It was pretty easy to see all season long — something wasn’t right with Dodgers’ slugger Edwin Rios. Not normally blessed with elite bat to ball skills, the 27-year-old still could actually make contact with a baseball more regularly than he had been. But after struggling and likely pressing for the first month-plus of the season, Rios revealed that something, in fact, wasn’t quite right with him.
Earlier this week he was placed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. It’s easy to point to his shoulder and put all the blame on that, but Dave Roberts said that’s not Eddie’s style.
“I think that, as I talked to Edwin and kind of got more color on it, I think [the shoulder] had a big part to it. He’s not an excuse maker, so he’ll never use it as an excuse. But I certainly believe that the shoulder affected performance largely.”
Rios had been mired in a horrific slump for weeks, hitless over his last 37 plate appearances before hitting the IL. The noise started understandably getting louder as the struggles continued, why is he in the lineup?
His career .972 OPS before 2021 is why.
When he’s right, Edwin Rios can flat-out slug. When he’s wrong, his long swing struggles to play up, particularly when the entire Dodger lineup had been struggling to produce. Now, Rios can get healthy and focus on getting back to what he was in 2020.
“To get away from this hot box, said Roberts, “and not have to see what the scoreboard says and hear about things — just to take a breath. I think it’ll be good for him mentally, physically, emotionally, just to get a reset. Number one, we have to get him back healthy and then get him slinging free and easy and get that shoulder healthy.”
Rios will join the legion of injured Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Arizona looking to make their way back to the active roster.