Once the trade for second baseman Chase Utley became official Wednesday, the Dodgers still had some work to do to make the pieces fit.
Alberto Callaspo, thanks for stopping by.
To make room for Utley on the 25- and 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Callaspo for assignment late Wednesday night.
That’s Callaspo, the player for whom the Dodgers sent Juan Uribe to the Atlanta Braves back in May. Callaspo emerged over Alex Guerrero as the backup third baseman to Justin Turner, a guy Manager Don Mattingly is afraid to play more than three or four days in a row for fear his knees will act up.
And now the Dodgers’ backup third baseman is? Maybe they should have just kept Uribe.
Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi said Wednesday night there were multiple options for Turner’s backup, which is probably the most important reserve role on the team.
“I think both Guerrero and [Enrique Hernandez] will get reps there when J.T. is out,” Farhan said. “I think we’re going to start trying to get Chase a little work over there, and if it’s something he’s comfortable with, we may try to get him in there too, especially with the way the long-run picture shapes up in September.”
Utley, 36, has played 1,551 games during his 13-year career, but never once at third base.
Callaspo played a decent third and hit .260 in 60 games with the Dodgers, but with no pop (.278 slugging percentage). The Dodgers have never seemed comfortable with Guerrero at third, though he’s appeared there in 14 games this season.
The versatile Hernandez, who just lost his spot at second to Utley, has played all three outfield positions in addition to second and short for the Dodgers, but has not made an appearance at third.
So basically, the Dodgers have no real backup third baseman. But they have three second basemen -- Utley, Hernandez and starter Howie Kendrick, who is expected to return from his hamstring strain in mid-September.
Of course, shortstop phenom Corey Seager was back playing third at triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
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