By Michael Samperio
The Los Angeles Dodgers had quite a month of May finishing 19-7, winning six of eight series, and sweeping three of those series. They dominated the NL East and NL Central, going 13-4, which included a sweep of last year’s NLDS opponents, the Atlanta Braves. They were led by NL Pitcher of the Month Hyun-Jin Ryu, who finished 5-0 with a 0.59 ERA and an impressive 12:1 K/BB ratio. Cody Bellinger continued his MVP campaign, finishing the month of May with season totals of .379 avg, 20 HR, and 52 RBI. He is not only doing it with the bat but also with his arm, leading the majors with seven outfield assists. Yes, those two are getting all the glory, and rightfully so but let’s take a look at the guys who also had a great May, as well as those who hope to have a better June.
Trending Up: Chris Taylor
When the month of May started some were questioning if CT3’s magic had ended and were reluctant to see his name written in the lineup card. Although his overall numbers may not look great, let’s look into what Taylor did in May. The utility man batted .300 in May, comparing to the .197 avg he had in April. He also had five doubles, three home runs, and 10 RBI but one of the more impressive stats to note is he had one less strikeout in nine more ABs. He seems to be more comfortable at the plate and with Pollock still sidelined, he will continue to get more ABs. Roberts said he would always continue to get Taylor more ABs because he knows he will swing his way out of his tough start, and it looks like he is doing just that.
Trending Down: Scott Alexander
Although the entire bullpen had a sloppy month, except for Kenley Jansen, it seemed that Alexander is at the top of that list, being a lefty. With the news of Tony Cingrani being out for the season and Roberts stating Urias won’t be used as a “lefty specialist,” it comes down to Alexander to be used in those situations. He came in to face Michael Conforto in a close game and it resulted in a grand slam. It seems like the confidence in Alexander is winding down as the Dodgers may look for another arm at the deadline. With only two lefties currently in the bullpen, Alexander will be used as a specialist and he has the month of June to convince the front office they don’t need another.
Trending Up: Corey Seager
We knew (and hoped) it was a matter of time before Seager dusted off the cobwebs and showed why he’s a former Silver Slugger. He was definitely showing that form in May, with five HR, six doubles, and 20 RBI. Although his average only increased slightly, his slugging increased substantially. With the way the team is rolling, it seems Seager will benefit from being in the backseat. Seager is consistently batting 5th-7th in the lineup and with all the focus on Bellinger and Turner, the former Rookie of the Year can enjoy the opportunities given to him and he took advantage of more of those in May. It seems as if his timing still isn’t quite there but it only seems to be getting better and with the weather heating up, Seager should too.
Trending Down: Dylan Floro
No one expected Floro to continue his 0.00 ERA pace he had at the end of April but no one expected him to unfold like he did in the month of May. The Dodgers still need to establish a setup man, they were hoping Joe Kelly was that guy but that is not the case so far. Pedro Baez seems to be the frontrunner for that role but Floro had looked to be a lock in the beginning of the season. He had an ERA of 7.56 in May, allowing 10 runs, with the first blow to his perfect start being a grand slam to Gerardo Parra in a tie game. Floro has given up runs in three of his last four appearances and Roberts will continue to use Floro in high-leverage situations. Every year it seems as if the Dodgers are always going into the deadline looking for more bullpen arms and I believe Floro is the key to whether they pursue another name.
There are plenty of guys trending up in the fantastic start the Dodgers are having and we hope we can write about everyone trending up for the month of June. They can really separate themselves from the NL West as they have six series against divisional opponents, including two against the current 2nd-place Rockies. With the starting pitching being phenomenal we’re hoping the bullpen can get it together in the month of June, or we may see the Dodgers acquiring some more bullpen arms for the second half of the season.