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Daily Dodger in review: Jamey Carroll, the unexpected highlight

October 23, 2010 |  7:37 am

JAMEY CARROLL, 36, utility

Final 2010 stats: .291 batting average, no home runs, 23 RBI, 48 runs, 12 stolen bases, .379 on-base percentage, .339 slugging percentage in 351 at-bats.

Contract status: Signed for next season at $2.3 million.

The good: Ladies and gentleman, presenting the Dodgers’ very own Little Engine that Could. The 5-9 Carroll was generally considered the team’s MVP, which tells you both about his play and the Dodgers’. He was signed as a utility player, but with Rafael Furcal often injured, he started 64 games at shortstop. He also played 48 games at second, 11 at third and five in left. He ran everything out and played hard all the time.

The bad: Has zero power, but then he was never signed to put the ball over the fence. Of course, he wasn’t signed to start 64 games at short, either.

What’s next: The Dodgers were thrilled with his performance, but that’s not the same thing as being ready to make a commitment to him at second base. Ryan Theriot is a non-tender candidate, but even if he doesn’t return, it’s doubtful they’ll look at Carroll as their everyday starter at second. Particularly not at age 36. He excelled in the utility role he was signed for, he just got a lot more playing time than expected.

The take: Will return to his utility role next season, though the Dodgers won’t be shy about playing him plenty after last season. He’s a proven commodity now. Most weren’t exactly doing cartwheels when the Dodgers signed Carroll to a two-year deal, but it’s looking smart now.

-- Steve Dilbeck