3 storylines that defined Dodgers’ June

July 3rd, 2022

This story was excerpted from Juan Toribio’s Dodgers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers had an eventful June, both on and off the field. They suffered a lot of injuries and navigated through a long three-city road trip that included Freddie Freeman’s emotional return to Atlanta.

Through all of that, the Dodgers were able to secure another winning month, going 14-12 in June. They’re also still in first place in the NL West, holding off the Padres and Giants.

Let’s take a look at three things that stood out in June:

1. The rotation continues to dominate
Despite losing Walker Buehler and Andrew Heaney to injuries, the Dodgers’ rotation has continued to thrive. Clayton Kershaw had a rough start in Colorado, but the left-hander has given the Dodgers another consistent piece in the rotation. Tyler Anderson continues his breakout season and even flirted with a no-hitter against the Angels. Mitch White has filled in nicely in Heaney’s absence. But it’s been Julio Urías and Tony Gonsolin who have carried the Dodgers this season.

In five June starts, Urías went 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA. He struck out 34 over 28 2/3 innings and held opposing hitters to a .167 batting average. Gonsolin carried his dominance into July with his 7 2/3 innings against the Padres on Friday, but the right-hander was just as good in June. He posted a 1.24 ERA in five June starts.

The Dodgers will continue to lean on Urías and Gonsolin, who have earned their first career All-Star Game bids.

2. Freddie's long week
Returning to Atlanta was always going to be emotional for Freeman, who spent the first 15 years of his professional career in the Braves’ organization. The first baseman never shied away from saying he was going to shed tears. That happened all throughout the weekend.

The weekend, however, became more complicated. Freeman decided to fire his agents, Casey Close and Victor Menocal. Statements from Freeman’s former agency make it clear that there’s a lot of finger pointing and everyone seems to be looking for someone to blame.

Through it all, Freeman has remained quiet. He has declined to comment on various reports. In Colorado, Freeman said he got the “closure” he needed and was ready to move on as a Dodger. He has continued to say he has no intentions to respond. Now that he secured his ring and got his ovation in Atlanta, Freeman is just looking for a fresh start.

3. Leadoff Trea
Mookie Betts is one of the best players in the Majors, and most teams would feel his absence immediately. The Dodgers have certainly missed the former MVP. But the Dodgers also have the luxury to plug in Trea Turner, last year’s batting champion, in the leadoff spot.

In the 15 games since Betts’ injury, Turner has taken over the leadoff role and he has thrived. Turner came into Sunday's game hitting .338 (23-for-68) with three homers. When Betts returned Sunday, he was atop the Dodgers’ lineup. It’s where Betts feels more comfortable.

But manager Dave Roberts admitted that he’ll continue to have conversations with Turner and Betts in order to figure out what the best lineup is moving forward.