March 29, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis (14) throws to third base against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning at Camelback Ranch Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE
In the second of this short series, it is time to talk about second base and shortstop duos that have started on Opening Day since 1982.
For 5 of the past 6 seasons, Rafael Furcal was the Opening Day starting shortstop (which leads all Dodger shortstops since 1982). Furcal had 4 different second baseman to throw the ball to during those games, Jeff Kent, Orlando Hudson, Blake DeWitt and Jamey Carroll.
At second base, Steve Sax had 6 starts, followed by Jeff Kent with 5, and then 3 starts, you have both Delino DeShields and Mark Grudzielanek. Grudzielanek, Mariano Duncan, and Alex Cora share the distinction of each starting at both second and shortstop on Opening Day.
As for the most starts as a duo, that honor goes to Steve Sax and Bill Russell whose 3 straight starts from 1982- 1984 are the most from any second baseman and shortstop in the last 30 years, four pairs have two starts, Sax/Mariano Duncan, Willie Randolph/Alfredo Griffin, Delino DeShields/Jose Offerman and Jeff Kent/Rafael Furcal.
Not surprisingly, the all-time LA Dodger leaders are Davey Lopes with 7 starts and Bill Russell with 11.
Dee Gordon will be the first player drafted by the Dodgers to start at shortstop since Alex Cora in 2001. Mark Ellis will be the 5th consecutive different second baseman to start on Opening Day for the Dodgers.