Thompson and Taylor headed for Oklahoma
All the spring battles were decided yesterday with more players being optioned to AAA to play for Oklahoma.
Most of the players who didn’t make the Dodger opening day roster besides the prospects are basically bench players except for one.
Trayce Thompson – Thompson started spring late due to his lingering injury from last year, but eventually, he got it all sorted out and was able to prove to everyone he is healthy. I’m not sure the Dodgers would have signed Gutierrez if they had a crystal ball that would have told them that Trayce was going to be 100% healthy by the start of the year. I think Thompson can do everything that Gutierrez can do while also playing a better defensive outfield, including CF. He’ll bide his time in AAA while the current outfield answers some questions:
- Can Joc hit LHP well enough to play against them on a full-time basis?
- Does Guiterrez have another year left of elite hitting against LHP while not killing you in LF with his lack of mobility?
- Can Puig stop the regression and show he’s an everyday RF whose hammy’s won’t always be barking.
If these questions get answered on a positive note, Trayce may have a hard time finding a spot on the 2017 Dodgers.
Chris Taylor – one of my favorite acquisitions last summer, Chris Taylor is a better infield option than Enrique Hernandez, but alas he can’t play CF as Hernandez can. With Thompson in AAA, the Dodgers have no one else who can play CF. It was clear that even though Toles had played CF in the minors the Dodgers only consider him a corner outfielder as he got very little burn there in spring training. I really like Chris Taylor and it speaks to the Dodger depth that he’ll be joining Charlie Culberson at AAA. I have no idea where they are going to play all of Culberson / Taylor / Dickerson / Segedin assuming Calhoun is playing 2nd base. Not only are you going to have a grumpy bunch of players who didn’t make the Dodger roster, but some of them won’t even be playing every game.
Bobby Wilson – Austin Barnes deservedly won the backup job and Bobby Wilson will ply his trade for Oklahoma. I’d have been very disappointed in the Dodger FO if they had given the job to Wilson based on spring training. At this point in his career, all of baseball knows what Bobby Wilson is. He’s a nice backup catcher, probably better than AJ Ellis in that role but that is the extent of his credentials. Why his agent put him in the Dodger system instead of someplace like say the White Sox or Angels says that he didn’t have many options, or that if he did, they didn’t choose wisely. I found it interesting while looking at his career earnings on baseball reference they don’t even have a salary for the 2016 season. Poor Bobby has bounced around in the majors for eight years but still has less than 800 at-bats and has never made more than $700,000 in a season. He’s a future coach waiting to happen who has an opt our on May 1st. Hopefully, he’ll stay in the system and provide the depth the Dodgers might need if Grandal has his yearly injury. Oh, maybe that is why he signed with the Dodgers.