Vincent Samperio-Dodgers Nation

Vincent Samperio-Dodgers Nation

After the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Howie Kendrick, the team quickly found their starting second baseman well before the regular season began, which is something they weren’t as fortunate to accomplish last year.

Although Dee Gordon was eventually named the starter, Spring Training for the Dodgers last year was full of speculation and competition for the starting second basemen role. While there isn’t competition at second base this year, there’s a battle among utility men Darwin Barney, Alex Guerrero, Kiké Hernandez and Justin Turner simply for a roster spot.

Turner is essentially a lock to make the Dodgers roster out of Spring Training and Guerrero has already made it clear he does not want to start the season in the Minors; which he’s backed up with his play.

As for Hernandez, he also vocalized his desire to start the season on a Major League roster, viaRon Cervenka of Think Blue LA:

My goal is to make the big league, I’m not thinking about Triple-A, I’m not thinking about anything else,” said Hernandez. “There’s two weeks left in camp and I’m still working towards the same goal. If they decide to send me to Triple-A I’m just going to do my thing so I’m in Triple-A for a week or two maybe and I’ll be back up on the team. I want to be in the big leagues, I want to help the team win. I really think I can help that.”

The former Marlin was off to a painfully slow start at the plate this spring, unable to record his first hit until his seventh game of Cactus League play. Hernandez is now batting .279 and shown some power — slugging opposite field home runs in each of the Big League Weekend games, and hitting another in his first game back at Camelback Ranch.

Hernandez attributes the unproductive start to trying to do too much, an understandable problem for a player on a new team without the security of a roster spot. Hernandez was originally drafted by the Houston Astros and spent 24 games with them until being traded to the Miami Marlins.

While in a Marlins uniform, Hernandez batted an underwhelming .175 with two home runs and six RBIs in 18 games. Should Hernandez continue to swing the bat well in the final week of camp, that, along with his defensive versatility may earn him a spot on the Dodgers’ bench come Opening Day.

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Dodgers Utility Man Justin Turner


About The Author

Nadia Tseng is a UCLA student looking to pursue a career in the film or sports industries. A New York sports fan at heart, she co-hosts an MLB talk show for UCLA Radio and is currently an editorial intern for Screen International.

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