Restless Gordon eager to get rolling in camp
MIAMI -- The waiting and anticipating is making Dee Gordon antsy. The speedy Marlins second baseman, who paced the Majors with 64 steals last year, is ready to get Spring Training rolling.
So much so that recently Gordon sent infield coach Perry Hill a message that said he would meet him in the parking lot on the first day of full-squad workouts, which is Feb. 24.
"I was waiting on [Hill], like, a month ago," Gordon said. "I'm excited. I work hard. That's one thing I pride myself on, working as hard as possible. I'm just ready to take my game to the next level."
Gordon, 26, raised his game with the Dodgers in 2014, becoming an All-Star while leading the league in stolen bases and triples (12). He batted .289 with a .326 on-base percentage, and he scored 92 runs on a division-winning club.
After managing just 58 stolen bases as a team a year ago, the Marlins made adding speed a priority. In Gordon, they now have one of the fastest players in the game.
A converted shortstop, Gordon said he still has plenty to learn at second base. And he is looking forward to working with Hill (nicknamed "Bone"), who is regarded as one of the best infield instructors in the game.
"There's a lot more second base in me," Gordon said. "There is a lot I still don't know. Honestly, I didn't really know how to learn on the fly with the Dodgers. Bone is going to be a great teacher. I've heard nothing but great things about him, so I can't wait."
Gordon already is in South Florida, participating in the Marlins Ayudan Caravan Week, which concludes with the Winter Warm-up on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Saturday is the first day individual game tickets go on sale, and they are available at marlins.com.
Miami's pitchers and catchers open Spring Training on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
In Los Angeles, Gordon experienced winning. Through a number of offseason moves, the Marlins have elevated their talent. They've added Michael Morse, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Martin Prado and Ichiro Suzuki, to go with an existing core that includes Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez.
"Yeah, it compares," Gordon said of the Dodgers' and Marlins' rosters. "We've got guys from top to bottom. We've got some veterans like Ichiro. It's a good time to be a Marlin."