Was a bit of a slow month for me in January as I continue to research/compile my Prospect Profiles, but I managed to tackle the utility infielder issue for the Dodgers and continued my Clutchitude series.
As Dodgers fans wait for the second-by-second updates on Masahiro Tanaka Decision 2014, I’m turning our collective attention to a role that could be just as valuable: the utility infielders. Or, the current lack of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said previously that I’d love to snag Tanaka, and he would indeed be an exciting impact acquisition for the team. But he’s still a luxury, because the Dodger rotation projects just fine without him. The same can be said for every other position except second base, but even the questions there tie-in with the utility infielder issue.
No matter what moves are made going forward, the Dodgers are a quality team on paper, and the infield is no different, with Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and Juan Uribe all anchored at their positions. But with second base still up in the air, A-Gon aging and having dealt with nagging injuries in 2013, Hanley missing extensive time last year, and Uribe likely requiring regular rest, the utility infielders become increasingly important.
Sports fans love to talk about clutch plays and clutch players, and fans of baseball and the Dodgers are no exception. But within those discussions, there tends to be a lack of evidence presented. As such, I decided to find some basis for clutch plays and clutch players, courtesy of the WPA and Clutch statistics.
Last time around, we covered the most clutch plays of 2013, and you know I had to do the opposite end of the spectrum as well. Because, quite frankly, that can be more entertaining.