One of the brightest spots for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season has been the emergence of Dee Gordon at second base. Through 23 games, Gordon has started in all but three while hitting .353 and stealing 13 bases.
When Gordon first entered the Majors, he was expected to be the Dodgers’ shortstop of the future. The 2012 trade for Hanley Ramirez eventually put a damper on Gordon’s outlook. In an effort to find a way on the Opening Day lineup, Gordon has twice played in Winter Leagues in an effort to improve his game. At the advice from general manager Ned Colletti, Gordon went down to Puerto Rico this past winter to spend time working in the outfield and at second base.
According to Mark Saxon of ESPN LA, Gordon was motivated to contribute to the Dodgers in any form:
‘Just go do it,’ “ Gordon remembers telling himself. “We’ve got Hanley Ramirez as our shortstop. The team just needs me to get in there some type of way. I was down for whatever they want me to do, because I just want to be in there and help as much as I can. I don’t think people thought it was going to go over as well as it has, to be totally honest.
Gordon’s hard work in the off-season paid dividends for both him and the Dodgers. Many believed Cuban prospect, Alex Guerrero, to be their everyday second baseman. However, injuries sidelined Guerrero and opened the door for Gordon to seize an opportunity. All Gordon has done is shine since moving over to second base.
In addition, Ken Rosenthal from FOX Sports reveals Gordon has been getting praise from an opposing coach:
He’s very comfortable on the other side of the bag — he shows no panic, he’s able to slow the game down,” one opposing coach said. “Shortstop was too quick for him. He’s a different player at second base.
When Gordon played shortstop, he struggled fielding balls and whether or not it’s connected, also failed to get on base consistently. This season, Gordon has improved those aspects of his game. Gordon’s play through the first month may be tied to manager Don Mattingly’s optimism with the offense, despite their recent struggles.
Gordon will get to test his hot start away from Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers will travel to Minnesota to start a nine-game road trip. After a rough homestand, the Dodgers will be looking to turn things around and are anticipating Clayton Kershaw’s return despite news that he’ll first make a second rehab start.
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