Still Concern In The Dodgers Infield

I was hard pressed to find pictures of Justin Sellers handling a bat.
It’s probably because he can’t
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 Dodgers are such an interesting team, and the season hasn´t even started yet! Look at the handsomely paid starting rotation, the Yasiel Puig, the injury risk/ boom potential that is Matt Kemp, look at the relief corps and the enigmas that exist in Brandon League and Chris Perez, the Brian Wilson, the everything. Most everything about this team is fascinating, weird, and confusing.

But what is likely going to be the most fascinating is the infield of the Dodgers. Just look at it, you have a highly priced Cuban defector who can has potential to be very good, but has so many question marks, an all star SS who just rejuvenated his career, but was hurt in nearly half the games he played last season, and finally a disgraced 3b who had an incredible 5.1 fWAR season and in fact, if you look at the numbers, he was the most valuable Dodger of the whole 2013 season which is stunning to me. But of course the previous two seasons before his late career breakout, he was one of the worst players in baseball.

So the Dodgers infield is one of the biggest question marks on the team. And i’m not sure anything that has been done this offseason has remedied the concerns. I found these Davenport projections pretty interesting for this upcoming season. Not for the statistical projections that they offer, but for the games played. Right now, Brendan Harris and Justin Sellers are projected to make close to 50 starts. Brendan Harris and Justin Sellers are projected to make close to 50 starts.

Yep Brendan Harris, who has played in 44 major league games the past 4 seasons. And also Justin Sellers. I personally am not a huge fan of batting average, but Justin Sellers is a career .199 hitter.

Yes, these are some of the major options to take over if Juan Uribe or Hanley Ramirez go down with their inevitable injuries.

Oh how could I forget, the savior CHONE FIGGINS.

Sigh.

So the point is this is a highly volatile group. One to keep an eye on in these next two weeks. We could see where Michael Young ends up going. And regardless of your feelings of Young (they’re probably bad), I’d feel a LOT more comfortable with Young and his league average bat over any one of the futility guys mentioned.

Another relevant question which makes me think. Who is going to be the starting 2b, SS, and 3b come July/August for the 2014 Dodgers. Something tells me, that group of people of infielders is going to look a lot different than this group of infielders.

Topics: Dodgers Infield, Los Angeles Dodgers

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  • Quasimodo

    I don’t have a lot to go on other than just a feeling, but that feeling is maybe we’ll be okay with Figgins. It’ll be good or it’ll be poison. But I’m leaning towards Figgins will show something. If we could see him returning to what he before was then it solves many potential problems. You know he’s got to feel that this is his ticket. If he has something to prove to us/himself, then he sure got the lucky draw in the energy of this club. So I’m kinda looking forward to the Figgins show. It might be a good one.

  • PastyRasta

    Adrian what #’s are you looking at that translate into Juan Uribe being the most valuable Dodger in 2013? Without question Adrian Gonzalez was the most valuable Dodger. He was in the lineup day in and day out, he was clutch driving in runs, at one point he was close to a .400 BA with RISP and 2 outs I believe, and his defense was stellar (as was Uribe’s) I have a hard time seeing anyone but A Gon as the Dodgers MVP in 2013. I know the #’s don’t lie but I’d be curious to see exactly how those #’s give the nod to Uribe over A Gon. I also have a feeling there will be 1 or 2 young Cubans, aside from Guerrero, making up the Dodgers infield this year. Rusney Castillo would add OF depth and a right handed bat vs tough lefties and if he truly can play 2B & 3B he’ll be a Dodger if and when he is eligible to sign. I’m convinced Aldemys Diaz will sign with the Dodgers on February 19, the longer the Dodgers go without signing a Utility infielder the more convinced I am that he will be a Dodger. He would provide SS, 2B and 3B depth. There is no way Colletti opens the season with Figgins, Sellers and Harris as the IF options, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Guerrero and the injury risk Hanley presents and the lack of motivation Uribe may have now that he’s not playing for a contract. Dee Gordon played 2B in winter ball but he’s proven he can’t hit and is a below average defender. Considering how important Punto and Schumaker were to the Dodgers last year, and that was with Mark Ellis playing everyday, the Dodgers should not even let Sellers or Harris see the field IMO.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      I think defensively Uribe was the most valuable for sure while Gonzo was the bread and butter man with the bat. Totally agree about signing someone like Diaz, but Chone Figgins may just make the team. Yet I think you have a good point in that Colletti won’t want to open the season again with someone like Sellers/Figgins on the 25-man if he doesn’t have to since we saw Sellers waver a small bit defensively and didn’t hit at all.

    • Adrian Garcia

      Stacie’s right, the main reason why he was more valuable was his okay bat but probably too good to be true defense. He had one of the greatest defensive games ever according to the numbers. But I think that’s a bit unfair to say. No question AGon, Hanley, Puig were more valuable for this team.
      And I really really really want Rusney, I think he’d be a better Emilio Bonifacio.

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  • AaronKnuckleCurve

    Sabermetrics, in my humble opinion, should be used like a spice…not like the ingredient one would base their entire cuisine on. Not a criticism, I really am enjoying your takes and articles! But obviously your Uribe take opened the door to criticizing Sabermeterics–assuming that’s what you used. anyway, rock on.

    • Adrian Garcia

      I completely agree. Even the metrics are iffy on Uribe in the sense that according to the numbers he was worth more than Manny Machado and Andrelton Simmons with the glove which is silly to think.
      Of course AGon, Puig, and Hanley were better and more valuable, and I do think in this situation you have to consider the team and what not
      I was using that number just to state how amazing his season really was and not how “valuable he was”, but I do agree, Aaron.