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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Offerman Will Return as Shortstop

Despite the need for a steady shortstop, Dodger Executive Vice President Fred Claire says that there will be no change at that position next season. Jose Offerman will remain the Dodger shortstop for a third season.

“There will be no changes there,” Claire said. “I think Jose has the ability and all the things you look for in a shortstop.”

After making 20 errors during the first half of the season, Offerman has made nine in the second half, several of them costly. Some Dodgers question his instincts to play the position. They do not question his offensive ability.

Offerman is batting .278 and has 54 runs batted in, fourth best on the club and the most by a Dodger shortstop since Bill Russell had 56 in 1979. He has 26 stolen bases and has sat out only one start in 129 games this season.

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Claire said he has never considered moving Offerman to another position. “That would not be the way to approach it,” Claire said. “That’s a lot to give up on. Jose is not exactly where we want him to be, but as far as ability, he is advancing well.”

Claire said he does not foresee trying to sign a back-up shortstop. If Offerman was injured, Claire said he would look to the Dodgers’ farm system, specifically triple-A player Rafael Bournigal and Juan Castro, who plays at double-A San Antonio.


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