02/27/10 4:15 PM EST
Dickerson wants shot at center-field job
Baker prefers versatile defender play left with Gomes
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
2010 Spring Training - Major League Baseball
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
"Reality is reality," Baker said. "[Dickerson] was disappointed he wasn't playing against lefties, but hey man, I've got a guy that's pretty good hitting against lefties in Jonny Gomes."Stubbs is also a former first-round Draft pick and 25 years old. Dickerson will turn 28 in April and was a 16th-round pick in 2003 -- three years before Stubbs was even drafted.
Dickerson has battled lots of injuries, including his missing most of the final five weeks of the 2009 season with a severely sprained left ankle while Stubbs came on. Stubbs has been durable since he turned professional."I told Dick last year, 'The reason I'm platooning you is to try and keep you healthy,' which still didn't work," Baker said. "Nobody said he wasn't in the running. Maybe he feels that. You have to re-establish yourself. You can't discount what Stubbs did that last month. You don't know if he's going to do it again. But you can't discount what he's already done." Dickerson spent the majority of his Minor League career in center field but moved to left field when he replaced Dunn. Stubbs has almost solely played center field in the Majors and Minors. Both are considered strong defensively and have speed to cover a lot of ground. Stubbs had already surpassed Taveras on the depth chart when Taveras was traded on Feb. 1. But Dickerson's name never really came up as part of the center-field conversation. "We discussed it last year, so it's not a new subject," Dickerson said. "[Baker] knows that I'm fortunate enough that I can play all three positions. Also, it's a challenge. [Baker] said he was always a center fielder in his career and got moved to left. Making that adjustment was really tough. He ended up being a Gold Glover in left field, and it's something to look to. He knows I can play center field and that it's my best position."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.