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Everyone loves the fire and personality that Dee Gordon brings to the Dodgers. But the simple fact is that in multiple attempts at the big league level so far, Gordon has completely wasted his talent. He can't defend, makes bad baserunning decisions and strikes out much too frequently.
But as it stands now, he's a front runner to be the primary backup middle infielder for the Dodgers in 2014. He would join the fourth outfielder from the group in the last slide, catcher Tim Federowicz, outfielder Mike Baxter and first baseman/left fielder Scott Van Slyke if the season started today.
Van Slyke can be a power threat off the bench, though not necessarily a trustworthy one, and Baxter is a somewhat unknown commodity for Dodgers fans. Federowicz will be there backing up A.J. Ellis every day, and one of those star outfielders will provide an intriguing pinch-hitting option late in games.
But is Gordon, who can play his primary position of shortstop, second base and a little outfield, really the best backup infielder the Dodgers can muster? He needs more seasoning in Triple-A until he becomes confident and consistent enough to contribute regularly for the big league team.
As it stands now, if Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe or Guerrero get injured, the Dodgers are in a lot of trouble. Relying on Gordon, Justin Sellers or any number of other offensively-challenged, ill-prepared minor league infielders to fill those potential holes is a dangerous proposition.
While I'd like to see the Dodgers add some more pop to the bench (thinking a corner infielder with good power and pinch-hitting experience), it is more important to get a competent backup for second base, third base and shortstop.
There are a few guys who can play all three, but two of them—Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto—left the Dodgers in free agency already. Michael Young may be an unpopular option with fans and sabermetricians, but right now, he would be a large improvement over the other options.