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The Chris Taylor situation

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Remember Chris Taylor’s heroic catch in the outfield against the Milwaukee Brewers? Yes, the one during game seven of the 2018 National League Championship Series. The catch kept the runner in second from scoring and kept the Dodgers up 2-1 after the fifth inning. 

Who can forget Taylor’s walk-off home run to close the wild card game against the Cardinals in 2021 to advance to the National League Divisional Series and face off against the San Francisco Giants. 

Taylor has been the Dodgers super utility man since the team traded for him in 2016. Since he signed his 4-year deal after the 2021 season, Taylor has dealt with injuries that have kept him off the field. In 2023, Taylor had his least amount of at-bats in a season since joining the team. 

With the addition of players like Manuel Margot, Jason Heyward, Miguel Rojas, Teoscar Hernandez, and the return of Gavin Lux, his at-bats will continue to diminish. 

For the 2024 season, the Dodgers need him to be the super utility man Taylor signed up to me

Positions 

Taylor has played an important role in filling in for anyone who is not available. He is the ultimate substitute teacher. He can play second, shortstop, third, and any of the outfield positions. 

When Taylor is called for, he hits. During his eight seasons with the Dodgers, he has a .255 batting average with a .776 OPS, 104 home runs and 398 RBI. He can hit in the clutch. 

His previously mentioned walk-off home run against the Cardinals came after he came into the game as a defensive replacement. Leading up to that at-bat Taylor was 8-for-72. The Dodgers will need that kind of energy from him for the 2024 season. 

With Mookie Betts becoming the starting second baseman, and Hernandez becoming an everyday outfielder, Taylor needs to be ready to play any position and hit.

Possibilities 

James Outman, Betts, Heyward, Margot, and Hernandez will be Roberts’ go-to outfielders. Freddie Freeman, Betts, Lux, Max Muncy, and Rojas will be the go-to infielders. The season is long. Injuries will happen. Knowing the Dodgers system, rest days will be given, especially in the infield. 

Lux is coming off a major injury, meanwhile Muncy has had his fair share of struggles. Roberts will have to rely on Taylor to fill in the gap for any of these situations. The outfield is jam packed and his playing time will probably just come in as a defensive substitution towards the end of a game. 

Taylor may be the most important part of the Dodgers roster at the moment. Keeping him healthy and giving him enough at-bats to keep him in rhythm will be vital for the 162-game season. 

Anytime he does something incredible the site formerly known as Twitter reminds fans that the Dodgers traded Zach Lee for him. Lee signed with the Dodgers out of high school. After signing with the team, Baseball America listed him as the Dodgers second-best prospect. He never pitched up to his potential.

For the 2024 season, the Dodgers need Taylor to play up to the potential they saw in Lee before trading him.

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