Dodgers’ slumping Chris Taylor has seen his playing time disappear – Orange County Register

SAN FRANCISCO — A key component of the Dodgers’ bench the past seven years, Chris Taylor has been relegated to the far end of that bench this year, anchored there by an unsightly .071 batting average.

The emergence of Andy Pages has eaten away at Taylor’s playing time. Taylor hasn’t started a game since May and has just seven at-bats in the month of May.

“I think it’s more performance, matchup,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the factors behind Taylor’s lack of playing time. “CT has been working really hard. I’m trying to find the right opportunities to get him in there.

“It’s very difficult because we’re still trying to win games. If you look at our roster, Kiké (Hernandez) and Miguel Rojas have been taking good at-bats. CT wasn’t, quite frankly. Trying to get him involved because you don’t get better if you don’t get opportunities, which I clearly understand. I’m trying to get a couple of those lefties untracked. We’ve run into a slew of righties. So it’s tough. But he’s certainly not forgotten.”

The Dodgers valued Taylor’s versatility enough to give him a four-year, $60 million contract when he reached free agency following the 2021 season. That versatility has shrunk with his batting average. Taylor has played just two innings at second base, spending the rest of his time in left field with Pages, Hernandez and Rojas getting the time at second base or in center field that might have gone to Taylor in other years.

Things could reach a breaking point when Jason Heyward is ready to return from the injured list. Heyward will start a minor-league injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. It could last anywhere from two to five games, Roberts indicated.

Taylor or James Outman (who carried a .153 average of his own into Monday’s game) would seem to be the choices for odd man out when Heyward returns.

“He’s a hot-and-cold guy. He’s a streaky hitter, always has been,” Roberts said of Taylor. “He’s working really hard. I think the thing for me is when he has gotten in there – albeit from time to time, not consistent (playing time) – he’s been in between and uncertain. I’d like to think there’s improvement in his work. I know the effort is there. We’ll see. I’ll keep trying to find opportunities to get him in there.”

Roberts said Taylor won’t start in the Giants series but will likely be in the lineup on Thursday at home when the Cincinnati Reds are expected to start a left-hander, Nick Lodolo.


Out since May 5 when he injured his hamstring while playing catch in the outfield, right-handed reliever Evan Phillips has progressed to playing long toss for the first time since the injury on Monday and is hopeful to throw off a mound during the Dodgers’ three-game series in San Francisco.

“There’s still a little bit of fatigue that sets in. I’m trying to rebuild that strength (in his leg),” Phillips said. “Each day has been a positive, a step in the right direction. So just continuing to stack good days.”

Phillips will be eligible to come off the IL on Sunday but Roberts said he doesn’t expect Phillips to be ready right away.

“I know it’s going to be short term. But if I had to guess … when his IL time comes up, is it that 16th day? Probably not.”


Shohei Ohtani was back in the starting lineup on Monday and continued his throwing program before the game. He did not play Sunday due to lower back tightness.

Roberts said that issue has been “completely resolved” but the Dodgers’ trainers will “keep an eye on” Ohtani.


Dodgers (RHP Gavin Stone, 3-1, 3.55 ERA) at Giants (RHP Keaton Winn, 3-5, 5.63 ERA), Tuesday, 6:45 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570 AM

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