Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Admittedly Surprised by Success of Trayce Thompson
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.
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Quit being surprised and play him more. He is outplaying Gallo and Taylor.
Gallo hasn’t impressed me Trace Thompson has alot going on. Get rid of Gallo.
He’s trying to fit him in when he can?!? For goodness sake, his numbers and the eye test say he’s better than Gallo, Taylor and even Bellinger right now! His defense is spectacular too. Baseball IQ seems out the roof! Come on, Dave. Stop being surprised! Just do it!!! (I do like him in the bottom of the order. Even though he’s clutch, it “feels” like he’s more productive in 7, 8 or 9th batting order. Anybody got data on that? And I don’t like him as a one-off DH. He needs to be in the flow of the game for his best performance.)