2017 Dodgers In Review: OF Curtis Granderson

PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR WAR
MLB (w/ NYM) 395 .228 .334 .481 115 19 2.3
MLB (w/ LA) 132 .161 .288 .366 78 7 -0.2

What Happened In 2017: Hit well in New York, hit well in his first few games with LA, but his production plummeted.

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Curtis Granderson has always been one of baseball’s best clubhouse players. There has never been a bad word uttered about him. Couple that with his ability to hit the ball over the fence, and you have a quality MLB player — even at age 36.

When the Dodgers acquired him on Aug. 19, he immediately took over the starting left field job against right-handed pitching. That was supposed to be Joc Pederson‘s job, but his second-half (season-long, really) struggles led directly to Granderson’s acquisition. Here’s part of what I wrote about the trade:

Joc Pederson has been struggling at the plate for the better part of six weeks. Heading into the postseason, and considering his constant tinkering, they might be comfortable letting him be the primary guy against righties in October. That’s not to say Granderson is going to play center field (he won’t), but Pederson could see the biggest reduction in playing time after this move. Hell, he might be the one optioned to Oklahoma City because of this (if not him, maybe a bullpen pitcher or Enrique Hernandez). This also says something about the Dodgers’ confidence in Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier returning and being effective. Gonzalez is officially back while Ethier should be back after rosters expand, but Ethier hasn’t played since March and is a year older and another year removed from any regular playing time. To expect him to come back and be anything close to his former self might be expecting too much. Acquiring Granderson protects against Pederson not being able to work out of his slump and against Gonzalez/Ethier being ineffective.”

That last part is rings pretty true, as Gonzalez never made it all the way back and has since been traded. Ethier got a few good swings in during the playoffs, but Granderson was expected to be the Dodgers’ starter in left field against RHP.

After a strong 4-game series in Pittsburgh that saw him drive in five runners — including a grand slam off soon-to-be-Yankee Gerrit Cole — Granderson’s production took a nose dive. He finished the season 14-for-89 (.157) with four home runs and 27 strikeouts in 102 plate appearances. He didn’t perform in the playoffs, either. In the NLDS and NLCS, he went a combined 1-for-15 with eight strikeouts and was left off the World Series roster. He was given every chance to break out of his 2-month slump, but he just couldn’t do it.

Despite the struggles, he was never a problem in the clubhouse, which is why the Dodgers could afford to bring in a guy like that so late in the season. It was tough to see him struggle so mightily because he’s truly one of baseball’s best people, but time is still undefeated.

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2018 Status: Granderson is a free agent. While he looked bad in his time with the Dodgers, he should be able to find an MLB job somewhere.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.