The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a strong 2023 season. Superstars like Freddie Freeman and Clayton Kershaw are performing at high levels for Los Angeles. Mookie Betts hasn't played up to his typical MVP-caliber standards, but Los Angeles certainly remains confident in Betts. Injuries, however, have negatively impacted the Dodgers' pitching rotation. That said, there are three players who fans are simply fed up with.
Some of these players have dealt with injury concerns, while others just haven't performed well on the field. Injuries or not though, each one of the following players have underperformed in 2023. It should be noted that expectations are high in Los Angeles, so struggling while on the Dodgers tends to be amplified. With that being said, here are three Dodgers players that fans are already fed up with in 2023.
This isn't necessarily Miguel Rojas' fault. He's been exactly who the Dodgers thought he would be. Rojas isn't producing on offense, hitting just .214 with a .507 OPS and no home runs, but his defense has been superb.
Following Corey Seager and Trea Turner at shortstop brings lofty expectations though. In all fairness, Rojas wasn't even expected to be the Dodgers' starting shortstop. For the most part, fans tend to understand this and give him the benefit of the doubt. That said, there are some fans who want to see a new starting shortstop for the Dodgers amid Rojas' offensive shortcomings.
It should be noted that Chris Taylor and even Mookie Betts have seen reps at the position. Taylor hasn't hit all that well either, but there is an argument to be made for making Betts the team's everyday shortstop. The odds of that happening are slim though.
Trayce Thompson has maintained a positive attitude despite his difficult 2023 season. He recently broke out of an 0-39 slump and offered a joke after the game, per Bill Plunkett.
“I was expecting a champagne toast like when Freddie hit 300 or when Kersh got his 200th win,” Thompson said of ending his slump.
Thompson has enjoyed a couple of big moments in 2023, but his numbers are lackluster without question. He's currently slashing .147/.301/.368 with a .669 OPS. Dodgers fans have questioned whether or not Thompson should even remain with the team.
Los Angeles will be forced into making a difficult decision on Thompson if his struggles persist. The ball club had high hopes for him following his impressive 2022 campaign, but he hasn't been able to replicate his success this year.
Finally, the reason why most readers are likely here, Noah Syndergaard has been the subject of criticism.
The Dodgers signed Syndergaard with the hope that he'd figure things out in Los Angeles. Syndergaard signed with LA since other veteran pitchers had previously gone to the Dodgers and completely revitalized their careers. In 2023 though, Syndergaard's performance has been abysmal.
Syndergaard owns a lowly 6.27 ERA and 1.35 WHIP this season. Additionally, he's struck out just 33 hitters through 47.1 innings pitched. The concerning element is that Syndergaard has just 13 walks on the year. His control, at least in terms of throwing strikes, hasn't been too problematic. In fact, his 3.4 percent walk rate is the lowest of his career in seasons where he's pitched at least 40 or more innings, per Baseball Reference.
The issue is his control inside the strike zone. He's giving up too much hard contact and is leaving pitches over the middle of the plate. He isn't fooling anyone right now and the results back that statement up.
His 39.8 hard-hit percentage is also the highest of his career in seasons where he's thrown more than 40 innings. The same can be said for his 29.2 percent line drive rate.
The good news is that Syndergaard could still turn things around. If he's able to effectively work outside of the zone, it could lead to more weak contact and swings-and-misses.
But Dodgers fans are understandably growing impatient with the former All-Star. Syndergaard must find his footing soon.