With less than a month before the Los Angeles Dodgers start their regular season, management still has some big decisions to make. At the top of the list is who’ll be chosen to start at second base in Sydney, Australia on March 22. One of the many options for manager Don Mattingly include speedy 25-year-old infielder Dee Gordon.
Despite competing for a role as a second baseman going into the 2014 season, Gordon has come through the Dodgers system as a shortstop. At the beginning of the 2012 season, he was the primary shortstop for the Dodgers until they acquired Hanley Ramirez in the middle of the season. With Ramirez taking over at shortstop, the 25-year-old has spent considerable time in the minor leagues before deciding to learn how to play second base and center field.
In 2013, Dee Gordon played in all of 38 games and in 98 plate appearances, he had a batting average of .234 with 22 hits, nine runs, and only six RBI. In the 29 times Gordon reached first base, he stole second on 10 different occasions. This means he had a stolen base in nearly a third of the opportunities he had. Although this is an impressive feat attributed to his admirable speed, the problem here is that he only reached first base 29 times and one must consider how 10 of those opportunities were because of walks.
Gordon definitely has one of the more intriguing situations going into the 2014 regular season. Although the dilemma regarding who’ll be the starting second baseman hasn’t been resolved, Mattingly has taken a serious look at a platoon option for second base. This option allows for two players to share the time at second as opposed to going with an everyday player.
One of the names that was thrown into the mix in the platoon was the newly acquired Cuban righty Alex Guerrero, who was initially expected to win the starting spot. Although Guerrero still needs to prove himself defensively and might start the season in the minors, Gordon has a good chance at filling any one of these two platoon spots. He’ll compete against Chone Figgins, Justin Turner, and Miguel Rojas for a spot on the bench as well.
If he’s designated as one of the second basemen, there are definitely some liabilities to take into consideration. The main problems with Gordon involve his inability to get on base and his underwhelming defense. His speed seems to be his most redeeming quality, but speed comes secondary to a player’s ability be productive at the plate.
Gordon has made it extremely clear that he wants to be one of the thirty players on the trip to Australia for the Opening Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The fact that he’s bulked up and put on some weight during the off-season doesn’t hurt his case and could definitely help him at the plate. Even if he doesn’t win the starting spot or isn’t apart of a possible platoon, it’s very likely that Gordon will have a spot on the 25-man roster this season.
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