Author: Aaron Gleeman

Miguel Cabrera AP

Spring training quotes: Pants on, pants off


Don Mattingly says Jimmy Rollins will be the Dodgers’ leadoff man

Jimmy Rollins

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced that new shortstop Jimmy Rollins will be the team’s leadoff hitter, explaining: “We don’t truly have anyone else who fits in that role.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but whatever.

Rollins fits the old stereotype of a leadoff hitter because he’s a middle infielder with plus speed, but the problem is that he doesn’t actually get on base much.

Last season Rollins had a .323 on-base percentage and that was actually higher than his OBPs in 2012 and 2013. With that said, offense across baseball is down so much that NL leadoff men as a whole barely topped Rollins with a .327 OBP last season and Mattingly is right that the Dodgers lack an obvious leadoff candidate with great on-base skills unless they opt against using Yasiel Puig in the middle of the lineup.

Sandy Alderson shoots down Dillon Gee trade rumors

Dillon Gee Getty

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was asked about a Dillon Gee trade rumor that made the internet rounds Monday night and told reporters that it’s “fair to say” he’s had little-to no recent trade talks surrounding the veteran right-hander.

Just because I’m sure everyone is curious, the “rumor” was that the Rangers are interested in Gee and might be willing to include injured former top prospect Jurickson Profar in a deal to get him, but even with Profar out for a second straight season following shoulder surgery the idea of trading him for one season of a good but not great impending free agent starting pitcher seems outlandish.

Gee, who turns 29 years old next month, tossed 137 innings with a 4.00 ERA and 94/43 K/BB ratio last season and has a 3.91 ERA in 640 career innings for the Mets.