Regardless of what you think of this idea (safe to say you probably hate it), it’s true. Ever since the second week of March, it seems like the team has decided on the second baseman for the 2014 Dodgers. Per this Bill Plunkett article, it seems safe to say that Gordon will be starting in Australia. All of February we wondered how Dee Gordon was going to look coming into Spring Training as he had a job to win. He came in to camp 20 pounds stronger. And everyone including myself was ecstatic. I loved the fact he got this weight gain, still do. He finally had some power to drive the ball, and wasn’t so helpless.
And after this whole offseason of perfecting his craft at 2b, he sure seems ready from a defensive standpoint according to the games. Now, maybe we’ve known for awhile that Dee Gordon had an edge, on Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero. All reports have been that Guerrero has been really struggling with the shift from SS to 2B. And that’s fine, if Guerrero has to spend time in the minor leagues that’s all okay. But it seems now that everyone is hopping on the Dee Gordon bandwagon.
Yes, he’s a better defender than I thought he would be, and that’s great, it seems as if the shift to 2b has eased his mind, his athleticism has never been an issue, but according to that Dee Gordon article from Bill Plunkett, Don Mattingly was asked about Gordon’s offensive capabilities
“Offensively, it’s still kind of a work in progress for us,” Mattingly said. “We continue to try to help him understand exactly who he is as a hitter at this point — how he’s going to be most effective, make sure he’s putting his tools to work all the time.
This is pretty much manager jargon for “yeah, Dee Gordon sucks as a hitter, and we hope his defensive improvement makes up for his lack of any hitting ability whatsoever”. This is what most of us think anyways. I could cite the Spring Training batting averages Plunkett uses in the article, but they’re useless anyways. The most important thing about Spring Training stats are the type of competition (even then not reliable in the least), but according to Mike Petriello, Dee Gordon only has 1 hit off of a legitimate major league pitcher all spring.
On the other hand, Dee Gordon went 0-for-3 with an error, his second of the spring. He is now hitting .185/.242/.300, and again, his hits have come off of Blake Beavan, Andrew Carraway, Kevin Shackelford (bunt), Kevin Quackenbush, and A.J. Griffin. No, his line doesn’t really matter much either, but the point is: it’s not impressive.
Yeah, it’s really mediocre. And it amazes me to no end how much one great tool brings so many believers to his fanbase. I have come around on the idea of sending Guerrero down to the minor leagues for a month in order for him to get his defense together and hopefully continue to adjust successfully. And on the bright side, just watching his AB’s recently he’s really gotten comfortable ever since his mediocre start to the spring, he also went 4-8 yesterday in his minor league start with a couple of doubles. So it’s okay to be okay with sending him down to the minors for a bit, but just don’t tell me Dee Gordon has “figured it out” or “deserves to be the starting 2b” until he actually has. He hasn’t hit any resemblance of major league pitching thus far. It sucks to be in a position where Dee Gordon, Chone Figgins, and Justin Turner are all of your starting 2b options, but that’s where the Dodgers are at.