While the Los Angeles Dodgers have been busy filling out various weaknesses on their roster in recent weeks, one position that has yet to be addressed is second base.
Two contributors from the 2018 season in Brian Dozier and Chase Utley will no longer factor into the equation after departing the organization during the offseason. The former signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals while the latter officially retired.
Even with their depth taking a hit to some degree, the Dodgers still have plenty of internal options to pick up the load at second base for the 2019 season.
The three obvious candidates that stand out are Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor, who all saw time at the position last year. “I can see Max at second base a little bit, I can see Kiké and Taylor vying for at-bats at second base,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“I can see Kiké and Taylor spelling a little bit at short. Second base is something where we have a lot of options. We haven’t defined who’s going to get the lion’s share at second base.”
Of the three, Hernandez logged the most innings played at second base during the 2018 season (212.1). Muncy accumulated 91 innings at the position and took on a larger role there as the year progressed despite his defensive woes.
Taylor, who saw the bulk of his time in the outfield, registered only 50 innings at second base in 2018. He figures to receive more opportunities in the infield going forward with A.J. Pollock and Alex Verdugo capable of being in the starting lineup on most days.
“I think with CT and Kike they’re both gonna play a good bit,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said when discussing the club’s options at second base.
“There’s going to be some competition between them and they put themselves in a position where they deserve to play. And so how that shakes out exactly remains to be seen.”
Without a clear-cut starter in place, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dodgers ultimately deploy a platoon at second place. That’s barring a late addition, of course, which wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Earlier in the winter, the Dodgers pursued top free-agent second baseman D.J. LeMahieu before he ultimately signed with the New York Yankees. Recently, the club expressed interest in utility man Josh Harrison — indicating they may want to further fortify the position.