"First base: Hodges still is the best first baseman in the league. He's not through, but the day will come—so we've got to be ready for that day, even though it's a long time away.
"Our thinking is this: Jim Gentile's temperament has to change. He's really got to have more than just sock. He gets mad at himself, and when he does he's emotionally unstable. The thinking on him is this: maybe next year Hodges will need two or three days' rest a month. If he doesn't need it and Jim proves he can hit big-league pitching, then—and only if Hodges is agreeable—what's wrong with Gil playing somewhere else?"
Surmise: This could be the big move in the 1958 Dodgers—Hodges on third base, Gentile on first. Bavasi is convinced the team needs an injection of batting power. Gentile appears to be a major source. Hodges can play anywhere, and excel.
"Second base: we're perfectly satisfied with Jim Gilliam. If we find somebody in our organization who can take Gilliam's place there, then he's got to be an all-star. There's nobody immediately in sight. We have some kids who are two or three years away."
Surmise: Gilliam sticks.
"Shortstop: you got Charlie Neal there, right? I never saw a boy pick up a strange position the way he has. Sure he has faults. We'll work them out.
"There's a boy who was all-star second baseman in every league he played, and look how quickly he adapted himself to shortstop.
"At St. Paul, we've got Bob Lillis. He was the Association's all-star shortstop this year. Nine big-league clubs feel he's ready for the big leagues and have bid for him. So have we; that makes 10. If he's that good, there's a possibility of moving Neal back to second base if we have to. Anyway, it gives Walter a lot of chance to maneuver."
Surmise: It looks like Walter Alston will manage, and maneuver, for another year at least.