If the Dodgers' strategy to assemble a lineup consists of (a) throwing the big money at proven stars (potentially too many of them, perhaps), and then (b) grabbing heaps of washed up players, knowing some will pop (Scott Van Slyke, maybe Justin Turner), some will be somewhat servicable for a while (Dan Haren; possibly Brandon League), and others will fold and be cast aside (Chone Figgins)--then part (b) is pretty critical. Because even though we have fired pretty scattershot, the net total is going to be a pretty win-accretive bench, as this analysis shows:
The Tigers are at the middle, at 0.0. And here's the commentary on the Dodgers (first, over on the left-hand side; far away from the #25 Giants (who are so bad, they can't even make the bottom five and merit a qualitative mention)):
1. Dodgers / WAR: +4.6
Biggest helpers: Justin Turner (+2.1), Scott Van Slyke (+1.7), Chone Figgins (+0.6).
This one kind of surprised me. Well, first, let’s just tackle the elephant in the room, which is Chone Figgins being on this list. Weird. Anyway, this list kind of surprised me, but I guess it makes sense considering Justin Turner has provided more value himself than the entire bench units of 28 other teams. Turner has always been a league average hitter who can play all four infield positions, making him a pretty valuable piece off the bench. Then there’s Scott Van Slyke, whose three true outcome approach coupled with his ability to play surprisingly well in the outfield makes him a pretty valuable piece off the bench, too.
Hat tip, Deadspin.