The Los Angeles Dodgers began Spring Training without a clearcut option at second base. Alex Guerrero was signed to a lucrative deal and was pegged as the answer, but he would need to prove he was capable of making the transition from shortstop.
The same held true for Dee Gordon, who in four seasons with the Dodgers, had yet to carve out a full-time role. Gordon was once heralded as the shortstop of the future. He never took hold of the position and Hanley Ramirez’s arrival spelled the end of the idea Gordon was the team’s starting shortstop.
Now over 40 percent of the way through the 2014 season, Gordon has emerged as the Dodgers’ unquestioned second baseman. He’s provided both impressive defensive highlights and flashed his well-known speed on a triple that he then scored on due to an error.
With Monday’s 4-for-4 effort, Gordon is hitting .285 this season with a .333 on-base percentage. While his stats are above his career averages, Gordon recently suffered a decline in his production after beginning the season on a tear. Despite the drop, Gordon viewed it as part of playing baseball, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
I think it’s evening out,” Gordon said. “That’s part of the game. I wasn’t going to hit .340 the whole year.”
Prior to his outburst against the Colorado Rockies, Gordon was batting just .182 with an indentical .182 OBP. While one game won’t signal Gordon putting an end to the slump, his confidence and maturation may:
The good thing is I’m not panicking,” he said. “I still believe in my game. I panicked in ’11, ’12, ’13.”
Manager Don Mattingly and first base coach Davey Lopes have both praised Gordon for his play this season. Once a player that appeared to be bound for a career in the Minors, the 26-year-old accepted a change of position, at the urging of first base coach Davey Lopes, and has flourished.
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