Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dodgers lack a quality bench, which is something that needs to be addressed

The Dodgers have a pretty thin bench. When guys like Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston are the best the team has to offer, something needs to be done.

For all the corner outfielder/first basemen the Dodgers had in recent years, that's where they're lacking right now. Despite acquiring Schumaker, the Dodgers might still need a legitimate center fielder. Tony Gwynn might be that guy, as he's under contract for 2013. However, the Dodgers don't appear to have much faith in him because of his bat -- or lack thereof.

The premiere bench player available on the free agent market is Scott Hairston. He hit .263/.299/.504 with 20 home runs in 398 plate appearances. While the batting average and on-base percentage leave a lot to be desired, that .504 slugging mark is fantastic. Unfortunately, the Dodgers don't appear to have any interest in him.

As far as an infielder, Jeff Baker might be worth a look. He owns a .296/.344/.498 triple slash against southpaws in his career. Baker can play first, second and third base and has dabbled a bit in the corner outfield spots. He'd likely be come cheaply. He's far more intriguing than an OF/1B like Carlos Lee or Juan Rivera, mostly because he isn't Carlos Lee or Juan Rivera.

If the Dodgers want a true center fielder, the Mariners would probably like to rid themselves of Franklin Gutierrez and his contract. He plays elite defense in center field and has a career .293/.351/.479 triple slash against left-handed pitchers in his career. He's actually a perfect bench candidate in my eyes. I'd like to see him as part of a larger deal involving the Dodgers and Mariners, and if you've listened to "Dugout Blues," you'd have an idea of what that trade might be.

Dee Gordon, who is still a Dodger, could be the team's true backup shortstop, but it would probably rather have him playing every day in Triple-A. Nick Punto looks like the team's backup shortstop -- for now. Elian Herrera also has a lot of versatility, which could keep him on the roster when the team breaks camp.

The Dodgers already have a bench player who is likely to start at third base (Luis Cruz), which weakens the "real" bench. And the Dodgers must cut ties with Juan Uribe. He doesn't deserve a roster spot after his last two seasons. The Dodgers can do so much better for so much less.

Photo credit: slgckgc, Flickr

1 comment:

  1. I'm hoping Castellanos wins a job out of ST...Might as well find out how were doing with some of these kids!!!
    Love to get Thome back and give AGon a breather every couple weeks and provide some punch off the bench...