DeWitt makes most of time in bigs

DeWitt makes most of time in bigs

LOS ANGELES -- The Blake DeWitt watch, not a minor attraction during the Dodgers' rocky route through the first 10 games of 2008, continues.

The principal fallout from the March 7 exhibition game, which claimed third basemen Andy LaRoche (torn ligament in his right thumb) and Nomar Garciaparra (fractured bone in his right hand), has been DeWitt's showcase at third base over the first two weeks of the season.

More than aware of Garciaparra's first rehab start on Saturday with Triple-A Las Vegas, DeWitt said of his time in L.A., "It ain't the end."

It ain't. And for DeWitt, it's still the beginning. Every night.

Entering Saturday's game with San Diego, DeWitt was hitting .226 and was holding his own as the Dodgers' "everyday" third baseman over the first 11 games. On Saturday he contributed a two-run double during the fourth inning against the Padres.

"Everybody says, 'You're going to be going down shortly,'" DeWitt said. "That's OK, because nobody thought I'd be here in the first place. I'm just trying to pick up as much stuff as I can. That's what you have to do, whether you're a rookie or a 15-year veteran."

If you're passing through the hamlet of Sikeston, Mo., DeWitt's hometown, between now and the end of April, please be aware it's "Blake DeWitt Month" there.

Accolades or not, reality stares DeWitt in the face every day. His response: "This team needs Nomar healthy. Any team would."

Asked whether his thought process as a professional ever included goals that involved reaching a certain level at a certain stage, DeWitt said, "I used to go about it that way. Now, though, whatever happens, happens."

Ted Brock is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.