Dodgers Insider Believes David Peralta Signing is Tough News for James Outman
The Dodgers signed David Peralta on Friday, adding a left-handed outfield bat in a move that came as a surprise to a lot of people. In some ways, the addition of Peralta raises more questions than it answers, as Los Angeles had a crowded outfield competition scheduled for spring even without him.
One LA insider thinks Peralta’s signing is bad news for outfield prospect James Outman.
Mookie Betts is obviously entrenched in right field. Outman, Trayce Thompson, and Chris Taylor all have experience playing center, plus non-roster invitee Jason Heyward (although Heyward’s best defensive years came in right). All four of those potential center-fielders are also potential left-fielders, along with Michael Busch and now Peralta.
Busch was already looking at an uphill battle for a roster spot, and the Peralta signing seems to seal his fate as a Triple-A guy to start the season. I’m not as convinced as Toribio that Outman will start in the minors, though. Taylor is coming off a terrible year, and Thompson’s 2022 season was good but possibly the result of an unsustainable BABIP. Heyward has been good enough to start just twice in the last seven years, and while he remains an elite athlete and hopes are high, he was a minor-league signing for a reason.
Peralta won’t get many starts against left-handed pitchers, and Thompson might not make sense as a platoon partner for him since he was also terrible against lefties last year. That means Taylor is probably starting in left against lefties. Outman is the only pure center-fielder in the group, and there are various reasons why left field makes more sense for each of Taylor, Thompson, and Heyward.
Could Peralta bump Outman off the roster? He definitely could. But I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion is the odd man out, man.
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Outman is facing a challenge that he must overcome if he is to remain a Dodger.
Spring training is that opportunity. Good luck.
Just made Justin Heywards odds of making the team a lot longer.
It has to be frustrating for Outman. However, look at the pitching situation and there is about 122 pitchers trying to join the Dodger pitching staff when there are only about three openings. (yeah, that was sarcastic).
Peralta is way past being able to play CF on any kind of regular basis. Old Man Time is definitely on his heels. But, I like the Dodgers challenging Outman instead of just ordaining him pre-season. The good thing is; Outman has the work ethic to make himself better! He may start at AAA for the first two months (remember, it’s all about ‘team control’) until Peralta, Heyward and whatever other well-past-his-prime OF they throw out there proves he’s basically retirement material. Silly to spend $8 mil just to motivate a young player… :-/
It seems either the team isn’t that into James Outman enough to get consistent at-bats, or perhaps they just desire to use them as filler for injuries etc. Is it Dave or the front office that has shown a track record of signing a veteran player over playing a younger player. If they feel the players are ready for the big leagues, would it not be of benefit give them some time to show what they have, rather than just sitting on the bench and subbing in a few times or playing Sunday day games.
Peralta’s performance is on the decline. What exactly does starting him ahead of Outman gain the club? More K’s? Less assists? Don’t get me wrong I like veteran guys in the lineup, but sometimes Roberts just seems to put “penciling in the same old name” rather than letting a kid move up, and work with him to create a better player. Then again, if Roberts brings him up and has him playing 6 positions by May, he could ruin the kid this year.