Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Do A River, A Monkey, And A Beard Have In Common?

According to Steve Dilbeck, they all could be in left field this year for the Dodgers:

"I want to be flexible," [Dodgers coach Don] Mattingly said. "That’s the one thing I think I’ve learned as much as anything in the National League, you have to have a team with some flexibility in its lineup.’’

Which is why even after the signing of outfielder Marcus Thames, the idea of using third baseman Casey Blake in left may not be dead.

There are several scenarios that could have the infield in flux, whether as an occasional change-up in the lineup, or in regular platooning of several players.

Right now, the working assumption is that left-handed Jay Gibbons and the right-handed Thames will platoon in left, with a set infield of first baseman James Loney, second  baseman Juan Uribe, shortstop Rafael Furcal and Blake.

Yet if you had an offense that struggled as badly as the Dodgers’ did in the second half, you’d best be open to plenty of options. And the Dodgers have them. [...]

Before the Dodgers signed Thames, Mattingly said he talked to Blake about playing some left field. He’s played 240 games in the outfield, though only twice since joining the Dodgers in 2008.

"Primarily, I think he’s a third baseman, but I had a little chat with him about possibly playing some outfield," Mattingly said.

Blake is 37, but still runs surprisingly well.

"He’s an interesting guy in that respect," Mattingly said. "He’s really athletic. He’s lean and long, and he runs pretty good. So he’s a valuable guy."

That value goes away if he's injured trying to run one down in the corner, however. I don't know if this is such a good idea.


Kyle Baker said...

John Travolta and his wife arrive at the premier of his new jungle movie?