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Dodgers News: Kiké Hernandez Will Play Second; Still Be Utility



Kevin C. Cox-Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox-Getty Images

The injury bug has hit the Los Angeles Dodgers at a bad time and with two of the more importantn players. First, Justin Turner went on the disabled list with a skin infection on his thigh, although he is due back during the homestand. Also, Howie Kendrick pulled his hamstring hustling down the line on a play at first, causing him to be placed on the disabled list on Tuesday.

With those two infielders down, manager Don Mattingly and the front office have had to think on their feet with how they want to handle the replacements until the starters have healed. The main name that is figured to take on the bulk of the playing time at second base is Kiké Hernandez. The 23-year-old has embraced the utility role for the Dodgers, as he has seen time at five different positions this year, including second base and shortstop.

Mattingly was asked about whether Hernandez would see an increased amount of time at second base and it appears the job is his, to a certain extent. “Kiké for us is first shot,” Mattingly said. “Kiké is a guy that’s been sitting there playing against lefties mostly, spelling everyone. But also in that breath they’re going to try to get other guys days off. Still use Kiké the way we have been using him, kind of all over.”

Hernandez has seen a recent surge in his offensive numbers, going 4-for-8 in his last three games, with three runs scored, two home runs, and three RBIs. Coming off of an impressive series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Puerto Rico native is hitting .291/.338/.520 for the season. Over his last 10 games, the second-year player has seen his batting average increase from .257 to .291.

In regards to when Hernandez would actually play second base, Mattingly announced that those days would come more so when the other starters don’t need to take a day off. “There is going to be other days that [Joc Pederson and Jimmy Rollins] don’t need days off and those are probably the days that you’ll see some Kiké at second.”

Mattingly would also go on to say that for now, Hernandez has the advantage over rookie Jose Peraza when it comes to replacing Jimmy Rollins at shortstop. Peraza has had experience at shortstop, but has primarily played second base the past two seasons.

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Written by Staff Writer

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