

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