Talking Softball…


…from Maine to San Diego…

Well, West Covina, anyway. Tomorrow morning is the Dodger Blogger softball tournament we’ve been talking about for a while, sponsored by the Left Field Pavilion. Team MSTI plays against Vin Scully is My Homeboy at 8am at “Fenway Park”, Dodger Bobble at 10am in “Dodger Stadium”, and Sons of Steve Garvey at 1pm in “Tiger Stadium”, plus the inevitable playoff games that follow our victorious trifecta sweep, led by manager Dave P. Kudos to Mike from the LFP for putting this together, and if you’re attending, don’t forget to bring an item of canned food to benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food bank.

Frankly, it sounds like fantastic fun – look at all the rad replica fields – and I’m sorry I won’t be there in person. If there’s a sequel in 2013, mark my words: I’ll be there. Not that it’ll necessarily help Team MSTI, that is. But I’ll be there.


Oh, and Russ Mitchell made it through waivers after being DFA’d the other day and was outrighted right back to Albuquerque. No surprise there at all.

Jared Kushner Emerges In Dodger Bidding, But That’s Not a Good Thing

It’s somewhat amazing to me that in an ownership battle as high-profile as this one has been, we’re still finding out about bidders who have somehow managed to keep their interest in the dark. Bill Shaikin breaks another name this morning, but, well, don’t get too excited:

Jared Kushner, born into a prominent New York real estate family and son-in-law of Donald Trump, has emerged as a candidate in the bidding for the Dodgers.

Kushner, who became owner and publisher of the New York Observer in 2006, has played a key role in expanding the family business beyond real estate. At 31, he would be the youngest owner in Major League Baseball.

I’ll admit that the idea of a youthful owner is attractive. It’s part of the reason why the potential of groups led by Joe Torre or Peter O’Malley don’t really interest me. I’d much prefer someone energetic and with new ideas, rather than relying on dinosaurs with the same tired direction. On the other hand, well, I’m not all that far away from being 31, and if someone who is just a few months older than me were to own the team while I am decidedly not anywhere near the stratosphere of owning a baseball club, I’d probably find that a bit depressing. (Thanks, mom and dad, for not being media moguls.)

Age aside, of course, there’s some giant red flags here. Regardless of your political viewpoint, I have a hard time seeing Donald Trump as anything but an enormous scumbag who ought to be avoided at all costs. Kushner’s father, Charles, was sentenced to two years in prison back in 2005 for tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions; the elder Kushner’s brother-in-law Robert was convicted on similar charges in 2009. (Okay, I’ll get political for just one second: Charles Kushner is a major donor to Democrats. The Donald, obviously, is a far right-wing Republican. That must make for some hilarious family meals for poor Jared.)

Now, Shaikin notes that the bid does not include Charles, but would be funded primarily by the Kushner family and… you know what, let’s just stop right here. Two nightmare fathers with criminal pasts, a guy who married into Trump money, seems to have little professional experience other than playing with his family’s money, has no sports experience… just no. If you remember all the reasons why I disliked Steven Cohen, this falls into the same category. I don’t want any part of this, no matter what kind of money they have.


In a related topic, no one – Shaikin included, and he’s unquestionably the media leader as far as this story goes – seems to want to acknowledge the existence of upstart Josh Macciello. We still haven’t seen any official word that he’s made it to the second round of bidding, other than suggestions from his own Twitter feed, but it’s beginning to sound like he’s prepared to drop a ludicrous amount of money to get in the game. How much? He tweeted last night that his bid was “almost double” that of others, and then this morning Mike Szymanski in something called the Studio City Patch (where the picture at right is from) puts a number to that bid:

Sources close to the deal confirm that the bid he laid out recently is about $2.2 billion for the Dodgers and the stadium. Macciello would only confirm that, “with the money I’m bidding, I could buy three sport teams.”

Is that for real? I have absolutely no idea. But I do know that if someone like him is going to have a prayer of a chance in this, he’s going to have to completely blow all of the other bids out of the water, and I can’t imagine anyone’s topping $2.2b right now.


