Yasmani Grandal was having a great season until he got injured in 2015, so for 2016, he mixed things up and got injured, then had a great season. Grandal had a brutal beginning to his campaign, ending the month of June hitting .179/.292/.347 after playing through the pain of forearm, wrist, and foot injuries. And then, he got better. From July 1 to the end of the season he hit .267/.376/.581 with 20 homers, superb numbers for a catcher. At his best, Grandal controls the strike zone like few hitters and simply crushes the ball when he makes contact, though he's still whiff-prone with a 22.9 percent career strikeout rate. There's little doubt that Grandal is an excellent player with rare value in OBP leagues when healthy, the problem is he's not healthy very often and will frequently play through injuries, even if they hurt his numbers. He enters 2017 as the clear starter in L.A. at catcher, with only Austin Barnes behind him to get an occasional start against lefties.
Grandal and the Dodgers avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.5 million deal, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Despite playing hurt for much of the year, Grandal still managed to post a career-high .477 slugging percentage. He hit at an elite level when healthy, slashing .287/.410/.622 in the months of June and July, but the problem with him going forward is that he often isn't healthy. That aside, he remains a power bat with top pitch-framing skills behind the plate, so he'll get a pay raise of almost $3 million in his second round of arbitration.
Grandal is not in the lineup Thursday for the Dodgers' Game 5 NLCS tilt with the Cubs. Grandal has acted as the primary catcher for Los Angeles during the postseason, but given his poor .111 batting line during the playoffs, the Dodgers will give him the night off. Carlos Ruiz will slot into the lineup behind the plate in his stead.
Grandal is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Giants. Grandal will come off the bench for the second straight day with the Dodgers facing another left-hander. Carlos Ruiz will receive another start behind the plate Friday night.
Grandal is not listed in Thursday's starting lineup against the Padres, Eric Stephen of True Blue LA reports. Carlos Ruiz is suiting up in his place as the talented young catcher is likely just receiving a break before the weekend series. Look for him again Friday.
Grandal went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs, a double and five RBI in Thursday's win over the Rockies. Grandal was the hero Thursday, as he launched a solo home run to start the Dodgers' comeback after going down early, and smacked a grand slam in the seventh inning that gave his team the lead for good. Grandal has had a career year in 2016, as he has now set personal bests in hits (86), homers (27), RBI (69) and slugging percentage (.491).