Dodgers spring training primer: Infield

first_imgAfter re-signing Turner for four years and $64 million (along with fellow in-house free agents Kenley Jansen and Rich Hill), the Dodgers filled their biggest offseason hole by trading top pitching prospect Jose DeLeon to Tampa Bay for second baseman Logan Forsythe. Forsythe will likely replace Utley as the primary leadoff hitter as well, giving the lineup some balance from the right side. Utilityman Kike’ Hernandez (who hit .190 in 109 games last year) and journeyman minor-leaguers Chris Taylor and Charlie Culberson will jockey for playing time behind Forsythe, Seager and Turner with Darin Ruf most likely to spell Gonzalez occasionally at first base.THE NEXT LAYERSecond baseman Willie Calhoun is one of the blue-chip prospects in the Dodgers’ loaded farm system. A fifth-round draft pick in 2015, Calhoun hit .316 with a .909 OPS at three levels in 2015 then followed that up last year by hitting .254 with 27 home runs, 88 RBIs and a .788 OPS in Double-A, adding a trip to the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego and an MVP performance in the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game. But the 22-year-old also has some defensive shortcomings that could affect his rise to the big leagues and his role once he gets there.MOVES THEY COULD MAKEThe Dodgers spent the winter shopping for a second baseman, preferably a right-handed hitter who could help address last year’s shortcomings against left-handed pitching. Trade overtures were made to Minnesota for Brian Dozier and his power bat but nothing came of it. Instead, they landed their Plan B — Forsythe. The former Ray fills both needs without forcing the Dodgers to dip too deeply into their cache of prospects or commit long-term money to a short-term solution like Ian Kinsler. The infield is set now. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error As the Dodgers get closer to the first workout of spring training on Feb. 16, we are providing a breakdown of how they stand with their roster. Today, the infield:2016 RECAPShortstop Corey Seager managed to exceed the high expectations for him in his first full season. He was the unanimous choice for the National League Rookie of the Year award and made the All-Star Game. But he also emerged as the Dodgers’ best position player, leading them in nearly every offensive category and finished second in home runs with 26 (the most in Dodgers’ franchise history by a shortstop, rookie or not). First baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Justin Turner each started the season slowly but eventually re-established their status as the key pillars around which the Dodgers’ offense is built. Veteran Chase Utley was the primary second baseman and served as an important mentor for Seager and instrument of change in the team’s clubhouse culture.HOW IT LOOKS RIGHT NOWlast_img