Dickerson Leading Candidate For Left Field Spot, But Baker Says No Guarantees

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Former Wolf Pack star Chris Dickerson remains the leading candidate for the Cincinnati Reds starting job in left field, but manager Dusty Baker says he isn't quite ready to set that in stone just yet.

“Who says left field is his?” Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “What are you talking about? Is that enough to make him the left fielder?”

Jonny Gomes, Jacque Jones, Laynce Nix, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Norris Hopper are all still in the mix according to Baker.

“You need some (depth) more if you’re going to win,” Baker said.

Dickerson hit .304 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 31 games for the Reds. It was the best stretch he’s had since leaving Nevada.

Baker did tell the Enquirer that Dickerson has come along nicely.

“The fact that you’ve done it gives you confidence,” Baker said. “He’s always had the ability everyone was always trying to figure out when he was going to pull it together. Who can outrun him? Who can out-throw him? Who’s a better defensive player? Who has more power? Who’s bigger? Who’s stronger? You look at him, you’re like: ‘Damn, what took you so long?’ But it doesn’t matter when you get it. The key is to get it.”

Dickerson told the paper he's confident he can win the job. "You don't come here to sit on the bench," he said. He and the others will get a chance to prove themselves in the exhibition games. "(That's) what really matters," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. Let the games begin."