Chone Figgins is back and might just catch on with the Dodgers

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Chone Figgins

Dodgers infielder Chone Figgins smiles during a team batting practice session at the Dodgers' practice facility in Glendale, Ariz., on Tuesday. Figgins understands he'll have to stand out in spring training if he has any hope of making the opening day roster. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / February 25, 2014)

"It kind of says it all," he said, "when you have just signed a $38-million contract [four years] and they pinch-hit for you in the fourth game."

He was happy to elaborate.

"I was in Seattle for three years," he said, "but it feels like it was just yesterday that I left the Angels."

He hit .308 last spring training for the Miami Marlins and was released March 20. He sat out the year and said it was near torture.

"It drove me crazy," he said.

Tuesday morning, after regular workouts, he worked with Dodgers legend Maury Wills at Wills' bunting station. Wills said, in Figgins, he expected somebody having played in the majors and now on a minor league contract to have a chip on his shoulder. Instead, he got a hard worker.

"I think he's got a real chance," said the 81-year-old Wills.

Figgins once hit for the cycle. He once had six hits in a game, and 53 in one month. He once led the majors by facing 3,058 pitches in one season. His batting average is .299 with runners on base, .293 with runners in scoring position.

In 2009, he played in the All-Star game.

Now, chances are, he'd trade a lot of that for a line-drive single in his first at-bat Wednesday, and maybe a three-for-four day.

A few more like that and the question will change. What happened to him will become how much can he help the Dodgers.

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