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Mattingly considering second-base platoon

2/19/2014

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The spring competition between Dee Gordon and Alex Guerrero to win the second-base job might end in a tie, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly conceded.

The team is giving serious consideration to entering the season with a platoon system at second base, using the left-handed hitting Gordon frequently against right-handed pitchers and Guerrero, who signed a four-year, $28 million deal in October after defecting from Cuba, against lefties.

Mattingly said he doesn’t think the uneven playing time will hamper Guerrero’s development.

“If Alex is one of those guys, I think it would probably be good for him, because then you’re giving him a chance to play and, hopefully, getting him favorable matchups, but also keeping him strong and rested,” Mattingly said. “He’s a guy who hasn’t played in a couple years.

“Eventually, if you think he’s an everyday guy, it may not be the way to go, but I could see that being a possibility if he ends up being one of those guys.”

Both Gordon, 25, and Guerrero, 27, are converted shortstops, so their fielding could play a big part in which player eventually wins the bulk of playing time, assuming the platoon system doesn’t endure all season. The Dodgers also have several non-roster players in camp who can play second base. Chone Figgins is a switch hitter. Brendan Harris, Miguel Rojas and Justin Turner all bat right-handed.

A platoon could also give the Dodgers’ lineup a different feel on a daily basis. Gordon is one of the fastest players in baseball, but has struggled to hit consistently. Scouts view Guerrero as a good power threat for a middle infielder, but view him as roughly an average runner.