When the Dodgers acquired outfielder Trayce Thompson from the Tigers in late June, his role was pretty clear: help hold down the fort while Mookie Betts was on the injured list with a fractured rib.
Trayce must not have gotten the memo, because he hasn’t been playing like a fort-holder-downer in his two months back in Los Angeles. In 146 plate appearances, Thompson is hitting .297/.384/.563 for a .946 OPS that is 58 percent better than league average.
It’s not empty numbers, either, as Thompson has repeatedly come through in big situations. Nearly half his RBIs have come in the seventh inning or later.
When the Dodgers re-acquired Trayce, the thought was that he would mostly play against left-handed pitchers, but he has actually excelled much more against righties so far. In fact, if you had to choose one weakness for Thompson, it has been his performance against lefties (just a .555 OPS).
As Bill Plunkett writes in the Orange County Register, the Dodgers expected Thompson to be solid, but no one expected him to be as good as he has been, including manager Dave Roberts.
“I think we’re all surprised by it. I think Trayce is surprised by it,” Roberts said of Thompson flipping his career tendencies. “But Trayce has done a great job. I do think the numbers versus left will correct itself a little bit and hopefully the numbers versus right don’t self-correct either. Regardless, when he’s in there I feel good. He’s earned some opportunities, so I’m trying to get him in there when I can.”
After last year’s season-long struggle to find consistency off the bench, it’s a luxury for the Dodgers to be able to give Mookie a day off once in a while and know they have a player like Thompson ready to take his place.
Thompson was supposed to hold down the fort; now he’s a lock for an important role in October.
Dodgers Postseason Outfield Rotation, Chris Taylor Concerns, More Trayce Thompson, LA’s Best Pickups
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!