Dickerson leading pack for important outfield role

Dickerson leading pack for important outfield role

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Chris Dickerson has already been through too much to take anything for granted. Since his smashing rookie debut with the 2008 Reds, for whom he posted an OPS of 1.021 in 31 games, he has spun through three other organizations without getting a foothold.

The Pirates are No. 4, and Dickerson is building a solid case to be the choice as a left-handed-hitting fourth outfielder. He has reached base in nine of 10 games, is carrying a .429 batting average, has two steals and has handled himself well at all three spots in the outfield.

This is how well it is going for the 31-year-old Californian: a day that belonged to Tampa Bay pitching, a game in which his competitors shared a collar, ended with Dickerson on deck, the late-game sub never having to bat.

Still, Dickerson understands his role and situation despite the encouraging numbers.

"I can't get comfortable. Strange stuff has happened to me, so I'm not really concerned with it," Dickerson said.

Dickerson has played up to his confidence, which was evident the early-January day the Pirates signed him as a free agent. Addressing his chances of earning a job in the outfield, he said, "If I do what I'm capable of, there shouldn't be any question."

"There's nothing to it," Dickerson said of the ongoing competition. "I'll let my performance do the talking. I'll just continue to play the kind of baseball I am playing right now, and see where it goes."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.