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DODGERS FYI

Rafael Furcal might come back as a second baseman

Dodgers consider the idea of Dee Gordon remaining at shortstop. Furcal says he would go along with the change.

June 24, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal can't quite snag a grounder in the third inning of an interleague game against the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium last season.
Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal can't quite snag a grounder in the… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Sidelined shortstop Rafael Furcal could return from the disabled list as a second baseman so rookie Dee Gordon can remain in the lineup, Manager Don Mattingly said.

Mattingly said he and General Manager Ned Colletti have discussed the possibility of a position change for Furcal, who has played only 34 of his 1,414 career games at second base. Furcal has played second base in the Dominican winter league, but hasn't played the position in the major leagues since 2004.

Mattingly and Colletti haven't yet approached Furcal with the idea, but the two-time All-Star said Friday that he would be open to it.

"If I have to do it to help the team, I'll do it," Furcal said.

Furcal could start a minor league rehabilitation with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga as early as Sunday.

Furcal, who has been on the disabled list since June 4 because of a strained side muscle, said he has enjoyed watching Gordon because he reminds him of a shortstop he knows well.

"He reminds me of me, when I started my career," Furcal said. "He's been tremendous. He's demonstrated that he can play here. He plays good defense. He's hit well. He has his own style of play. He might be young, but he recognizes how to play his game."

In the last week, Mattingly has tried to downplay expectations for Gordon, warning that opposing pitchers would be adjusting to him.

Gordon was one for his last 13 heading into Friday, which dropped his season average to .268. He had stolen four bases.

However much enjoyment he has derived from watching Gordon play, Furcal said not being able to play has been difficult for him. Furcal also missed five weeks earlier in the season because of a broken thumb.

"The entire year has been difficult," he said. "I work hard to maintain health. But there are things I can't control. God is the only one who knows what's in store for you."

But Furcal said he wouldn't change his aggressive style of play.

"I can't change the way I play for the sake of staying healthy," he said. "I can't change now. This is the style that got me to the major leagues."

What's next for Broxton

Jonathan Broxton struck out the side for triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday in the second game of his minor league appearance.

But the average velocity of his fastball Thursday was 93 mph, down from 95 mph two days earlier.

Broxton will take a couple of days off and resume his rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, perhaps as early as Sunday.

Short hops

Double-A Chattanooga outfielder Alfredo Silverio will represent the Dodgers at the All-Star Futures Game. Silverio, 24, went into Friday batting .323 with 22 doubles and 40 runs batted in. … Utilityman Aaron Miles went into Friday with a .423 average in June, best among National League players who had 50 or more plate appearances. … Mattingly appeared on "Lopez Tonight" on Thursday and was asked by host George Lopez, "Can I get a Dodger Dog with a food stamp?"

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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