Dodgers @ D-backs April 21, 2017: Wood’s Rotation Return

(Via)

Tonight, the Dodgers begin a seven-game road trip. Before a four-game set with the Giants, they begin with three against the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers disappointed in their series last weekend in Dodger Stadium, and will try to get ahead in the series with a new look in their lineup.

Dodgers
D’Backs
6:40 p.m.
Phoenix
CF
Pederson
CF
Pollock
SS
Seager
SS
Owings
3B
Turner
1B
Goldschmidt
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Lamb
RF
Puig
LF
Tomas
C
Grandal
2B
Drury
LF
Toles RF Peralta
2B
Utley
C
Mathis
P
Wood (L)
P
Walker (R)

The Dodgers have shuffled their batting order, partially due to the absence of Logan Forsythe. Chase Utley is replacing him against the right-handed Taijuan Walker, though presumably he is platooned with Chris Taylor or Enrique Hernandez for the time being. Utley has been dreadful this season (.050/.136/.050 in 22 PA) but a platoon is probably fine at this point. It’s probably unfair to expect him to adjust to being a part-time player instantaneously. At least he’s not leading off like he was last season. Instead, Joc Pederson will lead off for the first time this year. Andrew Toles, perhaps owing to his .275 OBP, has been moved down in the lineup to make room. Toles’ overall numbers are still fine, owing to his brief power surge, though it’s fair to expect him to trade some of those homers for singles in the long-term.

Walker did well in his last start, also against the Dodgers. He went five innings, struck out seven, walked one, and allowed one run on four hits. It was his best start of the season. The five innings is something of a theme for Walker, though in last week’s start he was dealing with a sore back. Sore back or not, at least he’s right-handed.

Facing Walker will be Alex Wood, who may be settling in for a longer run in the rotation. Wood has an excellent ERA this season and is missing bats (not in strikeout rate, but in contact rate). However, he has walked six batters in eight innings. It’s way too early to worry, especially given the inconsistency of the way he’s been used, but it is absolutely something to monitor. In Wood’s spot start against Chicago he started to fade quickly in the fourth inning, perhaps due to not being completely stretched out to start, and that could be a concern today as well.

A few quick injury updates:

Dave Roberts is mean:

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.