At Triple-A, Gordon starts at second for first time

At Triple-A, Gordon starts at second for first time

LOS ANGELES -- Dee Gordon started at second base for the first time this season with Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday as the Dodgers look to expand Gordon's versatility.

Gordon pivoted on a pair of double plays and went 2-for-3 with a run scored at the top of the lineup. While Gordon has exclusively been a shortstop with the Dodgers in 152 Major League games since his debut in 2011, it appears the club is exploring different avenues to find playing time for Gordon down the road in the big leagues.

Second base is something new for Gordon, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he only recently learned about the idea.

"I haven't ever seen him over there," Mattingly said on Sunday. "I hadn't heard anything about it until the other day."

The organization is also considering using Gordon in the outfield.

Hanley Ramirez is blocking Gordon at shortstop, though Ramirez has started just five games there this season due to a lingering hamstring issue and a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery in March.

Gordon could also provide potential insurance for veteran second baseman Mark Ellis, who is nursing a strained right groin. Ellis, 36, has seen his playing time shrink as the Dodgers look to avoid aggravating the injury to keep him off the disabled list.

"Every time he plays, I guess we take a chance of it going the other direction," Mattingly said. "It's not really lingering, but we're trying to get rid of it."

The rest of the club's aging infield is not healthy, either. Nick Punto, 35, is playing through a sore back. Jerry Hairston, 37, has been hampered by groin and knee issues.

While Gordon hit .176 in 63 at-bats in May, when he started 16 games at shortstop after Ramirez strained his left hamstring, the Dodgers covet his speed. That's an area that is lacking on the current club, as ace Clayton Kershaw pinch-ran for Ramirez on Saturday night.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.