Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
Before the 2021 regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were healthy, and they seemed to be unbeatable. While they lost on the Opening Day game, the Dodgers had a good first road trip and homestand, but since then, they have struggled.
They have six players on the IL. Although injuries are a part of the game, it seems the Dodgers have been snakebit. It is not surprising that the Dodgers have struggled offensively when Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux on the IL. Lux with a sore wrist should return either Monday or Tuesday. However, no one knows when Bellinger, who has a microfracture in his fibula. Before this past week when the Dodgers had to put Zach McKinstry with a right oblique on the IL and Chris Taylor missed a few games with a stiff lower back, the Dodger offense was surviving.
Until Saturday night when Taylor returned to the lineup, the Dodgers could hardly buy a run. Every team goes through offensive slumps no matter how good its offense is. Watching a baseball team going through a slump is often boring and frustrating. A team with talented hitters like the Dodgers have will not experience many slumps during the 162-game season. When Bellinger and McKinstry return to the active roster, the Dodgers should not toil for runs many times during the 2021 season.
The Dodgers have had a bad defense, particularly against the San Diego Padres. While the old baseball adage says pitching wins games, no team can be elite with bad defense. The Dodgers have committed the second-most errors in the National League. After last season when they had the phenomenal defense, it is surprising for them making errors practically daily.
While the Dodgers have a good fundamentally defensive team, they have many players who are playing out of position. They do not have their regular second baseman when Lux has been on the IL. They have been using either McKinstry or Sheldon Neuse, both rookies, are allowing baseball to rush them on every play. An experienced player lets the game come to him. As the season proceeds, the Dodgers should have an improved defensive second baseman.
The Dodger starting rotation has performed fantastically. No starter has had an awful outing. The addition of Trevor Bauer has tremendously helped the rotation. With every outing, the youngster Dustin May has improved, and on Sunday against the high-flying Padres, he was wonderful for six innings.
The Dodger bullpen has been inconsistent, and this is not surprising when the performances of any reliever are hard to predict. After a sixty-game season, it is impossible to know how well a reliever is. When Corey Knebel injured himself, it was quite a blow to the Dodger bullpen. At times during this season, both David Price and Kenley Jansen have pitched well, but at other times, they have been bad.