Weiner: Sorting Out the Questions Regarding the Dodgers Lineup

The list of the IL is now longer than a CVS receipt, so what should the Dodgers lineup look like?

Throughout certain stretches of the year thus far Dodgers bats have bobbed and weaved between dormant and exploding like Eyjafjallajökull. Last week the Dodgers averaged six runs per game and looked as if they would no longer be dead last in the league with runners left on base. 

Even Kershaw threw his hat in the ring with a poke to center:

But now with injuries to All-Stars Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock and addition of three-time MVP Albert Pujols and also Yoshi Tsutsugo, the lineup that put up 9 runs on Friday shares no resemblance to the card from last night.

The lineup became a big point of contention during the 5-15 streak earlier this month because it seemed as if that would be a good first step in trying to fix the offensive woes. One suggestion thrown out was moving Max Muncy up in the order to hit in front of Justin Turner. Muncy was walking like his life depended on it, but his power numbers were adjacent to Juan Pierre’s and when he was on base batters seldomly knocked him in. 

However, when manager Dave Roberts was asked about making a change to his lineup on May 7, after the team dropped three of 17 games, he was dead set on keeping it as is. After all, you wouldn’t tell Dave Chappelle or Richard Prior to switch up the order of jokes in their stand up routine. 

“In years past, I think I have shown the willingness to move players around,” Roberts said, “I’ve also kind of been a victim of doing it too much. I think right now, I think getting guys individually going, I don’t think is a lineup construction thing.”

Credit to Roberts for not budging in and sticking with his gut instincts because it did pay off as the Dodgers have now won five of their last six and are back to bringing in runs hand over fist. But now he is going to have to make some decisions to keep up with growing injuries. 

Does Chris Taylor or Max Muncy permanently move up to the 2-hole to fill in for Corey Seager now that he’s going to be out with a fractured wrist for at least a month? 

Or does the much improved Gavin Lux who’s hitting .333/.396/.458 since May 2 fill into the leadoff role to see if Mookie Betts would find his groove hitting in another spot in the order after an underwhelming start to the season?

Should Albert Pujols continue to hit clean up even when he’s not facing lefties? 

Does Matt Beaty move up to the first four spots in the order after hitting .455 with a .462 OBP with runners in scoring position this year? 

With the injury bug growing an appetite like Pablo Sandoval, there are going to be more questions than answers until the All-Star break when Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, Seager and Zach McKinstry hopefully return to the lineup. 

Roberts is in a very strange place right now because he doesn’t want to double cross himself and tinker to the point of dissonants, but every night is going to require some tweaking. Even the Mayans couldn’t have predicted Pujols or Tsutsugo making appearances for the Dodgers, but on Tuesday, May 18 this is where we find ourselves.

Tell us in the comments how you would situate the Dodgers’ lineup at this point of the season.