MLB Evaluator Surprised Dodgers Bench Was Not Improved

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The Los Angeles Dodgers’ quest to repeat as World Series champions came to an end last week with a 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

The Dodgers’ inconsistencies at the plate was one of several factors that contributed to being eliminated. L.A. was held to two runs or fewer in three of the six NLCS games, but also scored at least six runs on two occasions.

Among the Dodgers’ weak spots was a bench that lacked the depth of teams in previous years. Austin Barnes, Matt Beaty, Andy Burns and Steven Souza Jr. combined to go 0-for-11 with no extra-base hits and four strikeouts against the Braves.

One rival evaluator was surprised the Dodgers didn’t have more quality options off the bench given all of their resources, per Andy McCullough of The Athletic:

“Shocking to see as the season progressed they couldn’t get the bench right with all of their resources,” one rival evaluator said.

One reason why the Dodgers’ bench left a lot to be desired in the postseason was injuries to Max Muncy and Justin Turner. It meant that the likes of Gavin Lux and Albert Pujols had to enter the lineup at times, which weakened the bench by default.

Of course, last offseason’s departures of Kiké Hernandez and Joc Pederson didn’t help either as they were two of the Dodgers’ most productive hitters in the 2020 playoffs.

Pederson, after homering off Max Scherzer in Game 2 of the NLCS, revealed that he would have re-signed with the Dodgers if they made a bigger push.

Friedman didn’t see Hernandez, Pederson re-signing with Dodgers

Dodgers president of baseball operations recently reflected on his free agency talks with Hernandez and Pederson, noting they likely would have departed even if the organization outbid other teams as they both desired everyday roles.

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