Dodgers have settled on a regular lineup in August, bucking a trend

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco After the leadoff spot, Justin Turner and Manny Machado have settled in as the Dodgers’ number-2 and -3 hitters, respectively. Nobody besides Matt Kemp or Cody Bellinger has batted cleanup since Aug. 14. The 5-8 spots in the lineup have varied greatly depending on the opposing pitcher, but the Dodgers’ defensive arrangement has not.Related Articles Since Dozier arrived at the trade deadline, only three defensive positions (first base, center field and left field) have been shared by multiple regular starters. Every other position features a clear number 1 on the depth chart.Pederson, Chris Taylor and Matt Kemp have taken turns in left. Center has featured Bellinger (against right-handed pitchers) or Kiké Hernandez (against left-handed pitchers), while first base has featured Bellinger (against lefties) or Muncy (against righties).“If you talk about the outfield, Cody’s played mostly center,” Roberts said. “That’s where we feel he’s most comfortable. He covers a lot of ground. Then Kiké, his ability in center field – the arm strength, the range, the jump – I love him out there.”Roberts said he sees this pattern continuing down the stretch, as long as the Dodgers’ current position players remain healthy. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img LOS ANGELES – Max Muncy began the bottom of the first inning Saturday with a single. It was the first time in three weeks someone other than Brian Dozier or Joc Pederson batted leadoff for the Dodgers.Muncy is an interesting exception to the pattern. His speed is average and his three stolen bases are not what endeared him to Dave Roberts’ first pen strokes on the lineup card. Pederson would have led off, Roberts said, if not for a knee injury that will relegate the outfielder to the bench this weekend. So Muncy, who possessed a .372 on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers entering the game against Padres starter Brett Kennedy, got the call.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.The exception proved a rule: The Dodgers have had a relatively consistent lineup this month, both offensively and defensively.“As we are right now, with a very deep roster on the position player side … to get some clarity with the guys understanding that when there’s a lefty on the mound who’s going to play, and when there’s a righty on the mound who’s going to play, there’s power in that,” Roberts said. Pederson suffered a contusion when his left knee was struck by a foul ball. Roberts said that the knee subsequently twisted as well, but the injury is not considered serious. Pederson is expected to recover in time to start Tuesday against the Texas Rangers.For fans whose platonic ideal of a successful baseball team involves a consistent batting order 1 through 8, the Dodgers have been an enigma for years. This season has been especially erratic; Roberts has used 128 different 1-8 orders in 130 games. The manager believes that more continuity can be a good thing.“Regardless of the lineup, who’s playing, who’s not playing, they still have to go out there and perform,” he said.STRIPLING BACK TUESDAYRoss Stripling (back) pitched a two-inning simulated game consisting of approximately 30 pitches. He is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday in Texas.“You’re talking about a guy who’s done it before, had success in various roles,” Roberts said of Stripling. “To get him back adds depth and flexibility for all of us. Ross is a person I trust in big spots. To get him back is a big boost.”Hernandez hit fly ball against Stripling that cleared the fence in left-center field. Chase Utley, on the disabled list with left wrist inflammation, and backup catcher Austin Barnes also batted in the simulated game.The last “plate appearance” belonged to Tyler Toffoli, one of four Kings players who took part in promotional activities on the field before Saturday’s game. He took three pitches from Stripling, swinging and missing deliberately late at the last.INJURY UPDATESJulio Urías will make his next rehab start for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday. The left-hander was optioned to Rancho Cucamonga, technically ending his rehab assignment and leaving him eligible to rejoin the Dodgers’ active roster on Sept. 3.To make room for Urías on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, right-hander Josh Fields was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.Fields is expected to pitch in back-to-back games this week as his rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City continues. Since he wasn’t expected to be activated before his 60th day out of action, Saturday’s transaction does not alter his timetable to rejoin the team.ALSOThe Dodgers shuffled their starting rotation for the next three games. Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will now start Sunday’s series finale against the Padres. Alex Wood will start Wednesday and Walker Buehler will start Tuesday against the Rangers. … Minor league catcher Diego Cartaya, signed to a reported $2.5 million bonus in July, is working out at Dodger Stadium this weekend. He met with players, coaches, team executives and took batting practice on the field, among other activities Saturday. … Cartaya, 16, was ranked first by and third by Baseball America in the 2018 signing class. … Emme Roberts, Dave Roberts’ 13-year-old daughter, sang the national anthem.UP NEXTDodgers (LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, 3-1, 2.27 ERA) vs. Padres (LHP Robbie Erlin, 3-3, 3.46), 1 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available) Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img