When the Seattle Mariners acquired Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins, it was assumed the former National League batting champion and All-Star second baseman would full that role with his new team.
Not so fast my friends. With Robinson Cano already in the lineup and the Mariners needing help in the outfield, the team decided that Dee Gordon, who had not played the position before, would become an everyday centerfielder.
I understand the theory behind the move – taking advantage of Gordon’s speed and his defensive skills. And for the most part, the move has been successful thus far in the 2018 MLB season. But now, there is a real possibility Gordon will assume his former spot in the infield. With the 80-game suspension of Robinson Cano for PED use, Gordon should move back to his familiar spot.
“In the wake of Robinson Cano’s 80-game suspension, Mariners manager Scott Servais and general manager Jerry Dipoto met with Gordon Tuesday afternoon to gauge his interest in shifting from the outfield to second base during Cano’s absence,” Adam Jude of seattletimes.com wrote.
There is a bit of backstory or irony to this as Gordon himself was suspended in 2016 for 80 games for violating MLB’s rules on substance abuse. He missed the majority of the first half of the season and wasn’t the same player upon his return. Now, with Cano facing the same length of time off – and dealing with a broken hand – Gordon could play the role of hero in this situation.
“Before the Mariners acquired him from Miami this past winter, Gordon had spent his first seven years of his big-league career in the infield, winning a Gold Glove as a second baseman in 2015,” Jude added.
Dee Gordon’s own experience is something he shared with Jude in the online story.
“I felt detached, but I texted the guys a lot. They would text me,” Gordon said Tuesday. “It’s tough. We wake up every single day no matter if it’s the season or the offseason with something we need to do to be better at baseball. Those three months, you can’t do that. I know it’s going to be tough for (Cano). I’m praying for him. I’m definitely going to give him a call to make sure he’s OK.”
Gordon received praise from manager Servais and the Mariners’ front office about his quick adaptation to his new position in the outfield. Now, it might be time for him to refocus on the old and help his new team win in Robinson’s absence.