Roberts on rosters

Newly-inked manager Dave Roberts used his media availability requirement at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday of this week to answer a few questions:

On the position player side, Roberts said he expects Cody Bellinger to be an everyday player in 2019.

“Just the way he can defend and how he can affect a game and impact a game with his legs, with the bat, the goal is to have him out there and handle lefties and righties,” Roberts said.

“I think for Cody, it was a tough year,” Roberts said. “It was a grind for him with a slow start. But if you look at the surface line, it wasn’t bad. Now you kind of introduce the defense and the versatility, for a second-year player, still pretty good.”

But if you have Bellinger in the lineup every day, what position will he play? CF or 1B? “Reply hazy, try again.”

Well, what about Muncy? Kiké? CT3?

Roberts said Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández will all be options at second base, with Muncy also getting at-bats at first.

On the pitching side, Roberts said he sees Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood, who transitioned to bullpen roles by the end of 2018, as starters in 2019. Roberts said Ross Stripling will also compete for a starting job after an All-Star 2018 season.

I think Roberts was in a good mood, as shown by this:

On former Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt going to the Cardinals:

“Goldy, he can stay in the (National League) Central as long as he wants. I’m trying to work on getting him to the American League next. But Goldy, one of my favorite players to watch. To get him out of our division is great. Hope he’s happy. I’ve got to send him flowers.”

76 thoughts on “Roberts on rosters

  1. Houston Mitchell on The Trade.

    To sum up, this frees the Dodgers up for a lot of things, so it is far too early to judge whether this is a good trade or not. If they have acquired no one else by opening day, then this doesn’t look very good.

  2. In regards to the trade here is what I wrote in a personal email to Scooplew earlier:

    As for Puig – I blame myself! Well, not really of course – but in theory. I have enjoyed the last few years of Dodgers play a great deal, but do want them to win a championship. To that end, I have found myself thinking sometimes less about the individual players, their stories, and the journey of a season – and more about the final product/end result. “World Series or bust” mentality leads to players like Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood – players who have given me moments of pleasure and thrills – getting traded to try and upgrade the team. So yes, it is kinda my fault!

        • Spanish boys names beginning with”Y” are quite uncommon. I would think that most are of Ladino origin. Most of the names for Cuban players cited here are not actually Spanish nor Russian, but were made up.

        • Spanish boys names beginning with”Y” are quite uncommon. I would think that most are of Ladino origin. Most of the names for Cuban players cited here are not actually Spanish nor Russian, but were made up.

  3. Pedro Moura of The Athletic on the trade.

    The​ trade​ the​ Dodgers struck Friday afternoon is​ not​ a strict​ salary dump, nor is it a clearing​ of​ the​ way​​ for Bryce Harper. Their seven-player deal with the Cincinnati Reds, rather, is a hybrid. It’s a prospect pick-up, a salary dump, and a surplus sell-off.

    By sending away Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers opened up right field for Alex Verdugo, their top prospect who has nothing more to prove in the minor leagues. By ceding Alex Wood, the Dodgers increased their distance from the luxury-tax threshold and lost little, since they can still boast sufficient starting depth without him.

    And by swapping Matt Kemp and $7 million for Homer Bailey, whom they immediately released, the Dodgers convinced the Reds to include two young prospects of some significance: 20-year-old shortstop Jeter Downs and 21-year-old right-hander Josiah Gray.

      • The delusional Yankee fans on talk radio out here are now saying it clears a spot for the Dodgers to acquire Giancarlo Stanton, clearing the way for the Yanks to get Harper.

        • He does hit from the right side and has a more team friendly contract than Harper is likely to demand, so straight up, yeah. But Yanks would have to be content with getting little in return from LA to make it attractive.

          • Ha! You underestimate Giancarlo, it was 211 Ks. You always want a bat like his, the issue was the luxury tax and the desire by team to get under it. Don’t have the numbers and to what point the FO feels it needs to stay under it again this year, but Stanton more affordable than Harper is likely to be in terms of money and years.

        • Stanton has an AAV of $25M and the Marlins pay $30M in 2021 if Stanton does not opt out. Hill at $16M to Yanks for Stanton’s $25 AAV is doable within the Dodgers Competitive Balance Tax threshold.

          Dodgers would probably want to add someone like Kluber if they traded Hill though and that would cost them Verdugo. But then Stanton’s contract would substitute for Verdugo’s controllable years.

  4. I simply do not get the commenters, on Facebook and other sites, who think Roberts is not a top notch manager. Getting into two Workd Series should demonstrate his managerial skills alone.

    • I think that much of it comes from not liking the style of play, but Doc is just managing within the roster structure, which is built on depth and flexibility. Another from the general frustrations not having won a WS since 1988.

