Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2011 Los Angeles Dodgers Season Review: Infield

This is the third in my series of season review posts. The infield is next up. It didn't look like the strongest bunch coming into the season and those criticisms were confirmed.


1B James Loney
.288/.339/.416, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 30 2B, 42 BB, 67 K, 110 OPS+
- Loney had a miserable season up until August 6. At that time, his triple slash line was .251/.294/.318, which is barely acceptable from an all-glove, no-bat shortstop -- not a first baseman. Loney must have heard everyone saying he was going to be designated for assignment. He turned it up and finished with a better stat line than last season. He's gone from a sure DFA to a potential $6 million man.

2B Jamey Carroll
.290/.359/.347, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 10 SB, 47 BB, 58 K, 98 OPS+
- Carroll played nearly as many games at shortstop (63) as he did at second base (71), but he was a valuable commodity for the team and it's really surprising he finished the season as a Dodger. In fact, he should probably be playing in the NLCS for the Brewers, but he isn't. His numbers are hardly overwhelming, but he was, if nothing else, consistent. He's a free agent and could be back, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up elsewhere.

3B Juan Uribe
.204/.264/.293, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 12 2B, 17 BB, 60 K, 56 OPS+
- Juan Uribe is quite possibly the worst player in baseball. That is all I'm going to say about him.

SS Dee Gordon
.304/.325/.362, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 24 SB, 7 BB, 27 K, 92 OPS+
- Finally, a bright spot in the infield. Gordon was somewhat of a surprise call-up and looked over-matched in his first go-round with the Dodgers. After recovering from an injury and a few games in Triple-A, Gordon hit well enough to take home National League Rookie of the Month honors for September. He needs to eat a couple (hundred) more steaks, but he looks ready for prime time.


3B Casey Blake
.252/.342/.371, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 10 2B, 26 BB, 50 K, 99 OPS+
- Blake had an injury-riddled season that helped contribute to his poor season. He batting in the No. 2 spot for 189 of his 239 plate-appearances, which led to an usually high number of runs scored (32) compared to the number of games he played (63). Blake's option was decline and is unlikely to return to L.A.

SS/2B/3B Juan Castro
.286/.333/.286, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 75 OPS+
- He played seven games before he did everyone a favor and retired.

2B Ivan DeJesus
.188/.235/.188, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 6 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 20 OPS+
- DeJesus actually made the Opening Day roster, but he had a rough go at it in his first taste of the Majors. He was eligible to come up in September, but was curiously left off the Dodgers' roster. It appears his future lies elsewhere.

SS Rafael Furcal
.197/.272/.248, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB, 11 BB, 21 K, 47 OPS+
- Furcal was supposed to be the catalyst for the offense. Instead, he dealt with injuries and hit below the Mendoza Line. He was traded to the Cardinals on July 31, with the Dodgers receiving minor-league OF Alex Castellanos in return. He was much better with St. Louis, but not so much that it would have made a difference in the Dodgers' season. Besides, it opened up the every day shortstop role to Gordon.

2B/3B Aaron Miles
.275/.314/.346, 3 HR, 45 RBI, 17 2B, 25 BB, 49 K, 84 OPS+
- Miles was basically the Mike MacDougal of the Dodgers' offensive player: a non-roster invitee who put up decent numbers but wasn't as good as said numbers. However, he gave them a lot more than anyone could have hoped/expected, so it's hard to be too tough on him. He could be back in 2012, but I'm hoping the Dodgers just move on from him.

3B/1B Russ Mitchell
.157/.259/.294, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 7 BB, 10 K, 54 OPS+
- Mitchell fared a little better this season in the Majors than he did last season, getting eight hits, two home runs and seven walks (three intentional). He's nothing more than a 25th man -- at best.

2B/SS/3B Justin Sellers
.203/.283/.301, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 9 2B, 12 BB, 21 K, 63 OPS+
- Sellers came up in September and showed some flashes of ability. He still profiles as a utility man in the role of Carroll, but his on-base skills are encouraging. Coming from the Athletics' minor-league system, that shouldn't be too surprising.

2B Eugenio Velez
.000/.075/.000, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 11 K, -77 OPS+
- 0-for-37. And you're reading that correctly: a negative-77 OPS+. That's pretty hard to do, but Velez somehow accomplished that feat.

Infield MVP: Carroll
- He was a stabilizing factor and there really were only two other candidates (Gordon and Miles). He was a perfect 10-for-10 in stolen bases.

Infield LVP: Uribe
- It's hard not to give it to a guy who went 0-for-37, but Uribe was an even bigger joke, mainly because of the contract-to-production ratio.

Next up: Catcher

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