in

Dodgers: Roberts Plans to Get Chris Taylor in the Mix at Third Base More this Spring



Chris Taylor is something of a last man standing when it comes to long-time role players for the Dodgers. After Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez jumped ship for more playing time this offseason, CT3’s versatility becomes amplified in 2021.

While Taylor has played around the diamond in his Dodger career, chances are high that he may need to dust off a seldom-used glove this coming season. On Wednesday, Dave Roberts noted that along with the usual spot-starting up the middle and in left field, the utility man may need to get a bit more comfortable at third base this spring.

I see Chris at second base, I see him a little bit at shortstop — we know he can play short. I see him centerfield a little bit, I see him left field, and I also see him at third base.

Over his career, Taylor has started at every position on the field except first base. Known as a premium defender all around the diamond, there has always seemed to be a bit of hesitancy to play him at third. In fact, the 30-year-old has only 25 appearances (9 starts, 6 complete games) at the hot corner over his 7 big league seasons.

So why suddenly change course? Doc explains.

Right now you’re looking at the roster with Justin [Turner] and two left-handed bats in Eddie Rios and Matt Beaty, but I also like Chris taking grounders over there and getting familiar more with third base too.

Rios leveled up his defensive profile last season, seeing bulk innings at 3B while Justin Turner missed time with various leg ailments. But with the roster so loaded on left-handed swingers now, it makes sense to expand on the right-handed batting Taylor’s opportunities to get in the lineup.

Related: Why Chris Taylor May Be LA’s Most Valuable Player in 2021

Notably, Roberts has had plans similar to this before. Last spring, Matt Beaty was the guy that was expected to see more time at third. However, after the shutdown and into summer camp, Rios had seemingly passed him on the depth chart.

With reduced rosters this Cactus League season — mainly no minor league backfields to pull any number of players off of — plenty of at-bats and opportunities will be had to figure out the pecking order at the hot corner.

NEXT: Zach McKinstry Wants to Take the Role Vacated by Kiké Hernandez

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. ‘With the roster so loaded with left handed stingers now, – that’s the issue here. Which is why Dodgers NEED an additional RHB off the bench besides CT3, who may already be in lineup at another position.

  2. too bad Kike couldn’t take over second base a few season’s back – he’d still be a Dodger and playing everyday. we need another RH bat!

    • Exactly! Kike had those chances and still got into most games even though he may not have started in games. As far as Joc goes, he did hit well enough against LHP in the minors but minor league LHP is a far cry from the good LHP in MLB. Yet Joc did get the starting CF spot back in 2015 and had chances against LHP in 2016 as well. He was reduced to a platoon role when the team saw he wasn’t handling the lefties as well as he was with RHP. With the depth the Dodgers have had there were and have been other options for the lineup whenever a tough LHP was starting against Dodgers.

  3. I see Taylor shifting between center field, until Bellinger gets his swing back, and second base. Right now Taylor is the best second baseman the Dodgers have. Lux should get enough starts to show that he has something. I don’t think left field should be platooned at all unless Pollack really struggles against RHPs. He came back strong after a weak 2019, although he he faded a bit late in the year. With Pederson gone, left field should be his. 2B is where the primary platoon should be to find out once and for all if Lux can get it done at the MLB level. Smith and Barnes will alternate at catcher. But that’s not really a platoon. That’s keeping them healthy, and not wearing them down. Smith has the far better bat and should get the lion’s share of starts. If Kershaw or Buehler prefers Barnes, the question should be asked why. And then transfer that information to Smith. Let the guy develop. He’s young, and potentially great

    • Right on, Dodger106W. If there was to be a DH, then Will Smith could at least remain in lineup while getting the game off behind the dish whenever Barnes catches. That’s one reason why I’m not too thrilled about MLB going backwards on this issue. I’d much rather see Barnes batting 9th in front of Betts as opposed to him batting 8th in front of the pitcher while Smith sits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…

0