Sunday, May 26, 2019
The Dodgers' Recipe for Perennial Success
I don't hate the Dodgers. I don't really have the energy to.
I mean, the only reason that I could find a fault with them is the fact that they always seem to be competitive. In a sense, they're the NL equivalent of the Yankees, because they're always in the conversation, they're always making a playoff push or something. And for the past like 10 years they've consistently built really good competitive teams, mostly thanks to a rock-solid farm system, but also due to some sneaky-good GM work and trades.
For instance: the key replacement for AJ Pollock was hiding in plain sight the entire time. Alex Verdugo had been a bench player for LA for 2 years, slowly building his average and improving his contact abilities. Now that he's been handed a starting position, he's playing well enough to become one of the team's best hitters, but he also knows the ins and outs of the organization from those two years on the bench. He's not like Yasiel Puig, who was brought up and immediately shot into a position to do great things because of his name and numbers, without any time for buffering. Verdugo has had time to buffer, and has had attempts go wrong, and now that he's ready, he's killing it.
Perhaps the Dodgers learned this FROM what happened with Puig, and possibly Pederson, but either way, their patience with Alex Verdugo has led to a success on multiple levels this year. There's a similar amount of patience with Cody Bellinger, who was ultra-successful in his rookie year, sucked for a bit WHILE he figured out how the rest of the team gelled without him being a centerpiece of it, then subsequently came alive this year with 18 home runs and a .389 average.
This may also be the same reasons why Julio Urias, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Barnes are finally finding success at the plate after years of gestating in the Dodgers' systems. And it may be why Dodgers fans aren't panicking as Walker Buehler has one or two weighty starts, as if to say 'he'll get it eventually'.
With these tactics, this Dodgers dynasty could stay standing for another 5 or so years. They're making smart managerial and statistical decisions, building numerous great baseball teams...and could potentially make it three straight trips to the NLCS...and beyond.
Coming Tonight: He'd done contact-hitting before for the White Sox, but not during a competitive year, on a competitive team.