Aug 11, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon (9) makes a fielding error in the eighth inning of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A Platoon of Dee Gordon and Alexander Guerrero at Second Base Is not Horrible

While Alexander Guerrero still has something to prove to management this Spring in order to secure the starting second baseman job, Dee Gordon also is looking to grab a seat on that plane to Sydney next month. Guerrero, with his four-year $28 million deal, is being paid like a starter yet Don Mattingly and management still seem unsure to whether Guerrero will actually begin the season with the Dodgers or play a bit in the minors.

“It’s hard for us to tell, to be honest,” Mattingly said Sunday. “Everything we’ve asked of Alex, he’s been wonderful. This kid has worked and worked. But I don’t think until we get these games going on and get at-bats under his belt that we’ll start to kind of see what it’s going to look like. So that’s the objective, to get him on the field as much as possible.”

I’m not sure what the coaches and management see as unconvincing in Guerrero’s showing so far during Spring workouts, but come Wednesday we should all be able to see Guerrero play in the Dodgers first Spring Training game. Guerrero will likely split time with some of the other non-roster hopefuls along with Dee Gordon who is also vying for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Alexander will make his professional debut in the U.S. on Wednesday if he plays in the Dodgers first Spring Training game. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Usually I’m not a huge proponent of platoons. I really do think that Guerrero could man second base in a starting role for the Dodgers with little issue, but the Dodgers are still contemplating the idea of platooning at second if Guerrero isn’t fully ready. I’d like to know exactly why some think he isn’t transitioning well to the second base position, and we will get the chance to judge for ourselves come Wednesday.

“We’ll think about it, for sure,” Mattingly said on Wednesday. “I like platoons because, basically, it gets you good matchups if you get the right guys for it. It keeps guys involved, keeps them fresh and they know when they will be starting. I actually like it, so definitely, no question.”

Mattingly claims he likes platoons, but he rarely uses them. Many have advocated to platoon Andre Ethier with a righty since Ethier has trouble hitting lefties, but Mattingly hasn’t been able to do that since he needs Dre as his everyday center fielder now that Kemp continues to be disabled. Carl Crawford could be platooned as well. James Loney? Platoon please. It’s interesting to me that Mattingly is all for a platoon at second base before even seeing Guerrero play in a live game.

Perhaps the Dodgers really do want to give Dee Gordon one more chance to prove that he is a consistent everyday Major Leaguer. The Dodgers have all but abandoned the idea of playing Gordon at shortstop anymore especially now that they signed Erisbel Arruebarrena and they have Hanley Ramirez through at least this next season. Gordon has gained weight and muscle, and he is hoping that adding some power to his swing could give him more value than just a speed machine.

Last season I saw Gordon play second base comfortably with no real issues. It was only 3 games at second base, but hey he didn’t commit an error. In 2011, his first season, Gordon hit over .300 with 68 hits in 56 games. If Gordon can use his acrobatic athleticism to impress at second base as we all mourn the loss of Mark Ellis when the tough plays pop up throughout this upcoming season, then perhaps he can find himself on this team for the long run.

The real issue is that Guerrero will need to play every day, so if he’s not ready the Dodgers will start him in AAA. Then that creates a spot for someone else out of the Potential Platoon Partner Pool™.

Chone Figgins, Brendan Harris, and Justin Turner are just the kind of bench guys who would work in a platoon. But do you really want to see Chone Figgins play every day as the Dodgers second baseman? No, I’d rather go with the unpredictable Dee Gordon or the “slowly transitioning” Guerrero than any of those guys to be honest.

I think Guerrero will be the starting second baseman, but I wouldn’t be opposed to adding Dee Gordon to the bench for his speed and to back up second base or shortstop when needed.

I know Scott feels that a platoon at second base is a bad idea. Perhaps I still have a soft spot in my heart for Dee Gordon, and even though I suffered while watching all of those high flying 18 errors in 2012 and another 7 last season,  for some odd reason I want him to succeed. At this point I feel as though his time is running short, and with the Guerrero signing it may be all but over.

Guerrero hasn’t played much since 2012, but I think once he feels more comfortable with his teammates and the new country, he’ll be just

Dee Gordon has something to prove this Spring. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

fine. Perhaps there is more to the story than we know. Guerrero defected from Cuba last year, and his wife and family remain in Cuba.

