With the playoffs starting on Thursday, Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly is starting to prep his roster for what he believes will bring a World Series back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1988. On September 2nd, the Cincinnati Reds called up speedster outfielder Billy Hamilton and have used him in pinch running scenarios in the last couple of weeks. Seeing how successful Hamilton and the Reds have been (Hamilton scored the winning run against the Dodgers on September 7th), “Donnie Baseball” has decided to use the same approach with shortstop Dee “Flash” Gordon.
Dee Gordon has been in the minors for most of this season in large part to Hanley Ramirez occupying the starting shortstop position and Nick Punto being the backup. If Gordon knew how to field, he would have been with the Dodgers all season. But he doesn’t. He is bad. I was at the August 11th game when he had three errors. Gordon has since switched over to second base where reportedly he enjoys it. He actually played 20 games at second base in Triple-A. The switch could benefit Gordon in the long run as starting second baseman Mark Ellis is getting up in age (36) and could be an every other day player next year.
In the five games from September 10th to the 15th, Gordon entered the game as a pinch runner twice and had three stolen bases. Gordon is one of the fastest players in the league and reminds a lot of Dodger fans of the speed that the great Maury Wills had. Wills played for the Dodgers from 1959 to 1966 and again from 69 to 72. Wills holds the Dodger record for most steals in a single season with 104 and most career with 490. Mattingly is very creative with his double switches during the game and will put Gordon on base in critical situations in the playoffs.
I can already see “Flash” stealing 2nd in game 7 of the World Series and score the winning run to give the Dodgers their 7th title. Okay, maybe I am getting ahead of myself but Gordon’s base running ability will be a key factor in the postseason.