LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers rhapsodize -- rightfully so -- about the defensive skill of shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena. But with Hanley Ramirez back from a couple of days away from the lineup with a sore calf, Arruebarrena is back on the bench and the Dodgers are in "see how it goes" mode.
"The one thing we like with Erisbel here is I have a true backup shortstop," manager Don Mattingly said. "I haven't had that."
Ramirez needs periodic days off as the Dodgers try to keep him healthy, and on those days Justin Turner has played shortstop -- or Chone Figgins (once). And as Mattingly said, that's not putting them in the best position.
But the flip side, of course, is that Arruebarrena cannot sit for too long at a time because the Dodgers do not want to slow his development.
"I don't want to knock Hanley, but the kid is special at shortstop," Mattingly said. "I don't think anybody would deny that."
Mattingly compares him to Atlanta's rangy, whiz kid Andrelton Simmons, as far as today's shortstops.
"He's a big kid, and the stuff we've seen him do in his work," Mattingly said. "Some of the things we've seen him do are fun to watch."
Scott Miller is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less