Dee Gordon has barely played for the Dodgers since he was recalled from the minor leagues Sept. 1, but he could still figure into Manager Don Mattingly's postseason plans.
Mattingly said Gordon could be used the way base-stealing sensation Billy Hamilton is being used by the Cincinnati Reds — as a late-inning, pinch-running specialist.
If Matt Kemp fails to recover from a strained right hamstring, the Dodgers could have a place on their 25-man playoff roster for Gordon, who spent most of this season with triple-A Albuquerque. Although Gordon has been a shortstop for the overwhelming majority of his professional career, he has been taking ground balls at second base in recent days to increase his versatility.
Gordon played 20 games in triple A at second base and said he felt comfortable.
"I liked it," Gordon said. "I didn't have a problem with it. I love turning double plays."
As for pinch-running, Gordon has seen firsthand how it can influence a playoff series.
Gordon was at Fenway Park in 2004 when pinch-runner Dave Roberts of the Boston Red Sox stole second base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Roberts then scored, sending the game into extra innings and preventing his team from being swept by the New York Yankees.
Gordon was also there for the next game of that series, when Roberts pinch-ran in the eighth inning and tormented Gordon's father, Yankees reliever Tom Gordon. The elder Gordon prevented Roberts from stealing a base, but, distracted, he threw three consecutive balls to Trot Nixon. The next pitch was down the middle. Nixon singled and advanced Roberts to third base, from where he would score on a sacrifice fly by Jason Varitek.
"He did everything he could," Gordon said of how his father threw to first base three times to hold Roberts.
The Red Sox went on to reverse the 3-0 deficit in the series and advanced to the World Series, which they swept.
Garcia called up
Paco Rodriguez went into Wednesday having appeared in 70 games. J.P. Howell had pitched in 58.
To alleviate the burden on the team's two left-handed relievers, the Dodgers called up left-hander Onelki Garcia.
Garcia, 24, defected from Cuba in 2010. Because of his uncertain residency status, there was confusion as to whether he was eligible for the 2011 draft. The league office ruled he was ineligible, then reversed course a year later. When the Dodgers selected him with their third-round pick in 2012, Garcia was playing in a Southern California beer league.
Wednesday was Garcia's first day in a major league clubhouse.
"From the day I came to this country, this is what I wanted the most, to be in the major leagues," Garcia said.
Garcia, 24, was a combined 2-4 with a 2.90 earned-run average between double-A Chattanooga and triple-A Albuquerque.
Since the end of the minor league season, Garcia has been at the Dodgers' spring-training complex in Arizona, throwing bullpen sessions and pitching live batting practice to Kemp.
Kemp ran on an anti-gravity treadmill and didn't report any problems with his strained right hamstring. Kemp could run the bases later this week. … Shawn Tolleson was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Garcia.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun