By Evan Brunell
Don Mattingly said on Friday that the Dodgers have discussed moving Rafael Furcal to second base when he returns from the disabled list, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Furcal has been sidelined by a strained oblique since June 4 and is hoping to return by the end of the month. However, the shortstop may have lost his job to Dee Gordon, who is hitting .268/.293/.321 in 59 plate appearances. Hardly exciting, but the team is a fan of his play and the speedster is flashing a solid glove. With Casey Blake and Juan Uribe both struggling at the plate, Mattingly could go to an effective platoon between Furcal, Gordon, Uribe and Blake while keeping Jamey Carroll in the lineup by moving him around the infield. Carroll has been the team's best hitter out of the infield so far, so he'll keep getting playing time. Aaron Miles, too, has hit rather well at a .307/.321/.347. Who knew the Dodgers could extract good seasons out of backup infielders?
If Furcal gets shifted to second, that will give the team six infielders. That could be addressed by moving Casey Blake to left field, a position that is a constant source of pain for L.A.
Furcal, when he's going, can be a strong hitter, as evidenced by his .300/.366/.460 line last season. However, he's as injury-prone as they come and has already had two extended stints on the disabled list this season, limiting him to just 69 PA and a .212/.246/.273 line.
Furcal has 36 career games played at second, most coming in 2000 for the Braves. It's possible that playing him at second could limit his chances of getting hurt, as he wouldn't be relied upon to be the linchpin of the infield defense.
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