Justin Sellers angles for shortstop job

March, 29, 2013
3/29/13
7:14
PM PT
[+] EnlargeJustin Sellers
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY SportsJustin Sellers, above, could play shortstop quite a bit before Hanley Ramirez returns from injury.
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' first thought when they learned they would be without All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez for eight weeks was to slide Luis Cruz over from third base and use a platoon of utility guys -- including Juan Uribe -- at third.

Now, they are leaning toward using longtime minor-leaguer Justin Sellers while Ramirez is out. In 167 major-league at-bats, Sellers, 27, has batted .204, but his glove could help solidify the left side of the Dodgers' infield.

Manager Don Mattingly said before Friday's game against the Los Angeles Angels that he wants to "keep seeing Justin at short," which is a good sign for Sellers three days before the season opens. The Dodgers apparently think Dee Gordon -- last year's Opening Day starter -- needs further minor-league seasoning, because he didn't even travel with the team from Arizona after he was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Mattingly said the notion of using Sellers to replace Ramirez arose in a meeting with the coaches and scouts.

"We still haven't settled anything, but it's just another line of thinking," Mattingly said.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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