The past few seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have had a surplus of outfielders. That is no different this year as they entered Spring Training with eight players who have Major League experience in the outfield: Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Trayce Thompson and Scott Van Slyke.
Los Angeles reportedly attempted to trade Crawford and Ethier during the offseason after the Chicago White Sox called on Puig. However, shortly after the trade rumors, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the club didn’t have any activity involving Crawford and Ethier.
Most recently, Zaidi said the Dodgers are not concerned with Ethier becoming a 10-and-5 player on April 21, which will grant the veteran outfielder a no-trade clause.
Guerrero on the other hand, has not received the same public support. Last month, he was reported to be the outfielder most likely to get traded by the Dodgers.
Although Guerrero logged 29 games in left field last season, he also played 22 at third base. It’s a position Los Angeles first tried him at last spring, with the Cuban native proving serviceable at the hot corner.
With Justin Turner expected to miss the first week of Cactus League games as he continues to recover from offseason microfracture knee surgery, Guerrero earned the start at third base in Turner’s place against the Chicago White Sox.
According to Andy McCullough of the LA Times, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Guerrero will primarily play third during Spring Training:
Alex Guerrero will almost exclusively work as a third baseman this spring, Dave Roberts said.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 2, 2016
Guerrero got off to a hot start last season, as he batted .423/.429/1.077 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in April. However, he slowed down considerably after the first month of the regular season, batting just .207/.238/.347 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.
As his production at the plate declined, so did Guerrero’s number of starts. Part of a roster with plenty of versatility, Guerrero lacks a natural position and is far from a natural fit. He did however, make plays on both grounders hit his way on Thursday.