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Gordon takes simple approach to center field

New Mariners outfielder working hard on transition from 2B
MLB.com @DougMillerMLB

SEATTLE -- The Mariners don't seem concerned about how Dee Gordon will transition from second base to center field. And Gordon's teammates already know how he'll be in the clubhouse.

"He's the bringer of energy," new first baseman Ryon Healy said on Thursday at the club's annual pre-Spring Training media luncheon at Safeco Field. "He's the fountain."

SEATTLE -- The Mariners don't seem concerned about how Dee Gordon will transition from second base to center field. And Gordon's teammates already know how he'll be in the clubhouse.

"He's the bringer of energy," new first baseman Ryon Healy said on Thursday at the club's annual pre-Spring Training media luncheon at Safeco Field. "He's the fountain."

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Healy met Gordon this winter at a three-day retreat organized by Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz and he was taken by the gregarious nature of the team's new leadoff hitter. The two hung out during this quick trip to Seattle, too, and Healy walked away with yet another reason to be excited for 2018.

Meanwhile, Gordon, who was acquired in a trade with the Marlins on Dec. 7, said at the luncheon that he has been working out "every single day," as he put it, to become not just a Major League center fielder, but a great one.

Video: Dipoto finalized Gordon deal on an airplane via text

To that end, Gordon said his approach has been one of simplicity.

"Go catch the ball," Gordon said. "That's it."

Mariners manager Scott Servais said he watched one of Gordon's workouts in Florida recently and came away impressed. That's why there's little worrying about how the fleet-of-foot Gordon will adapt to the change of position.

"We're really confident in his ability to go out there and run fly balls down," Servais said. "He's getting after it. He wants to show up the first day of Spring Training and look like every other outfielder. And I give him credit for that.

"His goal is to be a Gold Glove center fielder. He's got the athletic ability and work ethic, and he's been around the game every day of his life. I think he's going to be fine. He'll stub his toe once in a while, misread a ball, but there's time to get up to speed. Dee is committed to being our center fielder."

Gordon said the one area of the transition that has been surprisingly difficult is the crow hop. As in, he never had to do it before, and he still doesn't really know how to do it. But he's getting there. And the statistics show that he should be perfect for center field.

Video: Servais excited for new additions Healy and Gordon

According to Statcast™, Gordon ranked fourth in the Majors last year in sprint speed, covering ground at 29.7 feet per second. The only three players ranked ahead of him in that category -- Byron Buxton of the Twins, Billy Hamilton of the Reds and Bradley Zimmer of the Indians -- all play center field.

Gordon also had 119 sub-4-second home-to-first-base times, which led MLB, and an MLB-best 101 ground-ball hits.

So while Gordon figures out the nuances of his new position, he'll still be the dynamic catalyst at the top of the Mariners' lineup.

"I'm going to do the little things to help us win," Gordon said. "These guys brought me in to be a piece, not the guy. Hopefully, I'll be the last piece of the puzzle."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Dee Gordon