In happier news, David Laurila at Fangraphs has a pretty nice interview with Logan White today, touching on the process in drafting high school pitchers and specifically speaking about Zach Lee, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Reed, Allen Webster, and Ethan Martin. Some highlights…

On Lee:

The Biomechanical assessment was very important to our decision to draft Zach. We rank guys on athleticism, and he’s in the upper percentage in terms of that. Mechanically — how his delivery works — he was in the upper echelon. The only negative he had in his delivery was that he threw across his body a little bit, but we feel that is correctable. A lot of significant pitchers have thrown across their body, so you just have to fix their line a little bit. But in terms of arm action, Zach’s front side, his lead arm, how his legs work, his lower half and stride to the plate — all of that — was in the top percentages. I’d say he was in the upper 10 percent of the draft.

On drafting Clayton Kershaw over Tim Lincecum:

Getting back to the original question, we didn’t have any of those guys ahead of Kershaw on our list. We took him based on the fact that he was the best player. From there, everything came together.

On Reed:

He’s 6-foot-4 and athletic as can be. He’s in great physical shape. He throws 95 from the left side, with a hard slider and a good changeup. We’re also talking about a guy with good makeup who is bright. To me, if he would have gotten seen more, I don’t think there’s a chance he gets to the 16th pick. I think we got lucky. Time will bear that out. We might be wrong.

The entire piece is a fascinating look at the draft process, and it’s well worth your click.


In addition to Russ Mitchell getting DFA’d by the Dodgers yesterday, former Dodger Blake DeWitt was cut loose by the Cubs. I have to say, I’m somewhat surprised by how many fans I’ve heard from suggesting that the Dodgers go and pick him up. I suppose I understand the thought, because Adam Kennedy is both ten years older & useless, and DeWitt was a popular player here, but what people need to keep in mind is that DeWitt really hasn’t done much to prove himself in Chicago. A .265/.305/.413 line in 2011 isn’t a whole lot to lust after, and it says a lot that he was cut in favor of Adrian Cardenas, who has no position and not enough of a bat to make it anywhere but the middle infield.

All that being said, DeWitt is still young and was a plus defender at third base, where the Dodgers have absolutely zero organizational depth, so if he’s willing to take a minor-league deal and start in Albuquerque, then sure, why not. Otherwise, let’s not lose any sleep over it.

We’re Running Short on Optimism For Your 2012 Dodgers (Updated)

When it comes to the Dodgers, we’re all biased in one way or another. We’re in too deep. We worry if Adam Kennedy was really better for the last spot off the bench than any minimum salary has-been who might as well have been Adam Kennedy. We worry if signing a sorta-decent veteran reliever like Todd Coffey is going to push a sorta-decent prospect like Josh Lindblom to the minors for a few weeks until someone gets hurt, perhaps even Todd Coffey. (Perhaps that should go further, something like, “we are aware of the existences of both Todd Coffey and Josh Lindblom.”) We discuss guys who are inevitably going to come in something like ninth place in the ownership bidding as though they’ll matter. We complain about the color guy broadcaster who only works road games, but not even all road games, just out-of-division road games, at least those which haven’t been picked up by ESPN or FOX or TBS or MLB Network. (On the other hand, Steve Lyons is pretty awful.)

The point is, as much as we think we know, as much as we think we’ve got this team pegged, we look at them with far from a fresh perspective. How can we? We’ve been watching the same ownership/GM team for over six years now. Been there, done that, hated this, despised that. So at times it’s helpful to take a step back, get some air, and see what outsiders are saying about our favorite baseball squadron. At least, in theory…

Grant Brisbee, McCovey Chronicles:

Look, I’m a Giants fan. This blog started right as the Giants became the worst-hitting team in the National League and stayed there for what’s going on seven seasons. I have no right to make fun of another team because of how they hit, or how I think they’ll hit. No right. But I still look at that Dodgers lineup and think, “Holy crap.” I mean, holy crap. Pick the third-best hitter in that lineup after you account for position. Is it Loney? Rivera? Gordon? Uribe? I mean, holy crap.

Joe Lemire, Sports Illustrated (18th in power rankings):

The Dodgers very quietly went 34-20 over the season’s final two months to finish with a winning record. Now, 2012 will be a pivotal year for the franchise, as it’s sold to a new owner who will (presumably) allow for a payroll budget befitting a team in the nation’s second biggest market (choosing whether to extend Andre Ethier will be decision No. 1). For now, GM Ned Colletti is scraping together small parts around superstars Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw that should keep the team around .500.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune (14th in power rankings):

While the Dodgers epitomize mediocrity (162-161 the last two years), they are as well situated with foundation pieces as any team. Matt Kemp, the 27-year-old center fielder who was runner-up to Ryan Braun in 2011 MVP voting, is signed through 2019; Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is under control through ’13.

Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports:

The rest – as GM Ned Colletti adhered to a $90 million payroll – was bottom-feeding at its most Pittsburgh-ian; from early November to mid-December the Dodgers signed Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis, Matt Treanor, Adam Kennedy, Chris Capuano, Jerry Hairston Jr., Wil Ledezma, Aaron Harang and Josh Bard.

Though Ellis is a reasonable enough guy at second base and Harang seems capable of pitching in the NL West, any exciting news would have to wait until April, when the new owner was due to be installed.

In the two seasons since the Dodgers maneuvered and played themselves to consecutive National League Championship Series, they’re a game over .500. Since coming up a pitcher or two short in two Octobers, they’ve finished fourth in the NL West, then third.

Know why?

They drafted Kemp, developed him, rode out the rough patches with him, watched him become the best player in the National League, and then – over an entire season – batted him directly in front of (deep breath) James Loney, Marcus Thames, Juan Uribe, Jerry Sands, Jay Gibbons, Rod Barajas, Casey Blake, Aaron Miles, Juan Rivera and/or Andre Ethier.

They drafted Clayton Kershaw, developed him, showed him the strike zone, watched him become the best pitcher in the National League, and then had the ballclub fall apart around him, because there would be no more fluke trades like Manny Ramirez, and there would be no more signings of high-end free agents, and there would be plenty of teammates who were simply too old or too young or too incapable.

As a result, the Dodgers have let a soft division get away.

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times:

Worst: Mark Ellis, two years, $8.75 million, Dodgers.

Ellis, 34, is an excellent defender and clubhouse leader, but shouldn’t a little offense be a standard feature with this sticker price?

Ellis hit .248 with a .288 OBP, seven homers and 41 RBIs for Oakland and Colorado last season, and his 1.3 wins above replacement (WAR) rating was third-lowest among major league second basemen.

Ned Colletti’s really built himself a nice little low-risk, low-reward team, hasn’t he? There seems to be little chance, short of a crippling injury to Kemp or Kershaw, that we’re in for a 95-loss disaster. On the other hand, a whole lot of things have to go right – a whole hell of a lot – for this club to sniff 90 wins and do more than pick up an “also competed” ribbon in the playoff chase.

Update: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers have DFA’d Russ Mitchell, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster for Coffey. It’s somewhat surprising to see that Mitchell went over Trent Oeltjen or Ramon Troncoso; on the other hand, Mitchell isn’t very good and is recovering from wrist surgery. When he doesn’t get claimed on waivers – and he won’t – expect Mitchell to end up back in Albuquerque for another summer anyway, potentially meaning we haven’t see the last of him in Dodger blue.

Checking Into the 2012 Albuquerque Isotopes

Last year at this time, I look a look at how the roster was shaping up for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. Considering how set the MLB roster seems to be at this point, it’s a whole lot more interesting to look at the minors, so let’s do it again. A year ago, we were excited at the prospect of seeing Dee Gordon, Trayvon Robinson, and Jerry Sands all playing together at the highest minor-league level. This year, there’s a different crop of interesting offensive prospects to keep tabs on, though not likely a whole lot of interest on the mound.

C: After parts of four seasons in Triple-A, dating back to 2008 with Las Vegas, A.J. Ellis is out of options and finally set to get a shot in the bigs. There’s little question here that Tim Federowicz will be the regular Isotopes backstop, since the 102 plate appearances he received with Albuquerque last season were his first above Double-A. Last year’s primary backup, Damaso Espino, is an unsigned free agent, so it’s likely that recently-signed veteran Josh Bard joins Federowicz in New Mexico, with a decent chance we’ll see either prospect Gorman Erickson or recently-signed and well-traveled Salomon Manriquez making appearances at points as well.

