Tony Gwynn Jr. could be the Dodgers’ starting center fielder

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Tony Gwynn Jr. was non-tendered by the Padres, but ESPN Los Angels reports that he may be good enough to start for the Dodgers:

As he prepared to leave baseball’s quarterly owners’ meetings, [Ned] Colletti said Gwynn’s speed and defensive ability were strong enough that if he can return to form offensively — he hit just .204 for the San Diego Padres last year — he could wind up as the regular center fielder, withMatt Kemp moving to right and Andre Ethier to left.

I don’t know what “return to form” means in DodgerLand, but Gwynn has hit just .244/.323/.314 in 1,054 plate appearances. He’s 28. What you see is what you get.

Which doesn’t mean he’s useless, of course. He’s got a great glove and he’s fast.  If he can pull off even a slight uptick from his career norms — if he can get just one extra flare a week, just one – a gork, a groundball, a groundball with eyes … if he can get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week — he could be a useful starter.

Personally, though, I’d rather have Matt Kemp in center and a nice platoon in left involving Jay Gibbons and someone.