The Los Angeles Dodgers made their first cuts of Spring Training today (pretty sure it’s the first), as the team sent down nine players.
Chris Withrow, Scott Van Slyke, Alex Castellanos, John Wall, Stephen Fife, Michael Antonini, and Alfredo Silverio were optioned to minor league camp, while Russ Mitchell and Shane Lindsay, both non-roster invitees to camp, were reassigned to the minor league side.
No surprises there.
However, one surprise is third baseman Josh Fields, who apparently now has a good shot at making the roster.
Fields is Mitchell with a history of Major League success, a corner infielder who slugged 23 home runs as a rookie for the Chicago White Sox in 2007, only to have his career get sidetracked by knee and hip surgeries.
His road back to the Major Leagues hasn’t been an easy one and included a detour to Japan last summer. He’s in Dodgers camp on a Minor League contract, but he’s made enough of an early impression that he leaped past Mitchell as an insurance candidate at third base if Juan Uribe should fail again, and at first base behind James Loney.
Fields, Jerry Sands and Justin Sellers are probably fighting for the last roster spot, barring injury.
If that’s true, then Fields is making the team, I think.
Now I’ve basically come to terms with the fact that the Dodgers won’t be keeping Jerry Sands, because … Dodgers. Plus, carrying Justin Sellers would mean taking eleventy trillion utility infielders on the roster, so I’m pretty sure Fields ends up as the odd man in.
While I guess that’s a nice story, let’s get one thing straight here: Fields has a career rWAR of -1.3 and a career fWAR of -0.1. To say the reason his career is currently on the brink is due to injuries is asinine because even in that breakout season he was worth 0.9 rWAR and 0.6 fWAR.
My point is that people should stop pretending like he has a ton of upside because it isn’t true, and he’s far more likely to end up as the 2010 Garret Anderson than 2006 Olmedo Saenz.