After being released by the Miami Marlins last March and spending the year away from the game of baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers’ infielder Chone Figgins has again found the chip on his shoulder that once made him a successful major league ballplayer.
After being invited to Dodgers’ Spring Training, Figgins reverted to his old ways and earned a roster spot with the Dodgers. In an article written by MLB.com’s Michael Lananna, Figgins says he has played with a chip on his shoulder his whole career:
“I’ve played with a chip on my shoulder from Day 1 of signing [to play] professional baseball, whether I was going good or whatever,” Figgins said. “I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder. Not in a cocky way. It’s more of to keep getting better as a player.”
After being sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque for a brief period of time in April, Figgins has regained his form and has become a go-to player for manager Don Mattingly in a bench role. Figgins is batting .250 so far in this young season with three doubles and two stolen bases in a reserve role.
In Lananna’s article, Figgins also said his bat speed seems to be improving and he is starting to feel more comfortable at the plate:
“I’ve been putting a lot more better swings on the ball, so that’s a good sign,” Figgins said. “I’m driving some balls. I’m starting to play a little bit more, too. But as far as driving some balls, I’m starting to do that more, and I’m starting to hit my slots where I want to as far hitting balls in certain places.”
Figgins is definitely a good player to have coming off the bench. His speed can change the game at any time and he is a proven veteran who has played in big games throughout his career. The Dodgers should continue to use him at the appropriate time to help bolster a team that is in definite need to get on a hot streak.
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