Dodgers’ Big Bat Acquisition Production is Coming from Another Source

Dodgers

When the Dodgers traded for Manny Machado, they thought he was going to be the blockbuster bat they needed to help elevate the offense and help alleviate the loss of Corey Seager, because, at the time, the star shortstop was hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs in 96 games. But that elite power bat has come from another source, and one you can argue has been unexpected.

When the Dodgers traded for second baseman Brian Dozier, it was out-of-the-blue and did not bring much buzz. During the winter of 2016, it would have been an eye-catcher and brought excitement, but this year, not so much. It’s hard to get excited about a guy who was hitting .227/.307/.405, albeit it with 16 homers, at the time of the trade.

The Dodgers were linked with him after his amazing 2016, but the asking price was too high, so it turns out that trading for Logan Forsythe instead, having him disappoint, and then flip him for Dozier a year-and-a-half later, was the best way. It turned out to be much cheaper because the Minnesota Twins wanted more than just Jose De Leon, who Dodgers traded straight up for Forsythe.

And again, Dozier’s numbers were far from great (below-average OPS), but he had an OPS 148 points higher than Forsythe’s, which shows just how bad Forsythe was with Los Angeles. The Dodgers bought in low on a guy who has made it a habit of having MVP-caliber second halves.

In 2016, Dozier exploded for .291/.344/.646 and 28 home runs in 72 games after the All-Star Break. And last season, it was more of the same. He hit .304/.394/.591 and 21 home runs in 71 games. And this year, again more of the same. In his first 11 games (45 PA) with the Dodgers, the second baseman is hitting .286/.444/.629 with three home runs.

This is the type of production they expected from Manny Machado. Instead, their shortstop/third baseman is hitting .264/.344/.407 with only two home runs in 102 plate appearances. He has yet to find his groove, and once he does, this offense will be among the best. But that doesn’t appear to be anywhere on the horizon.

But Machado is an elite talent who can carry an offense himself when he gets going, and the Dodgers acquired two guys who can do that, but just one is hitting right now. And because of it, Brian Dozier has quickly turned into a fan-favorite and padded that reputation by starting a web gem of a double play in Colorado on Saturday. And his hot play with Los Angeles has already raised his OPS 30 points.

The upgrade in production Dozier has provided at second base over Forsythe has been equivalent to a 30-point swing in basketball. The Dodgers were getting negative production from their previous guy, but have now gone to the opposite extreme. He is offering elite production at what has been the team’s worst position all year, giving (at worst) a competent and above-average hitter at every position on the field.

Now Machado needs to follow suit and not let this acquisition turn into a waste. If Dozier can do it, Machado should be able to. Maybe the pressure of being in Los Angeles with World Series expectations is getting to him and the change of environment has amplified the pressure of his pending free agent status. But with his track record and talent, it’s only a matter of time until he breaks out, or at least that’s how the sport usually works.

The Dodgers’ offense has been inconsistent, showing us their ability as a boom-or-bust offense way too many times. But if Machado can replicate Dozier, and combine that with the resurgence of Cody Bellinger and a Justin Turner who is looking healthier each day and swinging the bat better and better each week, the offense will become more explosively consistent.

But as of now, it’s been a surprise that the production from Dozier and Machado have been switched, and the Dodgers are hoping that it only reverses halfway.

Featured Image via Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

About Sunit Bhakta

Sports and food enthusiast. Love reading thriller and Comic books. Will talk almost any movie or tv show, especially Westworld!

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