Dodgers News: LA Reportedly Believed Edwin Rios Wasn’t Doing Enough to Improve
When Edwin Rios made his debut with the Dodgers in 2019, he brought with him stories of prodigious power down in the minor leagues. The output over his first two seasons in the bigs matched the hype. In limited chances over 2019-2020, the slugger hit 12 home runs in 60 games, putting together a .972 OPS powered by an impressive .643 slugging percentage.
Then the injuries happened.
2021 was a wash as a shoulder issue sapped him of any ability to hit. In 2022, he got off to a nice start power wise again (7 HR in 27 games) but didn’t show much in the way of contact or on-base skills (.293 OBP) before a hamstring injury sidelined him for most of the season.
Once he was healthy, the club kept him down in the minor leagues, a telling sign of things to come.
In November of last year, he was non-tendered by the club, becoming a free agent for the first time in his career. He eventually latched on with the Chicago Cubs a week into spring training hoping to get back on track at the big league level. Then the stories started creeping out.
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Los Angeles Times scribe Jorge Castillo visited Cubs camp to catch up with Rios and former Dodger star Cody Bellinger last week. Via Castillo, Rios shared his frustration over the end of his time with the LA ballclub. Within Jorge’s column is another note from the Dodgers’ point of view that paints more of a picture of why the team chose to cut him this past offseason.
The Dodgers, according to people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, didn’t believe Ríos was adequately developing his skill set beyond his power.Via Jorge Castillo, LA Times
Going back a bit, again, Rios brought those stories of prodigious power up from the minor leagues. And those stories proved to be factual. Edwin Rios could hit the ball hard and far… when he made contact.
As Cubs president of baseball operations, Jed Hoyer told Castillo, “the Dodgers have been so deep that it’s been hard to break into a lineup and (Rios) never played consistently.” But the fact of the matter is that he was given opportunities but injuries and inability kept him out of the lineup consistently.
Beyond the hitting side of things, Rios never proved to be a serviceable glove anywhere LA played him, at least outside of first base. Certainly, injuries played a massive role in his downfall defensively over the years, but even at the minor league level, the numbers show a below-average defender. Over parts of 6 seasons at the minor league level, Rios has 74 (!) errors at third base in just 267 games. He saw some time in left and right field here and there, but not enough to make an impact.
If Dodgers brass is airing concern over a player’s desire to improve, I tend to believe them. LA’s track record of bringing something good out of players speaks for itself. And players like Noah Syndergaard and Jason Heyward signed with this club because of that track record.
Hopefully, Edwin finds that next gear and becomes a bona fide major league star. The power potential is there, just needs one more dimension to the game to stand out.