Depressed dodgers destined for disaster electricity water analogy


For most of the 2017 season, the LA Dodgers were on top of the baseball world, compiling the best record in MLB on their way to a World Series and ending up a mere one win short of a World Championship. They featured some of baseball’s top established stars, such as Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, and some of the best young talent to come to the majors in years, such as Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. They had a deep roster full of players who were not just great defensively but who were excellent defensively at numerous positions. They featured solid hitters, power hitters, clutch run producers, a deep starting staff and a solid bullpen led by one of the game’s great closers.

The team’s best player, Justin Turner, was injured in spring training and has yet to make an appearance in 2018. In fact, continued pain has delayed his rehabilitation and eventual return to the lineup. All-star shortstop and one of the game’s greatest young stars, Corey Seager, who suffered an elbow injury late last season, has failed in his, and the team’s, attempt to have him work through the pain and continue playing, and he now is gone for the rest of the 2018 season, and likely for the beginning of 2019, with ligament transplant surgery (commonly known as Tommy John surgery).

Regulars Yasiel Puig and Logan Forsythe and number three starter Rich Hill are also all injured, and the return time for none of them is certain, Puig having just suffered hip and foot injures in the same game, Forsythe recovering from a mystery shoulder disorder, and Hill having his return now delayed due to an infected finger on his pitching hand.

Finally, a dark cloud hangs over the entire organization with no clear sky to be seen until after the season: This is the final guaranteed year of Clayton Kershaw’s contract and he can choose to opt out and move on to a new team this off season.

So far this season, the Dodgers have suffered from a power outage, hitting through 28 games a total of 25 home runs as a team, which projects to a season total of 144, almost exactly a one-third drop off from last year’s total of 221 homers. The bullpen stats are even worse. Last year a bullpen that was solid for most of the season compiled a 3.38 ERA over 559-2/3 innings pitched. So far this season, over its first 102-1/3 innings, the bullpen ERA stands at 4.75, more than a run-and-a-third more runs per game than in 2017.

the year: Turner needs to get back soon, along with Puig and Hill, and they all need to remain healthy the rest of the year, as does the rest of the team, and someone has to take up the slack for the missing Seager. With Chris Taylor likely to get most of the playing time at shortstop the rest of the season, Joc Pederson and also Enrique Hernandez become key players in the outfield, each having to have solid, continued success. Pederson has played and hit the best of his four-year career over the past couple of weeks, and after a slow start, Hernandez had provided solid defense and has raised his batting average to an almost acceptable level. But can players like Yasmani Grandal, batting 65 points over his career average, and 33-year-old Matt Kemp continue their outstanding early-season hitting?