Much noise has been made about the fact that the Dodger’s 2015 starting infield’s average age is 31. All four Dodger infielders this year are all over 30 years old. Adrian Gonzalez is 32. Howie Kendrick is 31. Juan Uribe is 35, and Jimmy Rollins is 36 years old.
Rollins and Barney-Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Of course this concerns me as well, and everyone else has a right to have concern over the aging infield. I would like to see the club get younger, and have been saying that for a couple of years now. However with this current quartet, we might not have as much to worry about as we fear.
First of all, Gonzalez is an iron man. He’s never been hurt in his career, and consistently plays in 160 games per season. Last year, Gonzalez played in 159 games. In 2013, he played in 157 games. Actually, Gonzo has never played in less than 156 games since his first two seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers in 2004-2005.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins is another ageless wonder. He’s rarely ever been hurt, and consistently plays in 150 games per season. Last year he played in 138 games in his age 35 season. The year before that he played in 160 games. In 2012, he played in 158 games. Rollins has only had one season (2010) in which he’s played in less than 137 games.
Howie Kendrick is no slouch himself in this department either. Last year the 31-year old played in 157 games. Since 2009, Kendrick has played in 140 games or more in four of his last five seasons.
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The biggest concern should be over Juan Uribe’s health. He’s the weak link in the chain as far as staying healthy goes. Even Uribe is still good for at least 100 games. The portly lovable third sacker played in 103 games last year, and 132 games in 2013.
The Dodgers do have some depth, just in case. Super utility guy Justin Turner can play second, short, and third. Scott Van Slyke can sub at first base in case of an emergency. Super prospect Corey Seager is waiting in the wings to take over at shortstop. The Dodgers also have Alex Guerrero, Darwin Barney, and Enrique Hernandez all battling for bench spots this spring.
Gonzalez had played in 1,492 games. Rollins has played in 2,090 career MLB games, while Uribe has laced up his cleats in 1,634 games. All four infielders have played in a combined total of 6, 297 games. With Uribe being the exception, the ageless infielders have managed to stay relatively healthy. In this situation, let us hope that experience trumps age.