The move isn’t much of a surprise since Taylor was a career infielder before expanding his utility in 2017, playing more outfield than infield in his breakout season. Taylor also started 10 games at shortstop in the regular season and two more in the NLCS when Corey Seager was injured.
With Seager now nursing a sore elbow and limited to designated hitter duties during spring training, there are innings at shortstop to be had.
“For him to be at short or Kiké to be out in center field, in a season there are things that potentially could happen so you have to have coverage,” manager Dave Roberts said. “With those two guys we feel good at short, and to get them in there and get repetitions it makes sense.
|1B||Bellinger (L)||DH||Choo (L)|
“Obviously you hope nothing happens to Corey over a stretch of a week or anything longer than that but you have to have guys when you’re constructing a lineup that you feel comfortable there.”
Kiké Hernandez, who started at seven different positions last year including 16 times in center field, starts at second base for the Dodgers on Monday, batting cleanup. Hernandez this spring has also started twice at shortstop this spring.
Jansen getting ready
The general thought is that spring training is as long as it is only so starting pitchers have time to gradually build up the arm strength to throw five or more innings in a game. Hitters don’t really need six weeks to get ready for the regular season, and relief pitchers especially don’t need that long.
Kenley Jansen is not the biggest fan of spring training games anyway, with the adrenaline rush of entering the sixth inning of a Cactus League game nowhere near to the juice of closing out a major league game that counts. Jansen threw a bullpen session on Monday, and it appears the bulk of his work this spring will be done on the back fields at Camelback Ranch rather than the stadium.
“I wouldn’t see him getting in more than two games,” Roberts said. “He knows himself better than anybody. If he’s feeling good it doesn’t matter where he’s pitching.”
Alex Wood starts for the Dodgers in Surprise, facing off against fellow southpaw Mike Minor, who signed a three-year, $28 million contract with the Rangers this offseason after pitching in relief with Kansas City. Wood and Minor were teammates with the Braves from 2013-15.
Time: 12:05 p.m. PT
Location: Surprise Stadium