Once the Los Angeles Dodgers settled into the season, the top of the order became an effective duo led off by Dee Gordon and followed by Yasiel Puig. The two created havoc at the top of the lineup that often resulted in runs early in the game.
With Puig’s emergence as an RBI guy, he was moved to third in the lineup, leaving the second a rotating mixture of other Dodgers. Carl Crawford, Justin Turner, Chone Figgins and even Andre Ethier have seen themselves sandwiched between Gordon and Puig.
In the days that Chone Figgins gets a start, he has batted in the second spot and there’s a reason for it. Manager Don Mattingly believes Figgins brings a different element to that spot in the order via Lyle Spencer and Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
I like Chone in that spot,” Mattingly said. “He’s a disciplined hitter, and he’s a very smart player. I saw him miss a bunt purposely recently when he picked up Dee getting a great jump and stealing a bag. Chone really understands the game. He’s been great with Dee, giving him that veteran leadership and encouragement.”
Figgins has seen himself in the lineup more often in his second stint with the Dodgers this season, due to an injury to Juan Uribe and increased production. In his last 14 games, he is hitting .320 with a pair of stolen bases and five runs scored.
Mattingly had some more praise for the veteran utility player following his recent success:
Chone’s been looking a lot better,” Mattingly said. “He can do a lot of things to help you win a game. There aren’t many guys who can play that many positions as well as he can, and he’s proven he can be a productive offensive player.”
As the season continues, Figgins will continue to find himself in a variety of positions on defense, but may have cemented his spot in the lineup when he does play.
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