Daily Dodger in Review: Skip Schumaker gave needed spark

SKIP SCHUMAKER, 33, utility player

Final 2013 stats: .263 batting average, two home runs, 30 RBI, .332 on-base and slugging percentages, 31 runs and 0.00 ERA.

Contract status: Last month signed a two-year, $4.5-million contract with the Reds, with a $2.5-million option for 2016.

The good: When they traded for Schumaker last off-season, the Dodgers got exactly what they needed — and are currently lacking — a solid utility player who could play second and all three outfield positions.

He and his South Orange County carpool buddy, Nick Punto, grew as veteran clubhouse leaders as the season progressed. He did love to point out that he "towered" over Punto (5-10 to 5-9).

From May 8 to Aug. 31 (77 games), he batted .310, which also included that stretch where the Dodgers went 42-12. Made two emergency relief appearances, not allowing a run.

The bad: Struggled to start the season (.135 in 27 games) and to finish it (.204 in 21 games). He was less than an average second baseman defensively. Filled in at center for the injured Andre Ethier for five games in the postseason but went 3 for 19.

What’s next: Utility man for the Reds.

The take: Schumaker provided about what the Dodgers figured offensively, probably a little less defensively and a little more in the clubhouse.

For almost four months in the middle of the season he was an offensive spark and helped fuel the Dodgers’ great run to the division title.

And then, of course, there were his two pitching appearances in a pair of blowout losses where he loaded the bases each time and then, er, pitched out of trouble.

Schumaker was respected and well-liked in the clubhouse, and he’ll be missed. But he was the kind of role player that General Manager Ned Colletti has shown an aptitude for acquiring almost every year.

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