Saturday, March 12, 2011

Three players vying to be Dodgers' 25th man

The 25th roster spot on a team is usually reserved for a fringe reliever or specialty position player. This spring, three guys are battling it out for the spot: Juan Castro, Aaron Miles and Justin Sellers.

You might be asking yourself, "What about Ivan DeJesus?" As much as I like the kid, I don't think he has any chance of breaking camp with the team. He's hitting .263, but only has one extra base hit (a double). Plus, he's limited to playing just second base. He could play shortstop or third in a pinch, but he's best suited to play second.

So, we're left with Castro, Miles and Sellers.

Castro jumped out to an early lead, smacking a 3-run home run early in Spring Training. The ageless one, we know what Castro has to offer -- a decent glove and not much else. It'd be ridiculous if he makes the team.

Sellers is only 3-for-14 this spring, but he does have four walks, which gives him a .389 on-base percentage. Baseball America said he has the best plate discipline of any prospect in the Dodgers' system, which is no surprise, as he was drafted by the Oakland A's in 2005. I made my case for him back in January on a gut feeling. He is a solid defender and can play all three skill infield positions.

Miles started off slow but (somehow) hit two home runs this week. He can play second and third base effectively, and he can also play shortstop in a pinch. He is hitting the best of the trio (.364/.364/.773) and could very well be the guy. My first choice is Sellers, if for nothing else in that it'd be nice to see a young guy make such an impression in Spring Training to make the team. But if I have to choose between Castro and Miles, I'll take Miles every time.

This isn't a decision that will make-or-break the Dodgers' season, but it's a little more important than some may think.

*All statistics prior to today's action*

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