Based on what Ned Colletti is saying, Jason Repko appears to be staying around for the moment. With the Dodgers trying very hard to trade Juan Pierre and his contract for either a starting pitcher or a 2nd baseman the battle for who becomes the Dodger fourth outfielder looks to come down to Jason Repko or Xavier Paul. It would seem a given that Paul is the better candidate to be the fourth outfielder but is he?
They both can play all the positions of the outfield, they both have plus speed, and they both have guns for arms. So that is how they are the same. How they are different is probably why I think that Repko might be the better fit for a fourth outfielder role.
The Dodgers starting outfield is Manny, Kemp, and Andre. Of those three only one has a serious chink in their armor. That chink is that Andre does not hit left handed pitching very well. For his career Andre has a 200 point split in his OPS between facing RHP and LHP. Last year that split widened to .926 compared to .629. Part of the problem the Dodgers had last year with Pierre on the bench was that we could not use Pierre in RF to sit Andre against some LHP. The gain in moving Kemp to RF and Pierre to CF,with the left handed Pierre facing left handed pitching just wasn't worth it.
Jason Repko does many things well that you would look for in a backup outfielder. The thing he does best however is mash LHP. His slug% against LHP over the last three minor league season has been greater then .585 every year and twice it has topped .600. The Dodgers have a need for guy who can hit LHP and play RF. Repko can be that guy. What he can't do is hit RHP, so the Dodgers will need to have a guy like Minky on the bench who can handle that role.
Xavier Paul does everything as well as Repko in the field. Repko is faster on bases. What Paul does not do well is hit LHP. He hits RHP as well as Repko hits LHP but my argument is that this team needs someone to caddy for Andre. If Manny was to get hurt, then I'd bring up Paul to be the everyday LF not Repko, but for a guy off the bench Repko might be that guy.
Last year I had a hard time finding a good RHH platoon player when looking for an upgrade for the Dodgers. Shockingly they are had to find which is why you see guys like Gabe Kapler still playing. Repko is not a good player but Repko might be exactly what the Dodgers need for the way this team is built.
Of course I would rather have had Jamie Hoffmann then Repko but the Dodgers felt differently and I'm not quite sure why. There was the comment that when Hoffmann signed he was promised to be put back on the 40 man in May. I'd like to ask Ned if Hoffmann had also asked that he be left off the 40 man so he would be unprotected and a team could pick him up via the rule five if they wanted him. He or his agent had to have known that when the Dodgers released him last summer that the 40 man rosters were full so he would only get a minor league deal, so resigning with the Dodgers made sense back then when no one claimed him. But if I'm his agent I would have made part of the deal that he not only be promised to be put back on the 40 by May of 2010 but that he be left of the 40 man before the rule five draft because otherwise it makes absolutely no sense given the room the Dodgers had on the 40 man that he was not included. Just my thoughts, I could be way off base.