Editor’s note: Yes, part of the reason I’m writing this is because I wanted to use that headline.
There’s a semi-new look around Dodgers camp this year. Sure, most of the World Series champs are still intact, but along with a couple new faces at Camelback Ranch, there are a few familiar faces missing in 2021.
Gone are long-time Dodgers like Pedro Baez, Joc Pederson, and Enrique Hernandez. Moreover, with Pederson and Hernandez out, LA loses a bit of strength on the bench. Thankfully there’s one key returning member of that bench that now likely will see an even bigger role with the team.
Veteran utility man Chris Taylor figures to play a key role in 2021 as the Dodgers look to become the first repeat World Series winners since the New York Yankees two decades ago. Taylor took some time to chat with am570’s Dave Vassegh this week where he talked about moving all around the field and mixing in more third base this season.
[Third base] is a little different. I have a handful of games there. I think, of the positions in the infield, it’s a little more reactionary — you have to make split-second decisions off the bat where in the middle of the infield you have a little more time to read hops.
Taylor has made a name for himself as a premier defender up the middle for the Dodgers over the last few seasons. He and Vassegh discussed keys to his success on defense being keeping a shortstop’s mentality around the field and, yes, being aggressive.
I think I’ve done a better job of — no matter where I’m playing — being aggressive. If you’re gonna make a mistake, make it an aggressive one, not a passive one. There’s no worse feeling than trying to play it safe or doing something out of the ordinary and having it result in a miscue. I’d much rather let my instincts take over and try to make a great play. And if I make a mistake that way, I can live with it.
CT3 has been one of the most reliable pieces to Dave Roberts’ game plan since the 2017 season, and 2021 figures to be no exception. With Taylor, you know the glove will be there. And now, after slightly retooling his swing late last season, the bat appears to be there for him too. Notably, the 30-year-old is having a fine spring, collecting 11 hits in 28 at-bats (.393) over 11 Cactus League games. And, as usual, he’s doing it all over the field.
Home Run For Hope
Chris Taylor is hosting a charity fundraiser in an effort to fight pediatric cancer this coming Friday, March 26. The virtual event will run from 5 to 7 PM PDT and will feature country music stars Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, and Scotty McCreery, among others.
“It should be really good,” Taylor said. “We’re going to have a silent auction going on at the same time, so we’ll be auctioning off sports memorabilia, a lot of Dodger stuff. Guys have been nice enough to sign some things for me.”
Tickets are available online at homerunforhope.com. All proceeds will benefit Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and Roc Solid Foundation in support of the fight against pediatric cancer.