The mysteriousness of these Cuban players is intriguing. We will soon get a glimpse of Guerrero on Wednesday, and I’m hoping that his play this Spring will shoot down any further notion of platooning at second base.

The Dodgers made the decision to let Mark Ellis go so that they could go with the younger and potentially more powerful Alexander Guerrero. Now concerns and platoon suggestions have me worried that second base will be unstable or consistent. If I had to choose a platoon out of the available infielders in camp it would be Guerrero and Gordon, but I’m hoping that Guerrero gets us excited this Spring like Puig did last year.


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Tags: Alexander Guerrero Dee Gordon Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Quasimodo

    I’m gonna make a couple here and go back to read your story, Stacie. Hope that doesn’t appear rude. I’m very much into the Figgins camp. When he was 1st mentioned my thoughts were washed. But before I was able to post anything negative about him, I wasn’t reading Figgins negatively. More and more everyday I’m believing he’s gonna be great from the bench. I’m a sucker for a feel good story, well not really a sucker because there’s already a few the the roster. A.J.’s had to keep upgrading his dreams. that’s really cool. Now your story! Cheers!

    • Stacie Wheeler

      I know you’ve been for Figgins, and I think whatever combination of infielders Mattingly chooses, it’ll work out. Figgins also can play CF so if Kemp is still a ways out, Figgins could be useful as an outfielder. No way I’d put Van Slyke in CF. Of course id like to see Puig in CF more, but not sure they want to try that.

  • Quasimodo

    We are able to quote stats (okay, I can’t) and that all the answers are in the stats. That’s not what should EVER be considered as the most important ingredient. The most successful Dodgers assembly’s were the ones that fallowed the Rickey way..And when a GM is forced to build from free agency so many other bases need covering to simply have comfort. Comfort is what makes this Dodgers team special. Its for the biggest part the same team as last year with so many more options. The way last season started I wasn’t seeing how it could be so bad. Mattingly was the target for all the wrongs. Some of his choices I felt strongly against because I knew certain terrible things would result. But we didn’t have Brian Wilson at hand fix a fate worse than too big of a workload on Jansen. If it were me in charge poor Kenley would of been the rebirth of the fireman. Donnie’s moves made so much more sense after he explained his reasons. The Angels won their championship without any free agents. Huh, what? Even if we can’t see why some things falls different than we expected, I’m very COMFORTABLE with who’s in charge because sooner or later we’re shown why. Except when we want to read something that’s honest about an ankle injury. P.S. I don’t like to complain as the problem is MY computer. Its just to damn weak to defend itself from so many advertisements. I’m drifting all over the place with the things I’m trying to say to click ‘wait’ at unresponsive pages.

    • LasordasLair

      Hey Quasi, if you remember, Mattingly tried using Jansen as a fireman before, but the problem with that was nobody else could be an effective closer at the time. Of course those were different days and a different roster. Im sure if anything happens, Wilson can step up and close if there is an emergency. Plus there’s Withrow, and Howell and Perez. The bullpen looks pretty stacked. Sometimes you have to build via free agency if you cant acquire through trade, or wait out the draft. For middle infielders are hard to find in trade and draft.
      What’s wrong with your computer Quasi?

  • [email protected]

    Can anyone answer this question : Are Dodger spring training games broadcast on radio? Not being able to see them on t.v., I was wondering if I could listen to them over the Dodger radio network.

    • LasordasLair

      Yes you can listen to every game on the Dodger radio network AM 570

  • SteveJbleedsblue

    Stacie? Didn’t you know Loney hit .299 against lefties last year? So well they stopped platooning him? Donnie loves platoons. He’s the matchup king. That’s why he overuses the BP too!

    • Stacie Wheeler

      Too bad Loney couldn’t do that as a Dodger!

      • SteveJbleedsblue

        Well, he was fine through 2008. Strange, isn’t that when Donnie became his hitting coach? Although, he was really good in 2010, but it was all downhill after that.

        Maddon, is great because he doesn’t have preconceived roles for the players. He just wants them to go out and play their best, whatever that best is.

        • Stacie Wheeler

          I like Maddon. Jamey Wright excelled in Tampa Bay as well, so I hope he continues that kind of pitching under Donnie. Sad about Loney since he was a long time Dodger, but happy he’s doing well. He’s so sharp at first.

          • SteveJbleedsblue

            I do too. From every interview, James is finally happy with who he’s playing for. That’s good. Is one of my favorite Dodgers.