Dodgers’ Dee Gordon has lofty goals
From the seat in front of his locker, Dee Gordon looked up at the television set in the middle of the Dodgers clubhouse.
Barry Larkin, whose election into the baseball Hall of Fame was announced Monday, was being interviewed.
“One day,” Gordon said, “I want to feel like he’s feeling.”
All winter, Larkin has offered Gordon advice on how to get there.
Larkin, a former Cincinnati Reds shortstop, lives in Orlando, Fla. Gordon’s father, former major league pitcher Tom Gordon, lives down the street.
Larkin has worked out the 23-year-old Gordon a few times a week at a nearby high school.
Gordon is in Los Angeles this week to work with minor league infielder coordinator Jody Reed at the annual winter development program the Dodgers hold for their top prospects.
“He’s told me to respect the game, to treat the game with respect, to respect every ground ball,” Gordon said of Larkin.
Gordon is viewed as the Dodgers’ clear-cut starter at shortstop, but said his mindset heading into spring training next month won’t be any different than it was a year ago.
“I have to go out and prove myself,” he said.
He said he has set substantial goals.
“I want to be the best,” he said.
Gordon batted .304 with 24 stolen bases in 56 games over two stints with the Dodgers last season. The second time he was called up, he hit .345 in 34 games.
Gordon said his work with Larkin has focused on his defense, which was erratic last season.
In recent weeks, Gordon said he resisted the temptation to talk to Larkin about the Hall of Fame.
“I didn’t want to jinx it,” Gordon said. “He’s a great dude. You can’t get a greater guy selected to the Hall of Fame. I’m pumped for him.”
Rubby De La Rosa pulled up the protective sleeve covering his right elbow, revealing a six-inch scar.
“It’s beautiful, huh?” he said.
De La Rosa, who had a 3.71 earned-run average as a 22-year-old rookie starter last season, said he is confident he will regain the 100-mph fastball he had before he underwent Tommy John surgery in August.
De La Rosa is throwing on flat ground from 60 feet. He said he expects to be throwing bullpen sessions by the end of March and pitch in a game in early July.
De La Rosa said he intends to return as a starter. But pointing to how De La Rosa probably wouldn’t be ready to start in a major league game until September, General Manager Ned Colletti said that if De La Rosa pitches for the Dodgers next season, it would probably be as a reliever.
“Long-range, he’s a starting pitcher, no doubt,” Colletti said.
Nod to Vin Scully
The Dodgers’ promotional calendar now includes the first bobblehead doll night for Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, which will be Aug. 30 when the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers will have 10 bobblehead nights this season, the last three of which were announced Monday: Scully, Kirk Gibson (July 31 vs. Arizona) and Eric Karros (June 28 vs. the New York Mets).
Don Mattingly on Ryan Braun
Manager Don Mattingly said he hopes Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers wins his appeal to overturn his positive drug test. But if Braun fails to do so, Mattingly said, it “makes sense” to strip him of the National League most-valuable-player award, for which Matt Kemp finished second in voting.
“It’s not 10 years later,” he said of the timing of the test, which was during the playoffs, about a month before the MVP voting was announced. “It’s a month later.”