Gordon building foundation at second base
By Cary Osborne
Coming into this season, there was a lot of talk about the new versatile Dee Gordon. He already was a shortstop. He was learning second base, and he even played some center field in the Dominican Republic in the winter.
But from one versatile player to a new versatile player, utilityman Chone Figgins’ advice to Gordon has been focus on second base.
“Right now he’s too young too worry about that stuff. He has the opportunity to be the starting second baseman every day,” Figgins said. “At this point in time, when I talk to him, I talk to him about you need to make that your top priority, getting outs over there (at second base). You haven’t been there long enough to worry about feet placement, how you do this and how you do that. The main goal is to get outs. He’s done a lot better job of catching the ball and throwing it.”
All of Gordon’s 75 innings this season have been played at second base. There have been a couple of hiccups, including two fielding errors. But Figgins said he’s encouraged by the job Gordon has done.
The 12-year veteran Figgins, who came to the big leagues as a multidimensional infielder and later added outfield to his repertoire, reiterated that Gordon has the ability to be that kind of multi-position player, but has the opportunity now at second base.
“I know he can do it. He’s very athletic,” Figgins said on Gordon being a multi-positional player. “For right now I think he needs to concentrate on second.”
Obviously the biggest benefit so far has been getting Gordon’s bat in the lineup and utilizing his speed. Gordon leads the Dodgers in batting average (ranking 10th in the National League), on-base percentage and OPS. His four stolen bases are tied for first on the team with Carl Crawford. Chicago Cub Emilio Bonafacio and Philadelphia’s Ben Revere lead baseball with five.
Photo: Juan Ocampo, Los Angeles Dodgers