1B: Scott Van Slyke, 2011′s Dodger minor league hitter of the year, moves up from Double-A Chattanooga; he could still see some time in the outfield corners, but is mainly seen as a first baseman. Fun stories John Lindsey and Corey Smith are each unsigned and probably won’t be back; Jerry Sands could see some time here as well as in the outfield if he ends up not breaking camp with the big club.

2B: I’m still not convinced that he won’t be traded this winter, but the Mark Ellis signing eliminated any chance that Ivan DeJesus was going to make the Dodgers, so he’ll likely return to Triple-A for a third consecutive season. You have to wonder when Jaime Pedroza, owner of a .370 OBP in parts of two Double-A seasons, could get a shot; in addition, Justin Sellers might be the primary shortstop but should still see time at second and third as he attempts to keep his positional flexibility fresh for his future career as a utilityman.

3B: Russ Mitchell has no shot of making the Dodgers barring a string of injuries, and Pedro Baez & Travis Denker are hardly pushing him from behind, so he’ll return for his third Triple-A year at the age of 27. We’ll see him in the bigs again, as we always do, and he’ll be underwhelming as usual. Did you know the ‘Topes had thirteen third basemen last year? Okay, seven played in fewer than five games, but still.

SS: Sellers probably gets the initial look, though I’ll guess he won’t play the majority of games at shortstop since he’ll both be at second and third for Albquerque and probably spend a decent amount of time in the bigs once the elderly begin to break down. Recent minor-league invites Luis Cruz and Lance Zawadzki should collect plenty of time filling space until Jake Lemmerman is ready, perhaps in 2013.

LF: This largely depends on Sands, because if he’s in the minors, he’s playing every day. Primary 2011 left fielder Trayvon Robinson is of course gone, so there should be an opening for what could be a hilarious season out of Kyle Russell. Russell has been known for his massive power and nearly-as-impressive difficulties in making contact, so that package in ABQ should present some Triple-A fueled numbers that’ll have us all pretending like he’s the next big thing by June.

CF: Alfredo Silverio was added to the 40-man roster earlier this offseason after a solid season in Chattanooga, and with both regular center fielders gone from 2011 – Robinson to Seattle, and Jamie Hoffmann to Colorado – there’s a big hole here for Silverio to fill. Non-roster invite Cory Sullivan probably also fits into the mix here.

RF: Well, I don’t think Jay Gibbons is coming back. Alex Castellanos, impressive in a short look with Chattanooga after being acquired for Rafael Furcal, is likely to start the season as the primary Isotope right fielder; Russell and Sullivan could see time here as well.

Bench: Other than the guys I’ve already mentioned – Bard, Cruz, Zawadzki, & Sullivan – corner infielder Jeff Baisley will probably be an Isotope, plus perhaps 2B/3B Joe Becker, who got into 70 games with the club last season. In the outfield, expect to see Trent Oeltjen or someone else like him, and at some point, Albuquerque native Brian Cavazos-Galvez should make his hometown debut.

Starting Pitching

It helps, somewhat, that the Dodger starting rotation and bullpen are all but set, so there’s no worry about ten guys fighting for that fifth rotation spot. On the other hand, the Dodgers have shown a pattern of trying to keep their top pitching prospects away from the high-offense PCL, preferring to promote them directly from Double-A instead, so these are informed guesses and little more.

SP1: Being the #1 starter on this list doesn’t mean “ace” as it would in the bigs; rather, it’s just the order in which I consider them most likely. John Ely, owner of 25 starts for the Isotopes last year and a few stints with the Dodgers, is almost certainly headed back for another year of Triple-A. He’s roster depth at best – great to have around, never someone you want to count on.

SP2: Will Savage had a reasonably successful season for the Lookouts last year, striking out few but showing excellent control. Hardly a top prospect – 28 next year, and has been a minor-league free agent more than once – he’ll likely turn his invite to big-league camp into a season spent in New Mexico.

SP3: Like Savage, Michael Antonini is hardly a name to know – he was acquired for Chin-lung Hu for chrissake – but he’ll be 27 next year, was invited to the offseason developmental camp, and has a few games of Triple-A experience under his belt from his time with the Mets.  He’s been a bit homer-prone in the lower levels, which is somewhat terrifying to think about in Albuquerque.

