As we sit here on January 2, the Dodgers are in a bit of a holding period. We are still over a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and over three weeks away from the deadline for Masahiro Tanaka to sign with an MLB team.
The Dodgers currently have a full 40-man roster and outside of adding an infielder or perhaps Tanaka, the roster is pretty much set. Even the three pending salary arbitration cases — Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and A.J. Ellis — likely won't see much movement toward a contract until the filing date of January 14, nearly two weeks away.
So we are basically waiting for news, which could come in the form of a contract extension for Kershaw, Hanley Ramirez or manager Don Mattingly. Today's information that KISS will perform during the first intermission of the Kings-Ducks NHL game at Dodger Stadium on January 25 qualifies for news only in the sense that we are starved for it.
So while we wait for official word from the Dodgers on adding Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung to their broadcast crew, or confirmation that the new network SportsNet LA will start on February 25, as Hartung noted on his farewell broadcast on ABC7 Eyewitness News on Tuesday night, we are left to our own devices.
That got me thinking about second base, specifically whether or not Alexander Guerrero will open the season as the starter. The Dodgers signed Guerrero, 27, to a four-year, $28 million contract so the intention, at least for the long term, is for him to be a regular.
But given that Guerrero has been hampered by a left hamstring injury and played just 12 games for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, and hasn't played much organized baseball in over a year, he might not be ready for opening day, at least not as a starter.
The Dodgers can send Guerrero to the minor leagues in 2014 without his consent, but cannot do so in the final three years of the contract.
We'll know more in the next few months, as Guerrero will workout at the Dodgers facility at Camelback Ranch in Arizona, but it's safe to say second base is up in the air for the Dodgers.
While the Dodgers still likely have an infielder to add, the other option on the roster to start at second base in April just might be Dee Gordon. At the very least, the former shortstop is in play for a utility role on the team, having added outfield to his repertoire in the Dominican Winter League.
But Gordon is currently playing second base in Puerto Rico playing for Indios de Mayaguez, who open round robin postseason play on Friday night.
If Gordon, with 147 career starts at shortstop, happens to stick at second base, or plays the position enough over the next few seasons, he could become the seventh Dodger with 100 starts at both shortstop and second base.
|Dodgers with 100 starts at both 2B & SS|
|Player||Years||2B starts||SS starts|
|Source: Baseball-Reference; Pre-1916 stats don't include starts|
Slow news day.