When Dee Gordon returns from his 80 game PED suspension July 29, the Marlins will “be creative” with regard to using Gordon and Derek Dietrich at second base, President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill told Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
“We’ve talked, whenever Dee comes back, we’ll just continue to be creative and keep everybody sharp. We always felt [Dietrich was good enough to be an everyday player] because of his offensive potential, his knowledge of the strike zone, his ability to get on base. Those are all things that make him an everyday player and now he’s just been given the opportunity to do it. We’ve been creative in finding at bats for him in the past.”
Miami will likely have to find a spot for Dietrich, who is batting .302 with three home runs and 26 RBIs over 66 games. Gordon is not playoff eligible and might be a valuable asset as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
It could be challenging for Miami to create routine playing time for both Dietrich and Gordon, since Gordon would receive the majority of starting time at second base. Dietrich could be a candidate to play at third or in the outfield, but Ichiro has been a consistent fourth outfield option and Martin Prado has been productive at third base, batting .312.
The Marlins might have to determine how they plan to use Gordon quickly, most notably because they sit atop the National League Wild Card standings and would enter the postseason without Gordon on the roster.
Dietrich, like Gordon, might be an intriguing trade chip as the Marlins evaluate the starting and relief pitching markets. However, he is a controllable infielder the Marlins could use in Gordon’s playoff absence and next season if the organization is unable to re-sign Martin Prado.
It will be interesting to see how the Marlins handle the Gordon-Dietrich situation. That won’t be an issue until the end of July, though.