Dodgers Report: Salvador Perez

Offense off and running behind Gordon

June, 25, 2014
Jun 25
10:38
PM PT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' offseason objective was to get younger and more athletic. Then they went out and signed a bunch of relief pitchers.

The two young athletes they brought in, Cubans Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena, have had 15 major league plate appearances between them this season. There is a young and speedy outfielder, Joc Pederson, in the wings, but he has been blocked all season by four veteran outfielders in L.A. who aren't getting any more athletic and are certainly not getting any younger.

[+] EnlargeDee Gordon
Denny Medley/USA TODAY SportsDee Gordon is finding ways to impact games for the Dodgers that most don't even notice.
Yet, despite all that, the plan has somehow worked. Someone they had all along has somehow made it work by his stubborn refusal to give up his everyday spot in the lineup. Dee Gordon has probably been a bigger part of what makes this Dodgers offense go than any of us has given him credit for.

The Dodgers are third in the National League in runs scored despite being ninth in home runs. They lead the majors with 80 stolen bases, and Gordon has half of those.

You want young and athletic? How about Gordon and Yasiel Puig legging out triples on back-to-back plays Wednesday that looked routine doubles all the way. Gordon lined a ball directly over the right fielder's head. Puig yanked one into the left-field corner. When Royals outfielders took their time retrieving the balls, both Gordon and Puig just kept going. They did that in the third inning to spark a two-run rally to help the Dodgers ease out of Kansas City with a 5-4 win, keeping their momentum intact.

"Dee's definitely changing things when he gets on base," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

He changes everything. It's not only the stolen bases, it's how teams react to his threat of advancing. If anything, Gordon has been forcing the issue at times lately. After getting caught stealing only three times in his first 55 games, Gordon has been caught four times in his past 18. But the Dodgers aren't as concerned with whether Gordon flashes back to the 1980s and steals 80-something bases as they are with what he can do to help them win games.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
21 1.77 239 198
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .296
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239