Pierre might be odd man out
Could be squeezed out in crowded outfield equation
LOS ANGELES -- Juan Pierre signed to be the Dodgers' everyday center fielder two winters ago. When Andruw Jones was signed this past winter, Pierre learned that he was no longer the center fielder.
On Sunday, Pierre might learn he's no longer an everyday player, too.
"If they're going by the spring, I'll probably be sitting on the bench," said Pierre, who despite hitting .169 said he hasn't been pressing.
"It is what it is. It's a tough situation for me. I go out and play hard every day. But when you sign a five-year contract and you think you'll be in one spot and they go out and sign somebody to play your position and I certainly didn't have a horrible year. I come in and everything's changed, well, it's the cards I've been dealt."
Manager Joe Torre all spring has put off deciding who will flank Jones in the outfield among Pierre and young outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. Ethier leads the club in home runs with six and is batting .365. Kemp had three hits Saturday night and is batting .307. Both have stronger throwing arms than Pierre.
"It's a tough situation they created and put me in," said Pierre. "It's one thing to move to left field, but now I don't even know if I'm going to play. And I'm at a point in my career, my game isn't diminishing. I'm not 38 or 39 (he's 30). I'm not an old man."
Pierre, who hit .293 last year with 64 stolen bases, spent most of this Spring batting leadoff. But in recent games, Torre has dropped him to the bottom of the batting order, while Ethier and Kemp have remained in the middle of the batting order and Rafael Furcal has led off.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.