Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After productive showings during parts of the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Edwin Rios was eager to contribute to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a bigger role last year.
The 27-year-old was expected to take a step forward as the backup to Justin Turner and primary left-handed bat off the bench, but struggled out of the gate before landing on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation in early May.
Rios had just four hits on the season and was mired in an 0-for-32 skid at the time of being sidelined. He unfortunately didn’t get an opportunity to redeem himself as he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder on May 21.
Rios understandably was frustrated with learning he would be out for the remainder of the season, but vowed to come back better than ever. “I’ll be back,” he said after his operation.
“We’re going to rehab this thing and I’m going to be back stronger. … The plan is to go to AZ, rehab this thing, get back to 100% and get back to doing what I do.”
In 25 games this year, Rios hit just .078/.217/.137 with one home run in 60 plate appearances. He recently revealed that he played through shoulder trouble since his days at Florida International University, so there is optimism he will no longer be limited going forward.
Rio’s 2021 highlight
Rios’ best performance of the 2021 season came on April 6 against the Oakland Athletics when he went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. It was his only multi-hit game of the year.
Rios remains under team control, and assuming he makes a full recovery in time for Spring Training, figures to compete for a spot on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster as a member of the bench.
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