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Chris Taylor on injury-plagued 2022, swing mechanics & plans for 2023

Taylor on his 2022 season: “It was a grind of a year for me.”

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Chris Taylor on Friday night was a guest in Dodger Talk with David Vassegh on AM 570, before his upcoming wedding this week in Hawaii, to promote his Driving For Hope event at TopGolf in El Segundo on January 12.

Proceeds for the event will go to Taylor’s charitable foundation as well as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles “to support children battling cancer and other life-altering conditions.”

Among the topics discussed in the interview were where in the field Taylor would play in 2023. Taylor has started six positions during his six seasons with the Dodgers, often moving around the diamond to fill a need when someone else was unavailable.

Vassegh asked Taylor if he could still play center field and shortstop, both positions of need for the Dodgers this offseason.

“I would love to play short and center. I haven’t even had that conversation or thought about it at this point. We’re still early in the offseason, and a lot can happen,” Taylor told Vassegh. “Shortstop always has been my favorite position, so that would be exciting if I got to play some shortstop.”

Taylor with Los Angeles has started 152 games in center and 151 games at shortstop, in addition to ample time at second base and left field plus starts at third base and in right field. He only played one inning of shortstop in 2022, partly driven by Trea Turner starting 160 games at the position and also by offseason elbow surgery that limited Taylor to the outfield until August.

The injuries for Taylor last season also included missing a month with a broken foot, and suffering a neck injury for the second straight September, which limited him going into the postseason.

“It was a tough year for me individually. The injuries, it’s nothing knew. It’s something I’ve dealt with every year. It’s just part of playing the game. But for me it was more that my swing never really felt right all season,” Taylor told Vassegh. “My mechanics were kind of out of whack, and I was constantly searching to try to find it. If you talk to any baseball player, they know it’s not a good feeling. It was a grind of a year for me.”

Taylor hit .221/.304/.373 with a 93 wRC+, 10 home runs, 25 doubles, 10 stolen bases, and a career-high 35-percent strikeout rate in 118 games in 2022, the worst of his six seasons with the Dodgers. He said he started working with hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc since about a week after the season ended.

The 32-year-old Taylor is signed through 2025, with a club option for 2026.