Without prompt, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly did something Wednesday he rarely does: He criticized himself publicly.
Dodger pitchers have a .484 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) this year, third in the National League. That’s quite a bit higher than the .273 (13th) and .354 (9th) OPS that Dodger pitchers posted in 2012 and 2011, respectively. It’s not by chance, either.
“We’ve really tried to push our pitchers to work on it more,” Mattingly said. “I’ve been at fault, I think, in my first couple years for not putting emphasis on the pitchers and you start giving those at-bats away. The guy that can handle the bat really helps himself out. For the most part, he’s got to be able to bunt. A guy that can handle the bat and put it in play, you’re able to do some things.”
Are they doing more work in the cage, or different work?
“We started differently in the spring, working off the tee and putting them with Mac (hitting coach Mark McGwire) a bit,” Mattingly said. “Putting them in a situation that we’re actually giving them some drills on things that we do.”