Since the execution of The Trade on August 25th, the Dodgers have gone from scoring 4.0 runs per game to 3.1 runs per game. What was already a mediocre offense in the bottom third of the league has scored the second fewest runs in all of baseball since the start of September.
Adrian Gonzalez was supposed to be the impact difference maker for the team, but he has undoubtedly struggled thus far. Still though, that belies the fact that even if he were hitting as expected, the Dodgers offensive woes would hardly be magically solved.Quite frankly, it’s almost impressive to see how much of a true team effort this collapse has been, with almost every starter contributing to the mess. It’s basically been Andre Ethier starring, Mark Ellis being solid, and then six James Loney types or worse.
Out of the bunch, the two players that surprised me the most were Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis. Despite the heroics of the former, even he hasn’t been hitting all that well of late, and the latter hasn’t been doing much either, despite always appearing to give reliable plate appearances.
As a team, over the last 21 games (in which they’ve gone 8-13), the Dodgers are hitting .233/.302/.354/.656. With a line like that, it’s amazing that they’re even putting up as many runs as they are.
So where does that leave them going forward for the last two to three weeks of the 2012 season? Well, as a team, they’ve been unlucky recently, and that’s reflected in their projected statistics for the remainder of 2012.The offense actually projects quite well the rest of the way.
Only M. Ellis and Cruz see a negative regression in BABIP (Shane Victorino remains the same), whereas every other player gets a rather significant bump. Matt Kemp has the largest jump, but his poor performance is probably fueled by his triple threat of injuries more than luck. That aside though, the fact remains that this is a lineup much more talented than what they’re currently showing. Since I don’t believe their inability to “jell” has been having an adverse affect on their performance*, something eventually HAS to click, right?
The numbers say so, let’s just hope it works out that way.
*By all accounts, every player is happier with their situation after the trades than before the trades (besides Victorino), including the players already on the Dodgers. Speculation aside from that is just trying to play armchair psychologist.