Dodgers Spring Training: Franklin Gutierrez Confident Success Will Come At The Plate
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision in February to sign Franklin Gutierrez was somewhat of a peculiar one. The club wasn’t at a lack of outfielders, was already facing a roster crunch for bench spots, and the 34-year-old doesn’t profile as an everyday player.

However, Gutierrez throughout his career has fared well against left-handed pitching. It’s an area the Dodgers ranked last in several offensive categories last season. While Spring Training results carry little-to-no-merit as it pertains to the regular season, Gutierrez is off to a rugged start in his second go-around with the Dodgers organization.

Manager Dave Roberts cited mechanics as a primary reason for the prolonged struggles. Despite going 0-for-19 with nine strikeouts through his first seven games, Gutierrez is confident success will come, per Ken Gurnick of

“Every spring is different, but nothing before like this,” said Gutierrez, whose career Spring Training OPS is .796. “I know it will be fine. It will come pretty soon. Repetition is the key. As soon as I get the first one, the hits will come.”

Gutierrez snapped his 0-for skid with an opposite-field, two-run home run off Cole Hamels in the first inning of Friday night’s blowout victory over the Texas Rangers. It was one of his few at-bats to come against a left-handed pitcher this spring.

Gutierrez finished the night 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. On Sunday, the veteran outfielder went 1-for-3 with an RBI double and one strikeout.

He’s a lifetime .257/.311/.409 hitter, including a .289/.351/.495 batting line against southpaws, over parts of 11 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners.

The Dodgers signed Gutierrez to a one-year, $2.6 million contract. His contract includes a $100,000 bonus each for 400 and 450 plate appearances, and $200,000 for 500. He surpassed the 400-plate appearance plateau just three times (2008-10), and has not logged more than 283 plate appearances since 2011.

While the Dodgers have not specified, Gutierrez figures to be part of a platoon in left field with Andre Ethier or Andrew Toles.