Juan Pierre, who has been the odd man out in the crowded Dodgers outfield this year, said following the team’s 5-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on Thursday that he still has not accepted his current role with the club as a bench player:
"I don’t see myself as a bench player. I haven’t accepted that. I know if they don’t want me to play out there, that’s their decision. But I don’t see myself as a bench player."
One reporter asked Pierre if he wanted to remain with the Dodgers to which the 30-year old responded:
"I’m not going to answer that one. It is what it is. I’m not going to touch that one."
Pierre is currently behind young outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, along with offseason acquisition Andruw Jones, in the Dodgers’ depth chart. His deal is guaranteed for four more years including 2008 (at a combined $36.5MM) with a limited no-trade clause.
One difficult aspect of this situation is that Pierre is essentially still the same player he always was offensively. He has never hit for power and his OBP has always been fairly reliant on maintaining a high batting average (a dicey proposition year in and year out). The Dodgers knew what they were getting when they signed him in November 2006. Now Pierre is left to wonder what changed.