Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dee Gordon out six weeks after thumb injury, get familiar with Jed Lowrie

Pretty much. Dee Gordon will undergo surgery on his right thumb after an MRI today revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Gordon injured his thumb sliding head-first into third base during Wednesday night's game -- a 4-1 Dodger victory.

The Dodgers recalled Luis Cruz a few days ago, so he'll be Gordon's primary replacement until he's either healthy or the Dodgers acquire someone else. This is where Jed Lowrie comes into play.

If you'll recall, the Dodgers were discussing trade options with the Houston Astros on Friday that, presumably, began with a Zach Lee-for-Lowrie swap. The talks later devolved into Garrett Gould-for-Carlos Lee (who was traded to the Miami Marlins yesterday... hooray!).

It appears the Dodgers have some interest in the 28-year-old shortstop and willing to deal their top prospect. And now the Dodgers are desperate for a replacement and to stay in the National League playoff chase. The Astros could be chomping at the bit to deal a guy having a career year for a Top 50 prospect.

Lowrie has never played more than 88 games in a season (2011) and has already amassed a 2.5 fWAR this season. There's no doubt he has talent, but the injury bug has always been a question mark.

The switch-hitter is struggling against left-handed pitching this season (.185/.303/.323), which doesn't represent his career numbers (.299/.369/.494), so who knows what that's all about. Something to note about his home/road splits: His OPS is 200 points better at home than on the road.

I would not be at all surprised to see the Dodgers make this move. When Gordon comes back, Lowrie can slide over to third base where his .809 OPS will play. It seems like an overpay to me, but the Dodgers have been known to do that from time-to-time. However, it'd be nice to get Lowrie without having to give up Lee. Then the Dodgers could use Lee to nab Chase Headley from the Padres, but that's another post for another time.

It's too bad Justin Sellers got hurt. This would have been the perfect season for him to get some extended playing time. I'm not saying he would have been better than the guys the Dodgers have put at second- and third base in the absence of Mark Ellis (who's been activated!) and Juan Uribe (who is terrible at baseball), but he does have decent on-base skills and a solid glove.

Photo credits
Gordon: SD Dirk, Flickr
Lowrie: sdowen, Flickr

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