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Could Dee Gordon find himself in the minors soon?

May 19, 2012, 11:59 AM EDT

Dee Gordon Getty Getty Images

The Dodgers installed Dee Gordon as their everyday shortstop and leadoff man this season, but that may not continue for much longer.

Gordon went 0-for-5 with a strikeout in last night’s win over the Cardinals, dropping his batting line down to .200/.239/.255 through 155 plate appearances this season. According to Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly hinted after the game that there could be some changes on the way.

“Seeing it from where I was at tonight, it wasn’t very good,” said Mattingly, who got to watch most of it from the center-field television camera on the television in his office because he was ejected by plate umpire Tom Hallion in the top of the third inning. “The game seems to be moving awfully fast for him right now. We are going to continue to make decisions. But in the same breath, this kid is going to be a good player. He is going through something right now that is going to make him a better player later on.

“Things aren’t easy in this game, and there are times when you’re going to go through rough stuff. He is going through some rough stuff right now.”

The Dodgers could just move Gordon out of the leadoff spot to take some pressure off, but Jackson speculates that the speedy 24-year-old could be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque while he works through his struggles. Justin Sellers would likely function as the regular shortstop in this scenario while Tony Gwynn, Jr. would slide into the leadoff spot.

Gordon’s .241 batting average on balls in play suggests that he has been the victim of some bad luck, especially coming off a .345 BABIP last year, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We’re still working with a small sample this early in the season and in his brief major league career, but he’s currently hitting more fly balls and less line drives while only six players have a higher infield fly ball rate. He has already drawn more walks (eight) this year than he did in 233 plate appearances last year (seven), which is a good sign, but he has also seen his strikeout rate jump from 11.6 percent to 19.4 percent. While he’s still the shortstop of the future for the Dodgers, he’s just a pretty easy out right now.

  1. sictransitchris - May 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Meanwhile, Rafael Furcal is .360/.420/.487.

    • dodger88 - May 19, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      I like Furcal and hope he keeps it up, but in his 6 years with the Dodgers he only put up numbers like that and stayed healthy once. If he proves durable this season, he is a bargain at whatever the Cards are paying him.

  2. dodger88 - May 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I’d like to think it is BABIP bad luck but the reality is that too many of the balls he puts in play don’t leave the infield and they turn into easy ground ball outs. As such, his speed has become a non-factor. With Hairston back in approx. one week it may be best to send him down for a bit to re-group. Hell, Kemp got sent down after his first call up to the bigs.

    • D.J. Short - May 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM

      Gordon is hitting the same number of ground balls as last season. With his speed, he should be able to beat out many for hits. But he’s just making weaker contact in general and striking out more, hence the low batting average. Still like him a lot, though.

  3. hiltonandastoria - May 19, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Time to put camera feeds into the dugout to provide managers exactly was Mattingly is talking about, who will be the first?

  4. ptfu - May 19, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Hmm, a speedy guy who hits too many pop-ups…how to get him to improve?

    • ptfu - May 19, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      Mehh, that didn’t work as well as it should have. Skip the ad and then skip to 1:16 in.

      • AlohaMrHand - May 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        YouTube sucks now.But point was hilariously made.Say Hey everybody!

  5. AlohaMrHand - May 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    DeE-6 Gordon.

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