Dodgers, Angels notes: Chone Figgins fighting for spot on Dodgers roster

first_imgGLENDALE, Ariz. — Chone Figgins played second base on Tuesday. By itself that’s unremarkable. Yet at a stage of spring when some players are just getting into their first game, Figgins has already played five positions for the Dodgers: Second, third, shortstop, center field, left field — with a pinch-hitting appearance thrown in for good measure.Where does he feel most comfortable?“On the field,” Figgins said. “That’s where I feel comfortable. There’s not one position.” Figgins went 0 for 2 against the Seattle Mariners in a 4-1 Dodgers loss at Camelback Ranch. He has just two singles and two walks in 15 Cactus League plate appearances. While his defensive versatility is nice, it’s clear that Figgins’ bat will dictate how good his chances are of making the major-league club. Justin Turner, Brendan Harris and Dee Gordon figure to be Figgins’ primary competition. Of the four, only Gordon is on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.“I think his at-bats early were good,” manager Don Mattingly said of Figgins. “(Monday) and today were a little bit more stagnant. We’re going to keep giving him at-bats.”Dodgers announce cutsThe Dodgers trimmed their camp roster by 10 prior to the game. Pitchers Pedro Baez, Stephen Fife, Yimi Garcia and Jarret Martin and outfielder Nick Buss were optioned to the team’s minor-league camp. Pitchers Sam Demel, Chris Reed and Daniel Moskos, and catchers Griff Erickson and Chris O’Brien were optioned to the minor-league camp.“Some of our decisions are just based on the length of this camp, and us having to try to get down to a working number, and to prioritize the number of innings and at-bats we have left,” Mattingly said. “That’s the biggest reason. It seems early, but for us it’s getting there, toward the 22nd.”Angels thump RangersRaul Ibanez went 2 for 3 with a home run off Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish in a 7-3 victory at Tempe Diablo Stadium.Mike Trout also went 2 for 3, and Howie Kendrick and Colin Cowgill had a pair of RBIs for the Angels (3-2).Right-hander Tyler Skaggs pitched 2 1/3 innings in his debut, allowing three hits, two runs (both earned), walking two and striking out two. Right-hander Joe Smith walked one batter and allowed one run in his Cactus League debut.AlsoThe Angels announced that all 25 of their pre-arbitration-eligible players have signed contracts for 2014. The group of players includes pitchers Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, Dane De La Rosa and Tyler Skaggs, and outfielders J.B. Shuck and Kole Calhoun. … Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten will be presented with the 2013 Sports Executive of the Year Award today by the L.A. Sports Council at the 9th Annual LA Sports Awards at the Beverly Hilton. The ceremony will be televised on Prime Ticket at a later date. … Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (ankle) was cleared to run curved lines on the basepaths. … Zack Greinke (calf) still hasn’t been cleared to throw off a mound. … Former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne will be at Camelback Ranch today coaching the French national team in a game against Dodgers minor leaguers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Indeed, the 36-year-old sparkplug who is generously listed at 5-foot-8, has played every position in an 11-year career other than pitcher, catcher and first base. The Dodgers lost some defensive versatility when veterans Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto departed as free agents. Figgins has quickly shown that he can play all the positions they did — plus a couple more.The only question with Figgins is his bat. He produced a .227/.302/.283 slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) in three forgettable seasons with the Seattle Mariners from 2010-2012. He sat out the 2013 season after the Miami Marlins released him on March 20. “That wasn’t on me to take a year off,” he said, “that was the team’s choice.”While his speed is still an asset in the field and on the basepaths, Figgins still looks rusty at the plate. Tuesday, he said he’s still working to involve more of his lower body into his swing.“My plate discipline is good,” he said. “I’m not chasing balls. There’s still some tweaks I’d like to make.”last_img read more