Dodgers Dugout: Are the Dodgers really bad at hitting with runners in scoring position?
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and what do Ross Stripling and Max Muncy have to do to make an All-Star team?
I get a lot of emails from readers complaining that the Dodgers can’t get a hit with runners in scoring position. Is this true? How bad is the team at that?
Human nature leads us to recognize things that back up a belief we already have. If we don’t believe they can hit in a key situation, then every time they fail, we will point to it and say “See, I’m right!” It’s like buying a new car. Buy a new Jeep Wrangler, and suddenly you start noticing every other Jeep Wrangler on the road. So, let’s take a moment to look at the numbers and see if this belief is true. That’s the RSIP part, not the Jeep Wrangler part.
These numbers are all through Saturday’s games.
First, the Dodgers are third in the NL in runs scored and are averaging 4.8 runs per game.
But let’s look at specific RISP stats.
As a team, the Dodgers hit .245 with runners in scoring position, which is 11th in the NL. Their on-base percentage is .343, which is seventh and slugging percentage is .397 which is 10th.
With two out and runners in scoring position, the Dodgers are even worse at .201, which is 14th in the league.
So yes, good call readers, the Dodgers are below average with RISP.
Let’s look at individual players and where they rank in baseball among players with at least 30 plate appearances with RISP. We’ll do the top 10 overall, and then where other Dodgers rank.
1. Matt Kemp, .438
2. Yuli Gurriel (Houston), .432
3. Josh Harrison (Pittsburgh), .429
4. Brian Anderson (Miami), .427
5. Shohei Ohtani (Angels), .423
6. Jedd Gyorko (St. Louis), .412
7. Alex Bregman (Houston), .384
8. Eugenio Suarez (Cincinnati), .382
9. Andrew Benintendi (Boston), .378
10. Joe Mauer (Minnesota), .375
T39. Chase Utley, .333
129. Joc Pederson, .277
138. Yasmani Grandal, .273
148. Max Muncy, .268
164. Kiké Hernandez, .259
189. Chris Taylor, .243
212. Yasiel Puig, .228
260. Justin Turner, .207
275. Logan Forsythe, .194
286. Cody Bellinger, .183
317. Austin Barnes, .133
In case you were wondering, 335 players have had at least 30 plate appearances with runners in scoring position this season. The worst 10 hitters:
1. Matthew Joyce, (Oakland) .031
2. Greg Allen, (Cleveland) .034
3. JB Shuck, (Miami) .067
4. Trey Mancini, (Baltimore) .083
T5. Eric Sogard, (Milwaukee) .091
T5. Chester Cuthbert, (Kansas City) .091
T7. Trayce Thompson, (Chicago White Sox) .100
T7. Abraham Almonte, (Kansas City) .100
9. Manny Pina, (Milwaukee) .111
10. Chris Young, (Angels) .115
The All-Star teams were announced Sunday, and as of now the Dodgers have two representatives, Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen.
Kemp was voted into the starting lineup, and deservedly so. Jansen was a commissioner’s pick. Max Muncy and Ross Stripling did not make the team. And don’t blame Dave Roberts for not picking them, because the manager of the team no longer has any say on who makes the squad. There is a players’ vote to determine the reserves and the commissioner rounds out the rosters.
Muncy is part of the fan’s “Final Vote,” going up against first baseman Jesus Aguilar of Milwaukee, first baseman Brandon Belt of San Francisco, infielder Matt Carpenter of St. Louis and shortstop Trea Turner of Washington.
To vote for Muncy, or any of the other candidates (though Muncy is the best choice), go here: www.mlb.com/all-star/final-vote.
Stripling is out of luck unless a pitcher gets hurt or drops out because he is pitching the Sunday before the game.
They both should have been named to the team already. We covered Muncy’s stats in the last newsletter, and Stripling has a 2.22 ERA with a 1.075 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. In the NL, he’s second in ERA, fifth in WAR among pitchers, sixth in WHIP, first in walks per nine innings and seventh in strikeouts per nine.
That sounds like an All-Star to me. The odds are someone will drop out and he will be added.
The reason for this is the entirely dumb rule that each team has to have one player. That needs to be done away with, and the best players should be at the game. OK, make sure the host city is represented, but other than that, it’s every man for himself.
There are far worse tragedies in life than not making an All-Star team, and the Dodgers are probably secretly glad he can get a few days off to rest his arm. But a guy who is in the top 10 in all those categories should be there.
More KTLA games
For those of you who live in the L.A. area and are unable to see Dodgers games on TV, the Dodgers announced that four games in August and one in September will be televised on KTLA Ch. 5. Those games are:
Saturday, Aug. 4 vs. Houston, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 15 vs. San Francisco, 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 20 vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 31 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 4 vs. New York Mets, 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, there is no agreement between DirecTV and Spectrum SportsNet coming in the near future.
Ask Joe Davis
Like he did last season, Dodgers announcer Joe Davis has graciously agreed to answer questions from Dodgers Dugout readers. If you have a question for Joe, please email it to me. He will answer selected questions in a future newsletter.
These names seem familiar
What recently departed Dodgers are doing around the league (through Saturday):
Charlie Culberson, Braves, .265/.321/.432, 104 OPS+.
Brandon McCarthy, Braves, 6-3, 4.92 ERA (currently on the 10-day DL with right knee tendinitis).
Yu Darvish, Cubs, 1-3, 4.95 ERA (currently on 10-day DL with an elbow injury)
Curtis Granderson, Blue Jays, .248/.355/.452, 122 OPS+
Brandon Morrow, Cubs, 0-0, 20 saves, 1.35 ERA
Tony Watson, Giants, 2-2, 1.56 ERA
Chris Hatcher, A’s, 3-2, 4.71 ERA
Luis Avilan, White Sox, 2-0, 4.05 ERA
Trayce Thompson, White Sox, .117/.162/.211 (removed from 40-man roster and sent to minors).
Wilmer Font, Rays, 2-0, 4.28 ERA (on 60-day DL with a lat strain)
Monday, 7 p.m.: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 2-4, 2.86 ERA) at San Diego (Luis Perdomo, 1-2, 6.86 ERA)
Tuesday, 7 p.m.: Dodgers (Rich Hill, 2-3, 4.56 ERA) at San Diego (Eric Lauer, 4-5, 4.84 ERA)
Wednesday, 7 p.m.: Dodgers (Kenta Maeda, 5-5, 3.24 ERA) at San Diego (Joey Lucchesi, 4-4, 3.27 ERA).
Thursday, 7 p.m.: Dodgers (Ross Stripling, 7-2, 2.22 ERA) at San Diego (Tyson Ross, 5-7, 4.41 ERA)
Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander relishes his return to the majors. Read all about it here.
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