    • I’m not sure he’s necessarily top notch. I think his bullpen use is suspect. And the team has underperformed badly at times under his watch. This team came within a hair of not even making the playoffs, against competition that I think we’d all agree they were better than, and despite a terrific run differential. I also don’t think top notch managers allow teams to lose 14 in a row. They figure out something. I don’t think he’s a bad manager (despite his weakness for bringing in Madsen in key spots), but I don’t think he’s top of the class, either.

  5. From Houston Mitchell at the LA Times Dodger Dugout column:

    Finally, it appeared for a little while that the team was on the verge of trading Yasiel Puig or Joc Pederson to Cleveland for pitcher Trevor Bauer, but that didn’t happen, perhaps because the Indians wanted Alex Verdugo. There was no real movement on the Bryce Harper front, and an attempt to acquire Miami catcher JT Realmuto apparently fell apart when Miami asked for Cody Bellinger.

    • I don’t mind Steiner. There are plenty of p-b-p people who are worse. Much worse. I get to hear John Sterling do Yankee games while driving in my car (if the Mets aren’t on).

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Neverett.

      • We get Yankee games out here occasionally. For an organization which claims to be the best and classiest of all MLB teams, its two radio people are horrifically bad.

        Granted I’ve been spoiled by Vin for 50 years, but still. Sterling and Suzyn Waldman are unashamedly homers.

        • For years Waldman was the Yankees beat reporter for WFAN, and she was excellent at it, but she’s not been great in the booth.

        • Steiner is a stinker. Steinbrenner fired the late Hank Greenwald – one of the finest radio guys ever – because Hank made jokes during play-by-play. Hank made the 1980s Gnats worth listening to, specifically for that reason.

          • That’s an old Yankee tradition. Red Barber was fired for having the TV camera pan around a near-empty Yankee Stadium in the late-60’s, when the Yanks were awful.

    • As I said in comments in the previous post, I’ve had enough fun with the WP comment system. I’ll go back to Disqus (I heard one of its employees pronounce it — it’s supposed to be a funny spelling of “discuss,” not “disk-us.”) Today’s useless bit of information is brought to you by the letter “Q.”

  6. Last year Cody appeared in 162 games and led the team, by a lot, in PA. Had a solid year at the plate, though not the spectacular one he had in 2017. So, already a regular. Not sure what the issue might be. With second base open, as of now, Quique will get plenty of play and CT3 as well, as I don’t imagine getting 500 PA out of Matty next year, if he is around.

    • I’m hoping (and expecting) that Bellinger experienced the classic sophomore jinx. Other teams figured out something about him, to his detriment, and it became a learning experience that he’ll rebound from. Even then, his numbers were pretty good.

    • He is already working with new hitting coach at Dodger Stadium so hopefully he finds a way to deal with the high pitches and the ones breaking down toward his feet. I think he will go to the opposite field and bunt more next year and swing less often at pitches out of the strike zone. He only hit .208 against lefties so that has to be fixed as well. I see a .280 .360 .480 line minimum with 45 HR.
      I think Pederson will have his best year in 2019 that could see a line of .265 .360 .475 with 35HR.

      • I think Joc has a role, but I wouldn’t object to putting him on the trading block. He’s a platoon guy, while Bellinger is a potential superstar.

        • I would agree if Joc were a righty hitter and therefore only started 30% of the games instead of the 70% he gets as a lefty. If Kemp stays on the Dodgers, he is the perfect hitter to only start those 30% of games started by a lefty pitcher.

          • Kemp would have more value to an AL team that needs a DH, but not at his current salary. Joc has far more trade value.

          • If you keep Pederson, what do you do with Verdugo? It a tough decision. Verdugo is four years younger than Pederson, but Pederson has more power and really good command of the strike zone as a rule. On the other hand, Pederson is a below average fielder, even in left, and Verdugo is faster. And I’m not even going to bring up Toles.

          • Verdugo has great command of the strike zone, high contact skills, and is a plus outfielder with a very strong arm. My feeling is that the Dodgers could use a high OBP guy like Verdugo with some frequency.

          • I think the consensus is that Pederson is an above average defensive left fielder and is best on the team on balls where he has to go back for, whether CF or LF. Verdugo would do well in LF but his arm allows him to be better than any Dodger in RF other than Puig, who will probably be traded.

    • Not thrilled by Hernandez being anywhere near an everyday player. Not sure what to expect from Taylor and/or Muncy. But I do agree that Bellinger should be playing every day, as should Puig if he’s back.

      • Both CT3 and Quique are cheap, versatile, above average hitters and good fielders. Upgrading substantially at second base won’t be cheap and is probably fourth at the most in terms of FO priorities.