Los Angeles Dodgers facing uncertainty at second base

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti (mlb.com)

Entering the offseason many envisioned the Los Angeles Dodgers would be big spenders and extremely active.

The winter meetings have come and gone, but the Dodgers have been relatively quiet.

Outside of re-signing key contributors J.P Howell, Juan Uribe, and Brian Wilson, the Dodgers have yet to make a big splash.

The team lost utility players Skip Schumaker to the Cincinnati Reds, and Nick Punto to the Oakland Athletics.  Also no longer on the team is relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who signed with the Chicago White Sox.

As valuable as some of the contributions were from that trio of players, the departure that has left the biggest void is Mark Ellis, who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.

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As a whole, Ellis isn’t considered to be in the upper echelon of second basemen.  A key factor for that may be Ellis’s age, as he’s 36-years-old, but defensively, you would be hard pressed to find a better option.

In two seasons with the Dodgers, Ellis was sound defensively, posting a cumulative .991 fielding percentage, and batted a respectable .264.

To date, many would likely point to the Dodgers offseason signing of Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero as the team’s marquee move.

While it is unlikely Guerrero will have the immediate impact that fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig had, as it stands, Guerrero appears to be a viable candidate to be the starting second baseman on Opening Day.

Guerrero may end up playing shortstop as he progresses through his career, but with the Dodgers re-signing Uribe for two years, Hanley Ramirez appears to be entrenched at shortstop, which is his preferred position.

On Wednesday, Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti was a guest on Mark Willard’s ESPN LA radio show and among the topics discussed was the hole at second base.

Colletti immediately mentioned Guerrero, who will have the opportunity to arrive early at the Dodgers training facility in Glendale, Ariz. if he chooses.

Accordingly to Colletti, the Dodgers will also be looking at Dee Gordon, who has yet to materialize, and Miguel Rojas, who is currently with the Dodgers double-A affiliate.

While Colletti did acknowledge the Dodgers could potentially find a solution via trade, he did state that due to the caliber of bats expected to be in the lineup, second base could conceivably become a position that is filled with a defensive-minded player.

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  • drwheelock

    And what part of Nick Franklin and Kemp trade doesn’t make sense?! Heck even Ackley at 2B would be better that what they don’t have currently.

    I would like to see a Franklin/Kemp trade back in play. The question is how much $$$’s LAD will need to send in the deal for 6 years of club control on Franklin. Ackley’s D at 2B is great, and he doesn’t belong out in the OF, and his 2nd half numbers in 2013 were outstanding.

    • Matthew Moreno

      The Mariners do have a bit of a logjam at second base with the signing of Robinson Cano. I’m guessing they would like to have a reliable backup in the case that Cano gets injured.

      Also, as we discussed in the general manager series with the Boston Red Sox, I don’t think the Dodgers are in a hurry to pay a large chunk of Kemp’s salary.

  • GoDodgerBlue

    Well-written article. I think Alex Guerrero will be a Cuban Steve Sax at second base (except for the dozens of bad throws(!!!). Oh, and sorry to hear you like USC. Being a Dodgers fan makes up for that.

    • Matthew Moreno

      Haha thank you for the comment. I think the Dodgers would gladly take a Cuban Steve Sax.

  • Benja75

    Everyone I talk to about the Dodgers was surprised that Ellis was not resigned to back up the unknown Guerrero. Especially since the rest of the bench was already cleared out. I remember he didn’t even cost that much. Outstanding fielder, smart runner with some clutch hits. Dee Gordon and Guerrero game after game could spell heartburn if things do not work out in spring training.

    • Matthew Moreno

      I was also a little surprised the Dodgers didn’t re-sign Ellis. I’m assuming they must believe in Guerrero.

      I’m hoping they find someone to take Dee Gordon. I’m not confident in his abilities.