With Opening Day just days away, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still looking for a shortstop to replace the injured Hanley Ramirez. Considering Ramirez will be out eight weeks with a torn ligament in his right thumb, it is critical that Los Angeles finds someone who can play the position at a high level for a significant amount of time.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has struggled to find someone to take over. The obvious choice is to move Luis Cruz from third base over to shortstop for the first two months of the season. Considering Cruz batted .296 with four home runs, 11 RBI and five doubles in 54 at-bats this spring, it is a solid choice to go with. However, Mattingly believes there is someone else on the roster that could handle the role.
Justin Sellers appears to be a top candidate to play shortstop, or at least Los Angeles is treating it that way. The utility infielder, who has spent time at shortstop, second base and third base over the past two years, has risen to the top of Mattingly’s list. The 27-year-old started at shortstop for the second consecutive game on Friday. He went 2-for-5 at the plate with a walk against the Los Angeles Angels.
Sellers is considered a better defensive infielder than Cruz, which is the main reason why the team recalled him from Minor League camp. The fact that he is getting starts in the days leading up to the first day of the regular season means he appears to be the man Mattingly will go with on Opening Day.
Sellers batted .222 with one RBI and two walks in 27 at-bats this spring. He committed one error in 26 total chances at shortstop during camp, but did record 17 assists in 11 games.