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Dodgers exercise half of mutual option on outfielder Scott Podsednik

November 2, 2010 | 12:54 pm

Scott Podsednik, Dodger.

Contain your enthusiasm, might be time to get used to it.

The Dodgers exercised their half of a mutual option for the 2011 season on Podsednik Tuesday. He has until Thursday to decline or exercise his side of the option.

Podsednik came to the Dodgers in a late July trade from the Royals, essentially to be their backup outfielder. Only leg injuries to Manny Ramirez, and then his trade the next month, turned Podsednik into the regular left fielder.

Which is not the best of ideas.

Hopefully, the Dodgers have returned to looking at Podsednik as a backup, because if they’re planning on starting him, that’s trouble.

Podsednik will be 35 going into spring training, has no power, showed surprising awkwardness defensively and missed the final few weeks of the season with plantar fasciitis.

He is, however, reasonably priced. The option for next season is $2 million.

On the season, Podsednik hit .297 with 35 stolen bases and 63 runs in 595 at-bats. For the Dodgers, however, he slid. He hit .262 with five stolen bases and 17 runs in 149 at-bats. When Rafael Furcal was out injured, Podsednik hit in the leadoff spot but had only a .313 on-base percentage as a Dodger.

A Dodgers lineup with both Podsednik and Ryan Theriot (.321 OBP) struggled to score runs. And, of course, the last time we saw Podsednik he was in a walking boot.

If the Dodgers want to use the stoic Podsednik as a fourth outfielder, however, he certainly has uses. They can’t platoon him in left with Jay Gibbons, both being left-handed. They could with Casey Blake, should they acquire a third baseman, hopefully with some pop.

As a speedy, veteran backup and occasional spot starter in the outfield, he’s a positive addition. The Dodgers, however, need to add some power to their lineup, and at the moment, left field is the clearly open spot.

-- Steve Dilbeck