Here’s the latest from the game’s western divisions:
- Dodgers utilityman Alex Guerrero, fresh off a National League rookie-of-the-month award, has already drawn trade interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. But Los Angeles is not quite ready to act on its obvious glut of options in the corner outfield and around the diamond. That over-abundance of quality utility-type options has long been apparent — Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times talked about it with me in length on the MLBTR Podcast a few weeks back — but the team has managed to spread playing time thus far. As Rosenthal notes, however, the time is probably coming where the club will need to strongly consider dealing from its depth.
- Truly, the depth that the Dodgers have compiled at the corner outfield, second, and third is a thing to behold. In addition to Guerrero, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke are both mashing in the early going. With Andre Ethier also hitting, Howie Kendrick locked in at second, and Juan Uribe still available at third, the impending return of Yasiel Puig will create yet more lineup pressure. Carl Crawford’s own DL stint has freed things up somewhat in the meantime, but it still seems apparent that something will ultimately have to give. (And that’s all before considering shuttle players like Enrique Hernandez, Chris Heisey, and Darwin Barney.) Of course, this certainly rates in the category of a good problem to have, as many of the above-named players could profile as significant trade pieces should the Dodgers look to add arms over the summer.
- Brad Miller appears to be moving off of the shortstop position for the Mariners in at least a semi-permanent manner, as Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Skipper Lloyd McClendon said that he envisions Miller taking on a Ben Zobrist-like super-utility role. While Miller himself did not sound too pleased with the move, he also expressed a determination to handle the shift professionally. Of course, while Chris Taylor will presumably receive a lot of time at short, it remains to be seen precisely how Miller will slot into the rest of the team’s picture. Second and third base are not exactly positions where Seattle will be looking to utilize a time share, and the club already has left-handed-hitting corner outfield options in Dustin Ackley and Seth Smith.
- With Coco Crisp nearing a return for the Athletics, that raises a tough question regarding speedy young outfielder Billy Burns, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Burns is off to a hot start at the plate and has been a dynamic presence for a team that is off to a 12-16 start. As Slusser explains, the decision will not come down to whether to keep Burns on the roster or make a move with the struggling Craig Gentry. Instead, it is really a matter of deciding what to do with Rule 5 pick Mark Canha — a power bat who is off to a strong start and must be kept on the active roster or placed on waivers. As always, the Oakland roster is loaded with potential scenarios, and Slusser breaks them all down in the piece.