SP4: I went back and forth on this one, which is why he’s SP4, but I’ll guess that Nathan Eovaldi does head to Triple-A rather than Double-A. That’s partly because the Chattanooga rotation looks like it could be getting full, but also because Eovaldi was decent in his time in the bigs, and sending him back down two levels could look like an insult. Besides, if you’re going to succeed in the NL West, you have to learn how to win in Colorado and Arizona.

Others: Alberto Bastardo and Randy Keisler combined to make 34 starts last year; each is currently a free agent and might not be back. Tim Sexton was awful last year, largely as an injury fill-in, and don’t forget that Carlos Monasterios should be back from elbow surgery at some point. There’s probably also going to be another Dana Eveland-like veteran that we don’t know about yet, and it’s possible that younger arms like Allen Webster, Chris Withrow, and Stephen Fife could push their way up if the organization doesn’t try to keep them away from Albuquerque.

Relief Pitching

Take your pick. It’s possible that none of the top three Isotope leaders in games pitched from 2011 – Jon Link (already signed with Baltimore), Travis Schlichting, Merkin Valdez – returns. The fourth was Ramon Troncoso, who might make the Dodgers but is far more likely to be DFA’d since he’s out of options. Josh Lindblom could appear if he doesn’t make the big team, but the entire collection of recently signed fungible veterans – Angel Guzman, Fernando Nieve, Jose Ascanio, Ryan Tucker, Shane Lindsay, Alberto Castillo, Matt Chico, Scott Rice, John Grabow, Wil Ledezma – are candidates to make up the bullpen, as again, the Dodgers try not to put their better prospects like Shawn Tolleson, Steve Ames, and Josh Wall here.

Remember, the Isotopes have used 49, 56, and 52 players going back to 2009, so this is an extremely high-level look; needs change as the big club makes their own moves.

MSTI’s 2011 in Review: Third Base

Today we move on to third base, and man, it ain’t pretty. The six Dodger third basemen combined for just a .624 OPS, good for 25th in MLB. Sensing a theme yet?  We already touched on the second biggest offender at the hot corner, Aaron Miles, with the second basemen, so today we’re left with the hungry, the tired, the overpaid wretches. This isn’t going to be pretty.

Juan Uribe (F….ing Juan Uribe)
.204/.264/.293 .557 4hr -0.1 WAR

(Like I was really going to use anything other than the “Emo Juan Uribe” picture, even ahead of the “Juan and Ned awkwardly shaking hands” photo.)

I’ll say this for Juan Uribe: even though we all absolutely hated the three year, $21m contract Ned Colletti so generously bestowed upon him last winter, none of us ever expected this. Oh, we knew he’d have a lousy OBP and be in no way worth the contract, but this? The fourth worst TAv and wOBA in baseball, along with two stints on the disabled list? I don’t think so.

At the time, I did note that there could be some positives from the deal, mostly in that it would ensure Ryan Theriot would be gone and that it’d give the club flexibility in an uncertain infield situation going forward. I also said this, of course:

Now that we’ve got the positives out of the way… what in the hell is this team doing giving three years* and $22m to Juan Uribe?! (*standard caveat of “it’s just a report, and not an official deal yet” applies.) Uribe’s never had even a two-year deal in his life. He was quite good in 2005 with the White Sox (111 OPS+, 23 HR), but after four consecutive years of not having an OBP over .301, he was cut loose after 2008. The Giants got him for 1 year, $1m in 2009, and he was quite good again – 112 OPS+ – so they resigned him for 1 year, $3.2m in 2010. Other than increasing his HR, he completely regressed  at he plate. His OPS fell from .824 to .749, and his wOBA fell from .351 to .322.

That doesn’t make him useless, but as I’ve said every other time I’ve talked about him, I like him for one year and I’d accept an option for a second. But now we’re taking a guy whose age 25-28 seasons were all basically a waste, had one good year at 29 and couldn’t quite keep it up at 30 three guaranteed years? Why? Because he was a Giant? Because he hit a homer in the World Series (despite doing little else in October)?

