Heading into this season, some of the players no long on the roster were Mark Ellis, Jerry Hairston Jr., Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker. All four brought a veteran presence to the clubhouse that may have been played a role in the Dodgers turning their season around.
Ellis, Punto and Schumaker all signed with a new team this season, while Hairston Jr. retired. Following a four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds, Schumaker acknowledged the Dodgers’ talent, but added the lineup is more of a threat when players
The Dodgers replenished the bench this season with the likes of Chone Figgins and Justin Turner. Mattingly acknowledged the difficulty in being able to carry the same bench year-to-year and praised this year’s rendition, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
The bench always seems like it turns over,” Mattingly said. “It’s hard to keep that mix the same. The guys we’ve had have been good. The guys we have now have been good. It’s not fair to compare one year against the other.”
Though primarily filling in at third base, Figgins has played a multitude of positions for the Dodgers that includes second base and shortstop. With Juan Uribe on the disabled list, Turner has received regular playing time and responded well.
Often the forgotten outfielder, Scott Van Slyke has also been of value to the Dodgers. With Matt Kemp being moved to left field, Van Slyke has platooned with Andre Ethier as of late and continued to punish left-handed pitching.
Though the bench may not have as much veteran leadership as last year’s group, the Dodgers have a trio of players who have proven capable of contributing.
Dodgers Outfielder Andre Ethier Surprises Middle School Students