Utley’s return was not a huge surprise as there have been chatter around the league that he would return to the Dodgers in 2017. Utley was a key piece to the Dodgers last season, as he had clutch hits in key at bats. Also, he provided defensive stability at second base. Not to mention one of the vocal leaders in the locker room.
After the Dodgers traded for Logan Forsythe from the Tampa Bay Rays, should signify that Utley will carve out a role as a utility player.
Despite having an overcrowded outfield the Dodgers signed veteran Gutierrez. The 33-year old will be going into his 12th MLB season having had stints with the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners. He has a career .257 batting average and .311 on-base percentage.
To most fans this must be a head scratching move as everyone knows that Dodgers have had a logjam in the outfield for many seasons. Adding another doesn’t make sense. According to Doug Padilla of ESPN, Gutierrez is a lifetime .289 batting average against left-handed pitching. The Dodgers were horrendous against left-handed pitching last season.
Gutierrez will most likely be used as a pinch hitter against lefties and should have a very limited role on the Dodgers.
Regardless, this is a low risk, high upside move and adding depth has been the Dodgers M.O. since the new regime took over.
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