Just as the Los Angeles Dodgers were excited to get a stretch of games with their whole lineup in tact, Hanley Ramirez sustained a hamstring injury Friday night. He was placed on the disabled list and the Dodgers recalled SS Dee Gordon. While Gordon was less than stellar at the plate and in the field last season, the Dodgers will hope that he can give them a much needed spark.
In 2012, Gordon batted .228/.280/.281 in 330 plate appearances. He also generated 32 steals. While one would expect Gordon to have an above average BABIP due to his plus speed, he was quite unlucky with only a .281 BABIP. This year, in 117 plate appearances for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, Gordon was batting .314 with an extremely high BABIP. Though the AAA numbers in such a small sample do not indicate much, they do show the effect that a reasonable BABIP can have for Gordon at the plate. The real fear for the Dodgers, however, is Gordon’s glove.
In about half a season last year, Gordon registered a horrific -13.4 UZR. While one would hope that with an offseason for improvement, Gordon will return with a more palatable glove, the Dodgers will certainly fear how he can hurt their run prevention efforts.
With an entire five man rotation on the disabled list — Zack Greinke, Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Stephen Fife — the Dodgers need all the help in both run creation and prevention as they can get. While Gordon’s numbers should normalize at the plate, his speed will make him an offensive weapon. Defensively, however, the Dodgers must hope that, even in a limited number of games, Gordon does not do substantial damage to their run prevention.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @gabeisaacson.