For the second straight spring, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a handful of capable starting outfielders for only three spots.
Last year, that included outfielder Matt Kemp, who was traded to the San Diego Padres in December. Now that Kemp is gone, the Dodgers still have a crowd for the three outfield spots. While Yasiel Puig is cemented as a starter, Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson and Chris Heisey are all fighting to make the roster, let alone start. Ethier is the only one who’s publicly commented on his desire to want to be a starter, and even said he would welcome a trade to make that happen.
With Kemp now in San Diego, he gave his take on dealing with the logjam last season via Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
I’ll talk about the Dodgers just a little bit,” Kemp volunteers. “We had a lot of talented outfielders over there that are used to playing every day. It wasn’t good for any of us to wonder if we were gonna play. It’s not a healthy situation.”
Kemp was moved from center field early in the season, a move he did not approve of, and did not find himself until he was moved to right field. He ended up having one of the better second halves of the season on offense.
The former All-Star also compared the Dodgers situation this year with the one he dealt with in 2014:
I thought they would figure it out, but they just kept all of us. Honestly, right now, I feel like they might be in the same situation.”
As it stands now, it would appear that Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke could platoon in left field, and Joc Pederson will take over in center. If that happens, the Dodgers could find themselves with an unhappy Ethier that could be moved in order to avoid any issues.
The Dodgers have just a couple weeks left to figure it out.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Carl Crawford