Dodgers Have Question Mark at Second Base - NBC Southern California
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Dodgers Have Question Mark at Second Base

Alexander Guerrero figures to be the favorite to start at second base



    Quick, name the Dodgers starting second baseman. No, Mark Ellis left for St. Louis, and his backup, Skip Schumaker, is on the Reds now.

    While most of the Dodger infield remains constant from 2013--Gonzalez, Ramirez, Uribe--second base is a big question mark. There is Dee Gordon, who played some second base this winter, and Justin Sellers, who has started just 15 games at second base in his MLB career.

    Chone Figgins is a veteran option, but he sat out last season after failing to make an MLB roster. The other potential starting second baseman is Alexander Guerrero, and you might not have even heard of him yet. Guerrero, a refugee who has fled from Cuba, has yet to play a professional game on US soil.

    Most of the chatter revolves around Guerrero. He comes in with high expectations, but there is no predicting whether he could become the Dodgers next star, or big-contract bust.

    Many compare him to fellow-Cuban Yasiel Puig because he enters camp as a question mark. In 2013, Puig entered Spring Training with limited time in the minors and exposure to public, but ending up making a huge splash on the scene. Fans left Spring Training begging for him to make the opening day roster.

    Puig had to win his job from the likes of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Carl Crawford, while Guerrero is looking at some easier competition. It may be an easier path for Guerrero, but he will be expected to deliver results quickly.

    When the Dodgers signed Guerrero, they put all their second-base eggs in his basket. The signing marked the end of the road for Mark Ellis as a Dodger, even though he had a one-year, $5 million option for 2014. 

    Looking at team's depth--or lack there of--at second base makes one wonder if the best decision would have been to accept Ellis' option as an insurance policy in case Guerrero does not work out. Instead of a veteran player backing up the young Cuban, the Dodgers will rely on Gordon and Sellers--a combination that did not work out too well for them in 2013 when Hanley Ramirez was sidelined with injuries. 

    It is for these reasons that second base is easily the Dodgers biggest question mark on the roster. As Spring Training goes on the picture should become more clear, but it all hinges on the performance of Guerrero.