Figgins fitting in behind Gordon atop lineup
LOS ANGELES -- Chone Figgins, the veteran, and Dee Gordon, the kid with the golden future, are virtually inseparable. They were linked in Friday night's Dodgers lineup by manager Don Mattingly, who had Figgins at third base, batting behind the leadoff catalyst.
"I like Chone in that spot," Mattingly said. "He's a disciplined hitter, and he's a very smart player. I saw him miss a bunt purposely recently when he picked up Dee getting a great jump and stealing a bag. Chone really understands the game. He's been great with Dee, giving him that veteran leadership and encouragement."
Figgins, seventh among active players in career steals with 339, has six hits in his past 16 at-bats, lifting his average from .125 to .250. He gives Mattingly versatility with the ability to play six positions, pinch-hit and pinch-run. Figgins was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI behind Zack Greinke in Tuesday night's victory against the Reds.
"Chone's been looking a lot better," Mattingly said. "He can do a lot of things to help you win a game. There aren't many guys who can play that many positions as well as he can, and he's proven he can be a productive offensive player."
Figgins was signed to a Minor League contract after three seasons in Seattle. The switch-hitter was among the Angels' most valuable weapons from 2003-09.