I just watched Dee Gordon make a beautiful backhanded stop on a sharp grounder, and fire to first base for the out. I must admit that Dee looks great at second base this spring. All of the hard work he has put in has definitely paid off.
He actually looks like a second baseman. No, it’s true, an honest to goodness second baseman. Dee Gordon, second baseman. Kudos to him for all the hard work. It seems to be paying off. Gordon showed up to camp all beefed out. His workout regimen has brought him gains in weight and muscle. No longer is Gordon the skinny dude on the block, he’s got some meat on his bones. Although he’s still a smaller guy.
And that’s a good thing he’s not that big, considering more weight could take away his biggest asset, which is his blazing speed.
But I don’t want to talk about his base running, I would like to talk about his defense. The Dodgers finally did what we all knew they would have to do in order to save Gordon’s career. Moving him off of shortstop. Let’s face it, things just weren’t working out for Gordon as a shortstop. His fielding was bumbling, and his throws were lacking. (Or air-mailed into the stands)
I don’t know why the Dodgers didn’t try this before. Gordon just isn’t cut out to be a shortstop. And there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t mean he isn’t a good ball player. The Dodgers should have moved him off of shortstop a long time ago.
But now with Hanley Ramirez manning shortstop, and dripping talent from every pore in his body, Gordon can switch positions. So the Dodgers are turning him into a super utility guy. We’ve seen Gordon playing center field, second base, and left field this spring.
A big reason why Gordon has been resurrected at second base, is the decreased distance of throws from second to first. We all remember Gordon’s cringe-worthy Frisbee like throws from shortstop. No longer does Gordon have to throw all the way across the diamond, or across his body anymore. Shorter throws equals less chances of the Baseball ending up as a souvenir for someone in the stands.
Maybe it’s just a combination of everything. Better conditioning, better footwork, shorter throws, and or more practice time. He’ll have to practice covering the bag on double plays, and avoiding the runner. The pivot and turn, and the different ways you can turn two. Second base isn’t an easy position to learn. Whatever the case is, Gordon is looking better and better each day at his new position.
Gordon is a talented athlete with a good work ethic. If he can continue to put in the work on the field, he will find his way onto the Dodger’s roster come opening day. That may be as a utility guy, or as a starter, but either way, Gordon’s skills are valuable enough to justify a spot. Now if he can just learn how to hit, then he’s on his way.