14 February 2014

the evolution of the dodger shortstop, part 3

this post will wrap up the dodger shortstop evolutionary chain.  at least until hanley ramirez fails to play the majority of time at the position.  we left off a couple of days ago with cesar izturis being injured in 2005.  as a result, ned went out and signed rafael furcal for the 2006 season.

rafael furcal (2006-2007)
furcal, seen above on a 2007 bowman heritage card, had a fantastic inaugural season with the dodgers.  he hit .300, played short in 156 games, stole 37 bases, tied a career high with 15 home runs, and finished 14th in the mvp voting.  he regressed in 2007, but still appeared at short in 138 games that year.  it looked like he had turned things around the following season, as he was hitting .366 through may 5, 2008, but furcal suffered an injury that kept him out of action until the final week of the season.

angel berroa (2008)
berroa was the main beneficiary of furcal's injury in 2008.  nomar garciaparra, chin-lung hu, luis maza, and pablo ozuna all spent some time at short with furcal out, but berroa got more starts (69) than any of them.  overall, he appeared in 84 games and hit .230.  after the season ended, he signed a deal with the yankees, and later almost double dipped with the dodgers.  they signed berroa to a free agent deal after the 2009 season ended, but wound up releasing him towards the end of spring training 2010.

rafael furcal (2009-2010)
furky returned to reclaim the position in the 2008 postseason, and then appeared in 149 games as the dodgers' everyday shortstop in 2009.  he also led the team in appearances at the position in 2010, although the number of games he played there dwindled to 93 that year.  he hit an even .300 in 2010, and made the all-star team for the first time as a dodger.  he appeared in only 37 games for the dodgers in 2011 prior to a trade deadline deal that sent him to saint louis.

jamey carroll (2011)
carroll actually played more second base than shortstop in 2011, but his 54 games started at short narrowly edged dee gordon's 51.  gordon claimed the job towards the end of the season, but i will still acknowledge the time that carroll spent there after furcal was traded.  carroll hit .304 as a shortstop in 2011 and made only 4 errors in 214 chances.  he parlayed his solid play into a free agent deal with the twins for the 2012 season.

dee gordon (2012)
gordon led all dodger shortstops with 73 starts in 2012.  he struggled at the plate, however, as his batting average dropped almost 80 points from his 2011 mark of .304.

hanley ramirez (2013)
it's taken a village to cover the shortstop position for the dodgers since furcal was traded.  in addition to carroll and gordon, the likes of aaron miles, justin sellers, luis cruz, juan uribe, elian herrera, and jerry hairston (and maybe a couple more) have played the position.  in 2012, ned traded for hanley ramirez to try to stabilize things.  he played there in 57 games after coming over from the marlins and then last year appeared in 76 games at short.  injuries limited him to just 86 total appearances, but he hit .345 and finished 8th in the mvp voting.

ramirez is slated to play short for the dodgers in 2014, which is a contract year, so i expect big things.  i also hope he re-signs, because i am pretty tired of the turnstile at short.

coming soon, the evolution of the dodgers' second basemen…stay tuned.

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