Camp's bubble players having ups and downs

Camp's bubble players having ups and downs

Camp's bubble players having ups and downs
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There are a lot of moving parts to consider for the Dodgers' final bench spot, and a few came into play during Monday's 4-3 loss to the Indians in which Jerry Hairston, for the second time in a week, committed two throwing errors in one game at shortstop.

Hairston was signed for his versatility, a rare veteran with a professional bat and a glove that can handle second base, shortstop, third base and the outfield.

With inexperienced Dee Gordon being handed the starting shortstop job, the Dodgers signed Hairston believing he could be insurance at third base if Juan Uribe struggles again, while also backing up at short.

Hairston has committed only 12 errors in more than 1,000 Major League innings at shortstop, so the four errors he's logged so far have manager Don Mattingly puzzled and hoping it's an aberration.

"I feel that way," said Mattingly. "But four errors in two games is something you pay attention to. You don't sit there and bypass it. I caught a bunch of balls from him in drills today, and his throws were true. One of those [errors] today [a chopper over the mound], maybe he should eat the ball. One of those throws last week, [Russell] Mitchell came off the bag too early and it shouldn't have been an error on Jerry. So, two are not him."

If the Dodgers aren't comfortable with Hairston at short, that would improve Justin Sellers' chances of making the team because the Dodgers like his defense. Sellers added three hits Monday, including an double and RBI, raising his average to .385.

Mattingly, however, also is impressed with the play of non-roster corner infielder Josh Fields, a right-handed hitter with power who is having the kind of spring Jerry Sands isn't.

Fields split last year between Triple-A and Japan while rebounding from hip surgery. He lined out in the ninth inning Monday with a chance to tie the game, but he delivered another professional at-bat while his average slipped to .417.

Sands had an RBI single in two at-bats Monday, but otherwise this spring has not duplicated his eye-opening September and is batting .174.

"[Fields has] been pretty good, and we've been trying different things -- first, third [left field on Monday] -- and you can't complain about any of his at-bats," Mattingly said. "He's really solid."