The Dodgers bench is looking bleak offensively for the 2013 season. Unless something of the miracle type happens during the spring, the Dodgers bench is not looking very impressive. Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto, and Tim Federowicz just don’t scream or even whisper “offensive threat” off the bench to me. First of all, the Dodgers bench is of the ripened variety, especially with Federowicz removed from the equation. The Dodgers need to get younger and more offensive focused on the bench. Sure our bench can play a solid defense, but when you need a big hit off the bench I wouldn’t exactly want to trust any one of these guys. In fact, I would take Elian Herrera over any one of these guys any day of the week. Speaking of Elian, what ever happened to him? He got buried by Juan Uribe and Jerry Hairston. Yuck. Hopefully he can make a statement this spring.
Notice anything glaring wrong with the picture? No backup first baseman? Ding-ding-ding! Apparently Juan Uribe is going to get the first crack at winning the job, but unless I’m mistaken he has never played a single game at first base. Even if he has, Uribe can’t hit a baseball all that well these days, and I don’t really want to see him getting more opportunities to prove to us what we already know.
Enter Casper Wells, currently buried on the Seattle Mariners depth chart. Wells, 28, is a solid option to help get the Dodgers bench going in the right direction. Wells plays first base and all three outfield spots, with above average defense too. Casper has been playing great outfield defense at SafeCo Field, and he possesses a strong arm to boot. Not the greatest of basestealers but he has decent speed, that’s for sure.
But wait, this is where it gets good, Casper, he has power, having clubbed 25 home runs and 29 doubles in 656 career plate appearances in the big leagues with Detroit and Seattle since the start of the 2010 season. Wells also posted a respectable .698 OPS in 2012, and his career mark is .752. He’s has shown to be a good hitter with men in scoring position to this point, with a career .865 OPS in those situations. Add two outs to the equation and the number jumps up to a very impressive career OPS average of .953, not too shabby. That is leaps and bounds better than any of our current bench options, but you already guessed that I’m sure.
Not only is he a solid right-handed bench option, he could also help give situational rest to guys like Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, and Adrian Gonzalez, that could get him some decent playing time. Topping it all off, Casper was one of the best right-handed situational hitters in the league last season. So why with all this information and data is Casper on the outside looking in? I honestly have no clue. I thought for sure he’d have an everyday job this season. That doesn’t appear to be the case, perhaps the time to strike a deal has come.
Casper Wells isn’t perfect, trust me, I know. He strikes out quite a bit and I don’t see him being an MVP anytime soon, or ever. But he has a very nice skillset, is a low cost, relatively young option and he would fit in to the Dodgers current scheme quite nicely. I don’t see him costing much to acquire, my guess is the Mariners would take Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, or Ted Lilly straight up for him. Working out the financial aspect of the trade could be quite tricky. Either way you slice it the Dodgers need a 1B/OF, and the Mariners need a boost in their rotation and all three of those guys, if healthy, would do just that.