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Dodgers send Dee Gordon to triple A

July 4, 2011 |  4:17 pm

Gordon3 Dee Gordon’s first stint in the major leagues came to an end Monday, when the Dodgers sent the speedy shortstop to triple-A Albuquerque.

With Rafael Furcal back on the active roster, the 23-year-old Gordon was faced with the prospect of losing at-bats, something Dodgers management said was unacceptable.

“This is the best thing for Dee right now,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “If Dee’s going to be here, he needs to be playing.”

Gordon’s place on the active roster was taken by former San Francisco Giants utilityman Eugenio Velez, who was hitting .335 in 55 games in triple A.

Gordon batted .232 and stole eight bases in his 22 games with the Dodgers.

He said he returned to the minor leagues with added confidence.

“I can play at this level,” said Gordon, the son of former major league reliever Tom Gordon. “That’s not even a question in my mind.”

Mattingly said he was impressed by Gordon’s desire to be great.

The manager recalled a conversation he had with Gordon in the infield during batting practice a couple of weeks ago.

At one point in the conversation, Mattingly said Gordon told him, “I want to be the best.”

Mattingly said he expected Gordon to rejoin the Dodgers later this season.

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Photo: Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon makes an off-balance throw to first base during a game against the Angels on Saturday. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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