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DODGERS FYI

Left field is a wasteland for the Dodgers

Manager Don Mattingly laments the lack of production from the six players who have started at the position. Only one player in the group who is still with the team is hitting above .200.

May 16, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Tony Gwynn Jr. is the only current Dodgers left fielder hitting above .200.
Tony Gwynn Jr. is the only current Dodgers left fielder hitting above .200. (Kirby Lee / US Presswire )

The Dodgers are 42 games into their season and Manager Don Mattingly said he hasn't gained any clarity on the team's situation in left field.

"Not really," Mattingly said. "It's hard to look clear when we haven't been able to piece anything together out there."

Mattingly has started six players in left field: Jerry Sands (17 games), Tony Gwynn Jr. (13), Marcus Thames (7), Jay Gibbons (2), Xavier Paul (2) and Jamie Hoffmann (1).

The only players in that group who are hitting above .200 are Gwynn and Paul, who is now with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Thames, who is on the disabled list, is the only one with a home run.

Gibbons drew the assignment on Monday.

"We need production out there," Mattingly said. "We have to figure out how to do that. We can't sit here and dream a genie and rub a jar. We have to do with what we have. We have to find production somewhere, somehow."

The Dodgers went into spring training thinking Gibbons and Thames could form a left-right platoon with Gwynn spelling them as a defensive replacement late in games.

Gibbons started the season on the disabled list because of blurred vision and wasn't activated until May 3. He took the roster spot of Thames, who was sidelined because of a quadriceps strain.

General Manager Ned Colletti said the problem has become magnified because of other injuries, particularly those to shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey Blake.

"I don't ever like to use injuries as an excuse, but if you have Furcal and Casey Blake back in, left field becomes less obvious," Colletti said.

Colletti said he doesn't have any potential trades for a left fielder in the works. He said the Dodgers would continue to mix and match while looking to see if the return of Furcal and Blake could jump-start the offense.

Furcal, Blake getting close

Furcal has started hitting from the right side in his minor league rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Albuquerque and could be activated for the Dodgers' series in Houston that starts on May 23.

Mattingly said there's an outside chance Furcal could play in the three-game series against the Chicago White Sox that starts Friday.

Blake is scheduled to start a rehabilitation assignment with Albuquerque and Mattingly said he could be back for the start of the Dodgers' next homestand on May 27.

Assistant to monitor named

John Allen, the former chief operating officer of the Cincinnati Reds, was appointed by Commissioner Bud Selig to assist Dodgers trustee Tom Schieffer.

Allen, who spent 13 years with the Reds, was involved in the development and construction of Great American Ball Park, which opened in 2003. Before joining the Reds in 1995, he spent five seasons as the director of business operations for the Columbus Clippers, then a minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees.

Selig initially assigned former San Diego Padres president Dick Freeman to assist Schieffer but was forced to rescind the appointment because Freeman had advised the ex-wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt last year.

Short hops

Closer Jonathan Broxton has been playing catch for the last two days to strengthen his shoulder. Broxton is less than two weeks removed from his placement on the disabled list. Originally, he was supposed to refrain from throwing for three weeks. Broxton said the pain in his elbow is gone. … Tuesday will be Clayton Kershaw bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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