As Blake DeWitt rounded the bases on an inside-the-park homer Tuesday night, the Dodgers' future at third base became just a bit more muddled. DeWitt's impressive Tuesday night performance against the Mets (3 for 4, 4 RBI) has Dodger fans excited about his play at the hot corner.
While DeWitt has struggled in the field at times, posting two errors on consecutive ground balls in May 2nd's game against the Rockies, his stats this season are impressive.
In 28 games this season, DeWitt has posted a .317 average with 18 RBIs. DeWitt has proven himself to be a hustle player and is the kind of eager rookie that can act as a sparkplug on a contentious Dodgers roster.
Entering the season, Dodgers fans expected third base to be shared by young talent Andy LaRoche and the aging veteran Nomar Garciaparra.
However, in one fateful Spring Training afternoon, LaRoche tore a ligament in his thumb and Garciaparra fractured a bone in his right hand. Toward the end of the exhibition season, the Dodgers called up young DeWitt, and the rookie started the season on third.
Expecting DeWitt's cup of coffee in the majors to last only a few weeks, the Dodgers have been disappointed by a long rehab stint by LaRoche and a ten day return for the injury-prone Garciaparra (who left again after pulling a muscle in his left calf).
Torre is left with a decision: as LaRoche prepares to return and as Garciaparra completes another 15-day DL stay, should the Dodgers keep the young DeWitt or return to the stronger bats of LaRoche and Garciaparra? DeWitt's exciting play has many Dodger fans hoping that Torre will keep a spot for him, even if only on the bench.
Time will tell, but Torre and the Dodgers have shown an inconsistent attitude toward developing young talent at the expense of veteran playing time. Will the Dodgers solve this dilemma to avoid another July collapse?