Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup has struggled to generate much traction through the National League Division Series thus far and changes may be afoot as they face elimination against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 3.
Heading into the NLDS, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the lineup would likely be the same group of starters who played when facing a right-hander during the regular season. The only potential difference was going to come with the order of the bottom of the lineup.
But with the Dodgers now fighting for their postseason lives at Chase Field on Wednesday night, Kiké Hernández or Chris Taylor, and possibly both, could end up starting against a righty.
“I think it’s something that I’m going to think about. I’ve thought about it,” answered Roberts when asked if Dodgers lineup changes were under consideration.
“There is that balance of looking at it, it’s only two games, but the other part of it is that sense of urgency because this is do-or-die now. I do love the at-bats Kiké’s been taking, and kind of trying to figure out if changing the lineup a little bit as far as structure makes sense.
“But it’s something I’m certainly contemplating and I’ll decide ultimately [Wednesday].”
If Taylor is inserted into the Dodgers lineup for Game 3, it presumably would come at the expense of David Peralta in left field. Peralta went 1-for-2 with a double in the NLDS opener, but was hitless in the Dodgers’ Game 2 loss.
Although Peralta primarily filled a platoon role during the regular season, he hit just .253/.290/.384 with 24 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 52 RBI, a .290 wOBA and 82 wRC+ across 386 plate appearances against righties.
Comparatively, Taylor hit .255/.329/.380 with eight doubles, one triple, five home runs, 32 RBI, .313 wOBA and 97 wRC+ in 223 plate appearances. But Taylor had a 114 wRC+ off right-handers during the second half of the season.
Hernández possibly starting could come at second base, which would entail moving Mookie Betts back out to right field and Jason Heyward finding himself on the bench. Heyward is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the NLDS thus far.
Another option for the Dodgers would be to start Hernández at shortstop and move Miguel Rojas to the bench. But Rojas had one hit in each of the first two NLDS games.
Dodgers lineup changes tied to Diamondbacks
One factor Roberts acknowledged he is weighing when evaluating Dodgers lineup decisions is the Diamondbacks presumably having a quick hook for Brandon Pfaadt should he struggle.
“It certainly plays into my decision as far as the lineup construction and who’s in the line up, absolutely,” Roberts said.
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