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The revolving door at second base

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Second base remains an unsettled spot going into 2019, but the position has been manned by a dizzying array of starters for years.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Maybe one or both of these men will play the most second base for the 2019 Dodgers
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

More than once as a child I’d hear Vin Scully mention how third base was such an unsettled position in Los Angeles Dodgers history, with seemingly hundreds of players having tried to man the hot corner between Billy Cox in Brooklyn and Ron Cey who cemented the spot as his for 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s.

Justin Turner has become the modern-day Ron Cey at third base, but it is now second base that is becoming the revolving door position for LA. And at this point that looks to continue in 2019.

The offseason moves the Dodgers have made thus far have answered some questions, but they haven’t done anything to clear up the picture at second base. No one new has been acquired and last year’s top two playing-time leaders at the keystone sack have both been jettisoned (Logan Forsythe and Brian Dozier).

A quick look at the current roster finds scant experience for the position, but the first three would seem like the leading candidates for seeing action there this season:

The total innings combined for Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner doesn’t even cover two-thirds of a season!

Given that Taylor and Hernandez are also the teams super-subs, it appears that Dodgers fans better become accustomed to seeing a parade at second base this year.

That would be something of a microcosm of what has been experienced in the last quarter-century, or since Jody Reed turned down a three-year deal from the Dodgers to test free agency and make less than he was offered, and led Fred Claire to trade Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields.

Last year the Dodgers gave up on Forsythe after 336 innings of 2B playing time, trading him and a prospect for Brian Dozier who logged a few less innings in one more start than his predecessor, but their combined totals aren’t quite half the playing time. And Forsythe only managed a little over 40% of the playing time the year before.

In all, 14 different players have received the most playing time at second base in a season for the Dodgers in the last 25 years. However the last one to play more than 75% of the innings there was Dee Gordon in 2014 and the last to do so for two consecutive years was current World Series Champion Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, all the way back in 2003-2004.

Manager Dave Roberts didn’t indicate at Fan Fest that he’s sees a leader yet at second base.

“I can see Max [Muncy] at second base a little bit, I can see Kiké and Taylor vying for at-bats at second base,” Roberts said, “I can see Kiké and Taylor spelling Corey a little bit at short, so at second base is something where we have a lot of options but we haven’t defined whose going to get the lion’s share yet at second base.”

It’s also been 11 years since 40-year-old Jeff Kent held down the job in the last of his four years in Dodger Blue.

The advice to the fans might be to get used to seeing a lot of faces at second base in 2019, but they’ve already been seeing it for a full decade already.