Sorry Mike but I dont think the Dodgers will only be keeping Jamey Carroll and Jay Gibbons as their 2 Utility Infielders. The guy all of Dodger Nation should be rooting for is Ivan De Jesus Jr (IDJ)
The key this year for IDJ and his overall development is he needs at bats, however, when Casey Blake gets hurt, Uribe can shift to 3rd and De Jesus can play 2nd. He is also a natural SS, a solid defender with a plus arm, so when Rafael Furcal gets hurt or needs a day off (approx 30 games) he could get AB’s there as well. Finally, he worked this winter getting experience playing third base, and you know at some point Raffy & The Beard will both be hurt, problem solved, more AB’s for Ivan Jr.
Don’t we as fans deserve to see what this kid can do? Doesn’t he deserve the shot to show if he can produce at the big league level? Especially since the last legit shot he had to win a job at Dodger Camp he unfortunately broke his leg in a gruesome accident while sliding into home plate. He did hit .296 with 33 doubles, 90 runs scored, 70 RBI, and 7 HR last year at AAA very solid considering he missed all but 4 games the prior season. Plus Don Mattingly just managed him in the very competitive Arizona Fall League where he hit .321 and got on base at a .411 clip, very solid.
Aaron Miles is his chief competition. Aaron is a 34 year old Journeyman w/2,373 career AB’s and a paltry.321 career OBP enough said. The Dodgers already have Jamey Carroll, a solid, versatile, scrappy if unspectacular player. They don’t need another one of those guys, no offense to Carroll.
Considering Castro has failed to reach the Mendoza line (a .200 minimum batting average) in 3 of the past 4 season is there really any need to waste my time or yours arguing the merits IDJ brings to the Dodgers over Castro? In a word or less NO, actually make that 2 words or less and make it an emphatic NO!
Remember the concept in Baseball is that pitching and defense usually produce wins? The Giants just proved that to all of Major League Baseball by pitching their way to a World Series title. De Jesus is clearly a significant and much more versatile upgrade defensively than either Miles or Castro, who has parlayed his defense into a 16 year MLB career. Good for him but it’s time for him to retire and not block a promising young Dodger from getting his first taste of MLB experience.
IDJ also has decent speed, considering the broken leg, another check mark in his favor over Miles and Castro.
IDJ’s biggest negative in all of this is he still has ‘options’ to be sent to the minors, my hope is that he produces enough this spring and forces the Dodgers to keep him on the final 25 man roster.