Friday, June 24, 2011

It's time for the Dodgers to bring up Trayvon Robinson

The Dodgers' left field situation was a concern from Day One. Here we are nearly three months into the season and it's still a problem.

Dodger left fielders have hit a collective .216/.286/.298 with 2 HR, 20 RBI, 15 2B (9 of which came from Jerry Sands), 27:59 BB:K ratio. That is absolutely putrid coming from a traditional "power" position.

It started with a platoon of Tony Gwynn and Marcus Thames. I wrote back in Spring Training that Gwynn could have filled a huge need for the Dodgers by living up to his potential. He has decent on-base skills and is a really good defender. If all went well, he would have succeeded as the Dodgers' No. 2 hitter and left field wouldn't have been a problem.

Sadly and unsurprisingly, that did not happen. Gwynn has put up an uninspired .222/.266/.291 line through 64 games (117 ABs). He hasn't had a chance to play everyday, but I don't think even if he did play everyday that he'd be the answer in left field.

Thames, who has dealt with injury issues, has been even worse: .193/.246/.333 in 57 at-bats.

Sands was recalled and given a shot in left. He started off slow, got hot and cooled off. He hit .200/.294/.328 in 125 at-bats. He has since returned to Triple-A for a little more seasoning. He is the Dodgers' future in left field or at first base -- it remains to be seen which position in which he'll settle.

Which leads us to Trayvon Robinson. He has been on fire for the last month, raising his slash line to .317/.388/.575 with 16 home runs. He's drawn 29 walks in 259 at-bats -- good for an 11.1 percent walk rate. That's actually a decrease from last season (16.8 percent), but still a good rate. However, his strikeout rate has jumped about 2 percent -- from 28.8 last season to 30.9 this season. Another concern is his stolen base numbers have decreased for three consecutive seasons -- from 47 in 2009 to 38 in 2010 to just seven in 2011.

Despite the negatives, it's time for Robinson to get a shot in left field. He certainly cannot be any worse than the players the Dodgers have sent out to left field this season (Gwynn, Thames, Jay Gibbons Xavier Paul, Jamie Hoffmann and Trent Oeltjen).

Dee Gordon, Rubby De La Rosa and Sands have all gotten the call -- each of which was surprising. So, why not Trayvon?

In theory, Robinson is the Dodgers' future in center field, pushing Matt Kemp to right field and Andre Ethier to left field (if he isn't moved). That would make the Dodgers' outfield much better defensively.

I was on board with the Thames signing and playing Gwynn, but the experiment has failed. It's time to start fresh with some young blood.


  1. I think it's going to happen anyday. Seems like they have been giving Thames his last shot out there lately giving him tons of playing time. Than again, bringing up Trayvon would make Gwynn even more expendable. Or they could take the easy way out and send down Oltjen. Love to see the Aussie stay tho. - Tripp

  2. Love the blogs, but disagree completely. Robinson's K rate is as bad as ever and he needs to learn how to protect the plate and take the ball opposite field more. HRs in the PCL are a given, but to make a successful jump, he needs OBP and the ability to fight off the nasty stuff MLB pitchers can throw.

    Sands is till swinging better IMO and the best option to bring back. No one should come back up now though.

  3. Anonymous "2" - Definitely valid points. I wouldn't be opposed to Sands coming back before Robinson, but I think it's time for him to get a shot. I even singled out fact that his K-rate is less-than ideal.

    Thanks for reading, folks.