Dodgers Video: J.D. Martinez & Miguel Vargas Work Out At Dodger Stadium

Spring Training is right around the corner, but several Los Angeles Dodgers players have been getting ahead of the curve, including J.D. Martinez and Miguel Vargas working out at Dodger Stadium.

Both figure to be important parts of the Dodgers’ success in 2023, with Martinez likely filling in as the designated hitter while Vargas handles second base.

The two previously took batting practice together, which is part of the impact Martinez was expected to bring with the Dodgers. While he was with the Boston Red Sox, Martinez became a leader and provided help to the younger hitters on the club, including Mookie Betts.

Betts was also instrumental in Martinez joining L.A., and the 35-year-old also believed the Dodgers could help him get back on track after a down season by his own standards.

Vargas working to improve at second base is notable, considering he’s the favorite to start at the position while Max Muncy plays third base. As a natural corner infielder, Vargas has not spent much time at second base, but he did see the majority of his pregame work there in 2022.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also expressed confidence that Vargas can handle the position, and he has also been working out defensively with Miguel Rojas.

“I think as far as the rangeability and foot speed, I think Miguel can handle it,” Roberts said at FanFest. “I think he needs to continue to work low to the ground as an infielder, but his baseball IQ, jump on the baseball, I think it makes more sense.”

Vargas went just 8-for-47 in 18 MLB games last season, but he hit .304/.402/.511 with 17 home runs, 82 RBI, 99 runs scored and 16 stolen bases in 112 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Despite dealing with some regression, Martinez earned a second consecutive and fifth overall All-Star Game selection, batting .274/.341/.448 with 43 doubles, 16 home runs and 62 RBI in 139 games.

Dodgers remain undecided on starting center fielder

After Cody Bellinger signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, Roberts acknowledged the need for an outfielder, and specifically a center fielder.

To this point, the Dodgers’ outlook in center field appears to primarily involve Jason Heyward, James Outman, Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson, and Roberts suggested Bradley Zimmer could factor into the picture as well.

“I don’t. I think your guys’ guess right now is as good as mine,” Roberts said when asked if he knew who the Dodgers starting center fielder is.

“I think Chris Taylor is in the mix, I think Trayce is in the mix, I think Heyward’s in the mix, I think James Outman is in the mix, and I think Bradley Zimmer. Great defender and trying to clean up some things with his bat.”

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