Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Roberts says why Dodgers aren't using 'small ball'

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Those critical of Dave Roberts for not managing his injury-riddled, sluggish Dodgers out of their offensive misery with "small ball," here's his response:

"You have to look at who you have and manage accordingly," Roberts said before Saturday's game against the Reds. "When we are walking and slugging, that's the profile of our players and that's what we do. To ask our guys to hit-and-run, they're not guys that handle the bat to hit-and-run, outside of Chase Utley, and to ask left-handed hitters to hit the ball the other way and not advance to third base, doesn't make sense.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Those critical of Dave Roberts for not managing his injury-riddled, sluggish Dodgers out of their offensive misery with "small ball," here's his response:

"You have to look at who you have and manage accordingly," Roberts said before Saturday's game against the Reds. "When we are walking and slugging, that's the profile of our players and that's what we do. To ask our guys to hit-and-run, they're not guys that handle the bat to hit-and-run, outside of Chase Utley, and to ask left-handed hitters to hit the ball the other way and not advance to third base, doesn't make sense.

View Full Game Coverage

"And then you have to take the combination of a swing and miss, now you're exposing a baserunner. To bunt, we don't have guys that typically bunt. And can the guy advance with his foot speed. For me to change the way I manage our guys, that, for me, is a flawed thought process."

Roberts said this stretch is "probably the toughest" he's had to go through as a manager. Roberts isn't willing to ascribe all offensive ills to the injuries suffered by Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Logan Forsythe. Yasiel Puig doesn't have a home run. Chris Taylor is batting .230 with 43 strikeouts in 38 games. Cody Bellinger is being exploited by high fastballs.

"I still think guys should challenge themselves to do different things in different situations," Roberts said. "But if you look at the way we profile, it is a one-club team. We've got to continue to evolve."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers