Everything about the Los Angeles Dodgers is around the team’s pursuit of certain big-name players, which completely ignores one offensive hole the team has.
Both of those guys are polarizing and we are all for the Dodgers getting one of, if not both, of those players. Los Angeles needs to figure something out to get over that World Series hump and adding one of the most sensational young players of recent history will certainly help you get there.
So will adding a Cy Young-caliber arm that is already putting up National League-like numbers in the American League.
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All that speculation is fun but every winter there is speculation around the Dodgers and the biggest stars and rarely does it come to fruition. The Harper connection seems to be the real deal but people should not be focusing solely on Harper.
This is especially true as this team currently has an offensive hole that is pretty noticeable and could play a big factor when the games really matter in October. The Los Angeles Dodgers lack great right-handed hitting bats, especially right-handed hitting bats that can hit left-handed pitching.
The Dodgers lineup is loaded with left-handed hitting. Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo all hit on the left side. If you add Harper to the mix that adds another left-handed bat as well.
If the Dodgers get Harper then chances are Puig will be gone and even if he isn’t, he isn’t a traditional right-handed hitter as his OPS was nearly 300 points lower against southpaws last season.
Matt Kemp will more than likely be out of the picture in some capacity. With Verdugo and potentially Harper, there might not be space for Kemp, if the team cannot trade him to free up his salary.
While Justin Turner is solid, I do not like the idea that the second-best right-handed hitter on the team is Enrique Hernandez. I love Hernandez, I really do, but he should not be a team’s second-best right-handed bat.
And that is going to lead into the same problem that the Dodgers had in October. While I do like the idea of platooning certain guys, starting role players over should-be everyday players in the postseason, just because of a marginal difference in splits, has hurt the team much more than it has benefitted it.
Pinch-hitting in certain circumstances is one thing but outright benching your best power hitters and practically wasting David Freese and the other right-handed bats early in the game is silly. I would rather have a right-handed bat to turn to off the bench in a close game in the eighth rather than pull him in the fourth.
If I were the Dodgers, I would be looking at adding another right-handed bat that is better than just a role player. How that fits with Harper and whatever the other plans are might be hard, but it can even be someone behind the dish or a utility infielder that can provide some depth.
Either way, the Los Angeles Dodgers are out of proportion in favor of left-handed hitting.