Hey Dodger fam! Since this is a day off for the Dodgers, and the last few weeks have been quite intense for Dodger Baseball, I figured we needed a little brevity to lighten the mood a bit. I was thinking about the Dodgers little problem at the infield corners, and where we could possibly look for help in places we might not normally look. We’re going to have to think outside the box guys, and I have an idea. The Dodgers do have some corner infielders, as it turns out. The coaching staff! Follow me here guys because I think I have a pretty good idea here. Obviously we all know the Dodgers are in desperate need for some corner infielders, but they don’t need to look any further than their own coaching staff. For third base, we have not one, but two options. Third base coach Tim Wallach, and hitting coach Dave Hansen. Don Mattingly can play first base, Mickey Hatcher in left field, and Manny Mota off the bench. Follow me here guys, I think I am onto to something……
Tim Wallach played 2,054 games at third base, during his 16 year major league career. He had a career .257 batting average, and hit 260 home runs. Wallach was a five time all-star, and won three gold gloves. The good news about this is that he doesn’t have to go far. It’s only a few feet from the third base coaching box, to third base. Just activate him and toss him a glove. He walks three feet over to the hot corner, and there we go, problem solved. I think we all know even now, during his golden years, he can’t do any worse than Juan Uribe.
Another option at third base is hitting coach Dave Hansen. Our hitting coach played fifteen seasons, and 371 games at third base. He had a career .260 batting average, a .360 on-base percentage, and hit 35 home runs. Hey that’s 30 more than Uribe has hit in his entire time with the Dodgers. He can serve as Wallach’s backup on the bench, and he can also play first base as well. He also hit 15 pinch-hit home runs, so he would be a decent option off the bench.
As for first base, well that is an easy choice. Our very own manager Don Mattingly, will need to activate himself as a player/manager and put himself in the lineup at first base. He could bat behind Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier providing much needed lineup protection. Mattingly was a terrific player. He played 1,634 games at first base, and won nine gold gloves in 14 seasons. He was a six time all-star, and won three silver slugger awards. Donnie Baseball collected 2, 153 hits, batted .307 with as .358 OBP. And hit 222 home runs. He won one MVP award, and he even played three games at third base. Yes in a pinch, he could play the hot corner. The great thing about this, is that while acting as a player/manager, Donnie can bunt until his heart’s content. This would also kill two birds with one stone, as he would be showing all of the other players, the correct way to bunt.
Now for left field, we need a little help, too and we could call upon our new assistant to player development, and General Manager, Mickey Hatcher. Hatch played 346 games in the outfield over the course of his 11 year career. Hatch played 346 games at left field, and also played 149 games at first base, and 125 games at third base. He can play all over the diamond. As a hitter he was not bad at all, with a .280 career batting average, and 38 home runs. Even our coaches have out-hit Juan Uribe.
Now for the bench, we can activate the legendary Manny Mota. The pinch-hitter extraordinaire, was a career .300 hitter off the bench, with a .373 OBP, and 149 pinch-hits, which was a Dodger record for years. Mota played 20 years in the bigs, and 12 with the Dodgers. Actually if you remember, Mota was a player/coach for the last couple of seasons. The Dodgers actually activated him as a player in 1980 for the stretch drive. He was primarily an outfielder when he did play, but you know, he did play 15 games at third base. I would rather have Manny Mota at age 74 play third base than Juan Uribe.
Can you imagine how far ahead in the standings the Dodgers would be if they had this kind of production from third base, first base, left field, and the bench? We would be running away from the division. Sometimes you just gotta look in unorthodox places for solutions.
How might the lineup look? Let’s take a look.Dave Hansen LF Mark Ellis 2B Matt Kemp CF Andre Ethier RF Don Mattingly 1B Tim Wallach 3B A.J. Ellis C Luis Cruz/Dee Gordon 6 Pitcher 1
Well there you have it. Mota can come off the bench, and play occasionally in left field. Still an improvement over Juan Rivera right? LOL ok ok. You probably think I have been sniffing the glue a little too much. The sad part about this is it’s actually true. The coaches, and Mattingly are more of an offensive threat, than Juan Uribe, James Loney, and Juan Rivera. there is more talent on the coaching staff then on the bench. I guess I am just dreaming of a day when the Dodger’s corner infielders and left fielders are actually ya know, productive. I know, I know, such an amazing concept! Production! Anyhoo, that’s about all Dodger fans. Enjoy the day off, and we now return to our regularly scheduled Dodger trade rumors.