The Dodgers were shut out by the Giants in an entire series this week, becoming the first team since 2010 to go scoreless in three straight games. Worse, in the finale against San Francisco, they lost Andre Ethier to a strained oblique that will probably put him on the DL. It’s going to lead to some lineups that look like this for the next couple of weeks:
SS Dee Gordon
2B Jerry Hairston Jr.
RF Bobby Abreu
LF Juan Rivera
1B James Loney
C A.J. Ellis
3B Juan Uribe
CF Tony Gwynn Jr.
With Elian Herrera, Adam Kennedy and maybe Josh Fields or Scott Van Slyke also in the mix.
Even with Ethier playing regularly, the Dodgers have the worst OPS in the majors this month. They’re hitting .219/.295/.295 in 25 games during June. They have just six homers, half as many as the team in 29th place in that category (the Padres).
Assuming that Ethier lands on the DL, here will be their leading home run hitters on the active roster:
Ellis – 6
Rivera – 3
Loney – 2
Abreu – 2
Hairston – 2
Matt Treanor – 2
So, yeah, things look bleak. But I’ll buck the odds anyway; it may not happen tonight or even this weekend, but the Dodgers will score again. Call it a gut feeling.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.