Nearly a year later, I’m having a hard time disagreeing with any of that, except to note that since his deal was back-loaded, he still has $15m coming to him, so we’re far from done with him. The best part is, three of Uribe’s four dingers came in a five-game span at the end of April. Outside of that five-game stretch, he hit one homer in 72 games, and was awful no matter how you split the stats. No, really: look at his splits. Try and find one this isn’t execrable. Day, night, home, road, lefty, righty, black, white, up, down – he was atrocious at the plate in every possible way, though he was something of a pleasant surprise defensively. Sadly, thanks to his contract and the uncertain state of the Dodger infield with the possibility that as many as five veteran infielders won’t return (Loney / Carroll / Furcal / Blake / Miles), you’re probably still looking at your starting third baseman next year. And lord help us all, because the most positive outlook anyone could have on him is, “well, geez, he can’t be that bad again, right?”.

Casey Blake (D)
.252/.342/.371 .713 4hr 0.6 WAR

It’s hard to say that Casey Blake underachieved in 2011, since coming off a disappointing 2010 and with the injury history of third basemen his age being what it is, expectations were pretty much as low as they could be; if anything, we’ve been saying “Casey Blake” + “2011″ = “disaster” since as far back as December of 2008.

Yet while there was almost no hope that having Blake as the everyday third baseman was going to work out this year, there was still the chance that he could a productive member of this year’s team. If the chips had fallen in the right way, having Blake as a four-corners type who mainly faced lefty pitching could have turned out to be a very nice role. Of course, it didn’t happen that way; Blake started the season on the disabled list thanks to a back injury suffered while trying to bunt during a spring training game. (Which, ugh.) Upon his return, he lasted just 14 games before undergoing surgery to relieve a particularly nasty staph infection in his left elbow, which cost him more than a month. Finally getting past that, he returned in late May to hit .195/.278/.310 over the next five weeks before succumbing to a pinched nerve in his neck on July 3, sidelining him until the final day of the month. He played in just 19 more games before finally undergoing surgery on the neck, which would have been his fourth trip to the disabled list of the season if not for the fact that the September 1 roster expansion rendered such a move moot.

With all the injuries, Blake never really had a chance to contribute, and so his 2011 was basically a lost season. It’ll almost certainly end his Dodger career, and at 38 it might very well be the end of his MLB career as well. Despite the wasted 2011 and lousy 2010, Blake ends his Dodger career as one of the better third baseman in the history of the club, and while that may say more about the history of the hot corner for this organization than it does about Blake’s performance, it’s still evidence of a successful Dodger stint from one of the more popular players on the team.

Blake will be missed. From a baseball sense, I’m glad he’s not going to be on the club going forward, because I don’t think he can still be a useful performer, but I’ve enjoyed watching him for 3+ years, even if the circumstances of his acquisition were less than ideal. Best of luck, Casey.

Russ Mitchell (inc.)
.157/.259/.294 .553 2hr -0.1 WAR

It’s not a huge secret that I’ve never thought much of Mitchell, dating back to what I said when he was first recalled in September of 2010:

To be honest, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Mitchell. He’ll be 26 before next season starts, yet he had a line of just .241/.298/.406 last year, his second season in AA. Overall, his career OBP in the minors was just .321. Somehow that was good enough to get him to AAA, where he took advantage of the ABQ environment to rake: .315/.363/.535, with 23 homers. That’s not an accident, either; his OPS at home was 1.164, but on the road it was just .834, and it’s not like ABQ is the only park in the PCL that caters to offense, either.

Mitchell repaid that trust by getting six hits in 43 MLB plate appearances last season; this year, in his age-26 season, he hit just .230/.318/.401 away from the friendly confines of Albuquerque. Then, in two separate stints in the bigs this year (once for a month in April and May when Blake hurt his elbow, then the last month of the season) he managed just eight hits in 58 plate appearances, though to his credit one was a game-tying homer against the White Sox to avoid a sweep in the 9th inning in May.

If anything, Mitchell’s offseason will be more interesting than his season, since he had surgery on his left wrist and will be headed to winter ball to attempt to add “emergency catcher” to his resume. If he hopes to have a major league career, the transition better work, because I’m just not seeing it. Even with two ABQ-fueled years, his minor league OBP is just .326, and two MLB cups of coffee haven’t gone well. I can’t imagine he starts 2012 anywhere but back in AAA, and if he doesn’t, that’s a big problem.


Next! Rafael Furcal bids adieu! Jamey Carroll picks up the slack once again! Dee Gordon‘s flashy debut! And Justin Sellers‘ uncertain future! It’s shortstop!