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Nothing to lose by Dodgers stockpiling potential left-handed pinch-hitters

March 3, 2010 |  9:00 pm
Anderson So Doug Mientkiewicz and Brian Giles, what do you think of that move?

Garret Anderson, Los Angeles native, was signed by the Dodgers on Wednesday night to a minor league deal.

The Dodgers are stockpiling veteran left-handed hitters, and really, what do they have to lose by adding Anderson?

Joe Torre loves Mientkiewicz, who made the club last spring as a non-roster invitee, but he’s coming off that dislocated shoulder that cost him almost the entire season. There’s some unknown there.

Giles, 39, has 287 home runs but was off to a terrible start last season with the Padres (.191, two home runs, 23 RBIs in 225 at-bats) when he was lost in June for the rest of the season with a bruised knee. Bruised knee? There’s a lot of unknown there.

Anderson has 285 career home runs, and although his production continued to dip last season in Atlanta -- his first as anything other than an Angel -- he was still decent: .268, 13 home runs, 61 RBIs in 534 at-bats. Still, probably not what the Braves had in mind when they signed him to a one-year deal for $2.5 million.
Anderson, 37, found the market lacking this off-season and once again General Manager Ned Colletti was able to let a quality player fall to him.

Anderson knows there is no starting outfield position open with the Dodgers, and has to recognize his role here would primarily be as a left-handed pinch-hitter. He could, however, give the Dodgers an occasional outfield start.

Last year Anderson actually failed to hit better against right-handers (.262) than he did lefties (.283). He did, however, stay healthy.

Mientkiewicz, Giles and Anderson might prove an interesting spring competition. Colletti would apparently like one of them to emerge. Signing Anderson simply gave him another reasonable option.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Garret Anderson. Credit: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images