LOS ANGELES -- John Forsythe, acquired from the Rays on Monday to be the starting second baseman for the Dodgers, said he's excited to join a club that was two wins away from the World Series last year."I'm happy to just come over to a winning ballclub, organization and help
LOS ANGELES -- John Forsythe, acquired from the Rays on Monday to be the starting second baseman for the Dodgers, said he's excited to join a club that was two wins away from the World Series last year.
"I'm happy to just come over to a winning ballclub, organization and help some young guys if I can, jump in with the core guys and try to help these guys anyway I can," Forsythe said Saturday during the club's FanFest at Dodger Stadium. "The Dodgers' past, with their success on the field, it's known, and I'm just happy to that I get to be another piece to help these guys go further."
Forsythe, 30, can fill needs for the Dodgers at second base, batting leadoff and as a right-handed hitter. Where does he feel he can help the club the most?
"Trying to be consistent and an all-around player," Forsythe said, "and that goes even off the field to being a good teammate, just trying to be a guy that guys can talk to. On the field, just whatever you got that day, just go out and give it. I think that's appreciated more than some guys know. Just play hard."
Forsythe hit .264 in 2016 with a .778 OPS, a career-high 20 homers and 52 RBIs. His stats against righties and lefties were nearly identical -- the Dodgers were at the bottom of the Majors in all major hitting categories against left-handers last year.
By trading for Forsythe, the Dodgers pivoted from the rumored pursuits of Twins second baseman James Dozier, who slugged 42 homers last season.
How does Forsythe feel he differs from Dozier?
"Dozier is a great player, I haven't looked too much and I don't look too much at stats or comparisons," Forsythe said. "I see how he plays on the field. He's got excellent pop. He really knows how to hit homers to the pull side. The difference in my game from his probably is I try to work the other way a little bit more. I try to work more that right-center-field gap. But other than that, he's a great defender, smart baseball player, good teammate."
Forsythe said he's comfortable as a leadoff hitter, a role he transitioned to last year for the first time.
"I did it all last year, and that was a little uncomfortable to start, but I had many at-bats in Spring Training to try and get used to it," he said. "The only thing that really changed was my on-deck preparation, it was a little longer before I started hitting leadoff, I just had to kind of shorten it up. It won't be different. I should be just fine."
It's the first time Forsythe will play for a big-market club, having started his career with the Padres. He was coached in San Diego by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts before being dealt to the Rays in 2014, when Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman held the same position in Tampa Bay. But Forsythe says the larger market won't be an issue.
In fact, Forsythe and his wife had just closed on a 64-acre farm in Tennessee when he got the call from the Rays informing him of the trade. He's already had to make some adjustments to life in Los Angeles.
"I love it so far," he said. "It will take me a while to get used to it. ... But we're excited. I've always liked L.A. coming out here when we played. It's a good fit."
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com.