Alex Guerrero returned from injury this week and exploded onto the scene in Triple-A, hitting a home run in each of his first two games. Dee Gordon started the week hitting .400 and leading the league in stolen bases. Both play second base and once Guerrero has some reps at the spot, he is expected to take over.
However, Gordon is making a case to remain the starter, so we asked the question: Who will be the Dodgers starting second baseman on July 1?
Jared Massey (@jaredjmassey):
After seeing Mark Ellis, Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker leave via free agency last year, the Dodgers found themselves in need of a second baseman. People thought the organization had filled the void when they signed Cuban defector Alex Guerrero, though an injury-marred winter league showing and up-and-down performance in spring training left people wondering if he was ready for the show.
Other options presented themselves, though none were slam dunks. While Dee Gordon was once considered a top prospect, the shimmer is off and he was thought of as a last resort. The club brought in Justin Turner as a utility guy who could spell Gordon against lefties. Not an ideal platoon, but it could be worse.
So what’s the verdict? So far, so good. Dee is getting on base and running wild, leading the league with 9 steals. Guerrero has only played a few games in Albuquerque but has shown some good pop.
Come midseason, I could see the two making for a successful platoon. Mattingly loves Dee as a leadoff man and Alex can hit a homer here and there. They should be more productive than Ellis was last season.
Matt Moreno (@mmoreno1015):
Even though Dee Gordon appears to have a firm grasp on second base right now, predicting if that will still be the case come July 1 isn’t easy. That being said, I think Gordon still will be “the guy”, assuming he remains healthy. To this point, Gordon has done everything the Dodgers need from him — solid defense, getting on base and stealing bases.
What’s impressive is Gordon has nearly matched multiple offensive stats from last season and we’re only 14 games in. He obviously won’t keep hitting around .400, but he should maintain the ability to consistently get on base. Now, simply because I don’t believe Alex Guerrero will be starting, doesn’t mean I think he won’t be with the team by July. Since returning from his latest injury, Guerrero has gotten right back in the swing of things, literally. If he keeps producing at or near the current rate, a platoon of him and Gordon would not surprise me.
Vincent Samperio (@vincesince91):
Everyone has enjoyed the Dee Gordon experiment thus far, and I admit, it has been fun watching him do well. However, I don’t think it will keep up. Yes, he will continue to steal bases, that much is for sure, but I don’t think he will be reaching base at the rate that he is.
Guerrero was signed to be the team’s starting second baseman and once he gets a month or so of reps, that’s what he will be. I want Gordon to succeed and keep doing what he’s doing, but the reality is that he probably won’t and Guerrero should come in and hit. Much has been made of Guerrero’s defense, but fielders make the move between second, short and third rather easily these days, especially from other countries. So it’s more of a matter of reps, than actual ability.
So July 1, we will be a couple weeks into the Alex Guerrero era at second base.
Jeff Spiegel (@dnfantasyspiegs):
Now this is a tough question because I’m caught between two forces moving in different directions.
First, there’s Dee Gordon — the speedster that’s having an almost unbelievable season so far, hitting over .400 with 9 steals in 10 games. Naturally, those numbers are going to regress — but even if Gordon hits .270 on the season and steals 50 bases while playing sufficient defense, could Mattingly really bench the guy?
Then there’s Guerrero, the latest Cuban sensation to generate buzz in the Dodgers’ farm system. After two home runs in two games, many are already saying Guerrero should be called up — but where will he play? On one hand, they want him to get at-bats and opportunities to improve his defensive play at second base in the minor leagues (rather than splitting time in the majors). On the other hand, while Yasiel Puig was signed to a seven-year deal, Guerrero got just four years, so it’s hard to imagine they let him sit in the minors for too much longer.
If I had to guess, I think I’d go with Guerrero — but I don’t feel confident in that at all. Puig made his debut June 3 of last season, which is what makes me believe that by July 1, Guerrero will be up. If the question were June 1, though? I might have a different answer.
Nadia Tseng (@nadia_tseng):
If you ask me who should be the starting second baseman today, my answer along with everyone else’s answer would be Dee Gordon. This platoon has become less of sharing the position and more of utilizing Justin Turner as a bench guy who is in the starting lineup solely for pitching matchups.
Will Dee Gordon still be the guy on July 1? I think so. Alex Guerrero has proven he can be a big bat, but has not proven he has what it takes to take care of the ball at second. Having Guerrero start in Triple-A was the smartest decision the Dodgers could make because what the Cuban infielder needed was more reps at second, so why rush him when your current second baseman is doing exceedingly well?
Gordon really proved himself at the plate this offseason, and his numbers and opportunities given to shine reflect that. While I think Guerrero will pan out to be a great second baseman one day, I think the Dodgers would benefit from giving him more time in Triple-A and easing Guerrero onto the bench and eventually into the game, but I don’t think this will all happen within the span of two and a half months.
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