Trending Up, Trending Down: Offense Struggles, Pitching On The Rise

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Another week down and the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in first place once again; however, it has not been a week without struggle.

We take a look at what’s trending up and down with the Dodgers this week:

Trending Up

Josh Beckett

In his last two starts, the 33-year-old right-hander has not allowed a single run. He went five innings in each start, once being removed from pitch count and the other due to being tired from flu-like symptoms. His latest start may have been his best, as he struck out seven in his five innings of work.

After a rough start against the Detroit Tigers, Beckett has recovered and looks to be on track to become a serviceable starter in the back end of the Dodgers’ rotation. If he can continue his progress, the team will be sitting pretty once Clayton Kershaw returns.

A strong Beckett gives the team one of the better rotations in the entire league and a strong chance to lead them deep in the postseason.

Dee Gordon

The speedy second baseman has continued his hot start, hitting .364 last week with a pair of stolen bases. Gordon celebrated his birthday last night with a pair of hits, including a single that he stretched into a double. He is making a case to be the team’s everyday second baseman.

Gordon is fourth in the entire MLB in batting average and leads all players in stolen bases with 12. Although he sits against left-handers, the 26-year-old has been one of the team’s most consistent hitters early in the season.

What started the season as a question mark has become a position of strength at the moment and hopefully Gordon can keep it up.

Brandon League

Since taking the loss on Jackie Robinson Day, League has come around a bit this week with three scoreless appearances. He’s thrown 4.2 innings and struck out three in that span. Many were calling for the right-hander to be released once Brian Wilson returned, but he may be turning a corner.

The string of scoreless innings has lowered League’s ERA to a respectable 3.60 and manager Don Mattingly says he will continue to use the 31-year-old.

If League can return to his old form, then the Dodgers will have one of the most formidable bullpens in all of baseball.

Trending Down

Hanley Ramirez

Not only is the shortstop struggling at the plate, but also on defense. In the last week, Hanley is hitting .091 and has struck out six times in 22 at-bats. He came out of a game after being hit in the hand, but will not say that is the reason he is struggling.

The Dodger offense has been anemic recently, and it can be attributed to the lack of production from their number three hitter. Ramirez has called it an issue of timing and the team is hoping he can find it soon.

Once the slugging shortstop finds his groove, the Dodger offense should be much more productive and get back to scoring runs in bunches.

Tim Federowicz

The Dodger catcher isn’t the only hitter struggling, but with an everyday role and people ready for A.J. Ellis to return, Federowicz’s problems at the plate are magnified. He is hitting .167 in the last week and seems to always make an out with a runner on base.

Also, FedEx has had trouble on defense and blocking balls. He took the blame for Kenley Jansen’s blown save after failing to block a strike three pitch and allowing the runner to reach base safely. Another issue Federowicz had was catchers’ interference, as he had two in the span of three games that gave Paul Goldschmidt a free base.

Ellis is nearing a return, but until then, the Dodgers will need their young catcher to handle the workload a bit better.


Dodgers News: AJ Ellis Out, Knee Surgery, Clayton Kershaw Improving

Vincent Samperio

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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