Freeman Debuts in a Dodger Loss

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

On the day that Walker Buehler pitched magnificently for 4.2 innings and Freddie Freeman made his Dodger debut and singled in a run, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Cincinnati Reds 10-to-8.

Before the game, the Dodgers signed Kevin Pillar to a Minor League contract. The 8-year right-handed veteran who can play both at first base and in the outfield is competing for a spot on the Dodger bench. During the 2021 season, the bench was perceived as a weakness. The Dodgers want a strong bench, particularly with the abbreviated spring training that may produce more injuries than normal.

A couple of days ago, manager Dave Roberts revealed Chris Taylor had offseason arthroscopic elbow surgery to clean up the joint from bone chips. Playing the second half of the 2021 season might have caused Taylor’s sharp decline in his performance. While he has been the DH this spring, Tuesday was the first game this spring when he played in the field. He played second base and participated in a double play.

Will Smith homered today. As he entered spring training, he is one of the elite catchers in the Major Leagues. The abbreviated spring training will make it harder on Smith since he must develop relationships with pitchers, and the Dodgers have many new pitchers.

This past offseason the Dodgers signed left-handed veteran Andrew Heaney to a one-year $8 million deal. Never during his Major-League career, Heaney has reached his potential. Last season with both the Los Angeles Angels and the New York Yankees, he was prone to allowing the long ball. He did not perform well today when he allowed a three-run homer. He did not have much movement on his pitches. Looking at the Dodgers on paper, the team has a glaring weakness with their starting rotation. If Heaney does not improve quickly, he should not be in the Dodger starting rotation.

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