The team downed San Francisco early in the week, then took two of three from the
And, yes, October is right around the corner. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the
Here are the pitching matchups:
As always, there is plenty to discuss. You can send me questions on Twitter @McCulloughTimes. Let's do this.
When October begins, I believe
Grandal has fans in high-profile positions in the Dodgers front office. His framing is elite. His power is impressive. But his production this year has disappointed. Grandal leads all
The problem with benching Grandal is you remove a potentially lethal bat from your lineup. When he heats up, he can be a frightening presence in the batter’s box for lengthy periods of time. The Dodgers would love to capture a performance like that in October. But Grandal has been so cold for so long, it is hard to imagine him heating up against pitchers like Zack Greinke,
So it may be Barnes. He has a good rapport with Yu Darvish and Alex Wood. Rich Hill raves about him. He will catch Clayton Kershaw on Monday for only the fifth time this season. The Dodgers are laying the groundwork if they want to make a change. They should.
It depends on what you mean by "long-term." I can't predict what the team will look like in 2020. There's no point in trying. Let's keep it simple, and deal with next season.
Do I expect
The case of
The Dodgers often do not cut ties with a player until it's absolutely necessary. Think about how long they kept Chris Hatcher around. They stall for time, they hoard organizational depth and they do not like to act rashly. Pederson will still have a minor-league option in 2018, so they can keep him in the minors if he cannot rebuild his swing.
And remember this: In the first half, Pederson hit .241/.361/.466. He hit 51 homers in his first two seasons. He possesses incredible power. If another team offers some real value for Pederson, the Dodgers will listen. But they won't punt on a cheap former All-Star, even if they like Alex Verdugo. I expect Verdugo to start 2018 in the minors, anyway.
It is hard to see
It sounds pretty unlikely, but it happened only a couple years ago. In 2015, the
The obvious candidate to replace Granderson is
Despite everything I just wrote, I am leaning toward Curtis Granderson, but I think that would require some sort of upswing in his offensive production in the final two weeks. Otherwise, it's hard to argue he deserves the starting role in left field over Andre Ethier.
When a player says he "slows the game down," it means he is able to think clearly and not panic in situations in which you have to make snap judgments. It basically means the player shows the ability to stay calm.
Good question! My vote would be Ross Stripling. Like Dolph Ziggler, he is quite skilled and appreciated by a sophisticated portion of the fan base, but he has not broken through as a top guy in the organization.