Friday, April 26, 2024

Taylor's Tortured Batters Department

Chris Taylor signed a four-year, $60M contract with the Dodgers after the 2021 season. In the five full seasons with Los Angeles prior to that contract, he always had a OPS+ over 100 (peaking at 127 in 2020), and in 2021 he was named as an All-Star for the first time. The utility player can not only play any outfield and most infield positions, Taylor also has had some pretty amazing Dodger moments, including this walk-off in 2021's NL Wild Card, sending us to the NLDS:

Not to mention, this incredible 2018 NLCS Game 7 catch vs. the Brewers:

Ah, memories. We've loved CT3, no doubt.

But now, there's a different and much more bleak reality. After a slightly subpar 2022 (89 OPS+; .221 BA) and a slight improvement in 2023 (100 OPS+, .237 BA), Chris Taylor has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster so far in 2024: .047 BA through 27 games, with 21 Ks in 43 ABs.

Taylor has a OPS+ of -29. I don't even know how to think about a negative OPS+ number and I looked at this, and found the ratio is OPS+ = 100 * (OBP/lgOBP* + SLG/lgSLG* - 1), but honestly the discussion got so confusing I didn't spend a lot of time there. Let's just say, negative 29 OPS+ is really bad.

Taylor has always been a high-strikeout batter, leading the league with 178 Ks in 2018. But Taylor's strikeout rate this year is almost 50%--over 10 points higher than his worst season (and sadly, every since Taylor signed his renewal, his K rate has elevated by over +20%).

Taylor has two hits on the year (to be fair, that's one more than the other Taylor has had so far this year). Both were singles--and Chris Taylor has only had only one single in the month of April (in 14 games, and 38 AB).

Even the recent sweep series in Washington DC couldn't cure Taylor's ills. He's incredibly tortured right now, and I am hoping for the best for CT3. But with the bottom of our lineup so spotty already, we can't afford to torture the rest of the team until he can snap out of this and stop playing the Anti-Hero, instead of the hero he once was for the Dodgers. As of right now, he's the problem, it's him.


Alex Cora said...

Nice coverage. Wish he would find it - needs to find it quickly though. On the flip side gives more ABs to Pages!

karen said...

I guess I am a little bit of an OG Swiftie but I totally missed the Taylor Swift / Chris Taylor connection ala tortured poets department. Very cool Saxy! I love it!