Terrance Gore isn’t in LA Dodgers summer camp, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be. A confluence of events — expanded rosters for the first four weeks of the season, and an extra-inning rule seemingly built for him — could make Gore an attractive option on a potential Dodgers roster.
“We talked a lot about Terrance in recent days,” manager Dave Roberts said via Zoom call on Monday.
Gore was a non-roster invitee in spring training back in February and March in Arizona, and played in eight Cactus League games. The Dodgers stole three bases all spring, and two were swiped by Gore. He was not included on the Dodgers’ initial club player pool for summer camp at Dodger Stadium.
Major league active rosters will include 30 players for the first two weeks of the regular season, then down to 28 players for two more weeks before returning to the standard 26 players for the remainder of the season.
As part of the health and safety protocols this season, to limit the chances of extended games, every extra inning will begin with a runner on second base. Said runner will be the batter who made the last out of the previous inning, but can be replaced by a pinch runner.
“There’s obviously the runner on second base. But there are other situations, close ballgames, plus-or-minus type games in the seventh, eighth, or ninth, where he can steal a base and potentially get in scoring position,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of situations I think that a guy like Terrance, who’s done it, would make sense for any team, especially in these circumstances, so something certainly could happen in the next couple days.”
In six major league seasons, Gore’s role has been very well defined. He’s played in 100 big league games, and totaled 77 plate appearances. He has 13 starts in the outfield, all of which came last year with the Royals.
His sprint speed ranks in the top one percent of MLB, per Statcast.
Sixty-one of those 100 games saw Gore enter as a pinch runner, and with good reason. He’s stolen 40 bases in 49 attempts. Those gaudy totals were in a total of 85 stolen base opportunities, defined by Baseball-Reference as “plate appearances through which a runner was on first or second with the next base open.”
Gore stole a base in 47 percent of his opportunities throughout his career. By comparison, only eight major leaguers stole 30 bases in 2019, and they stole successfully in a collective 16.5 percent of their opportunities, with the highest (Adalberto Mondesi) at only 34 percent.
In nine playoff games, all entered as a pinch runner, Gore has five steals in six attempts.
The Dodgers currently have a full 60 players in their player pool. It’s unknown if anyone is on the COVID-19 related injured list, but players on said list don’t count against the player pool, and would open up a spot for adding a player like Gore.