Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After some struggles to finish out the 2022 season, Trayce Thompson and the Los Angeles Dodgers were confident he would bounce back this year.
However, the 32-year-old has only hit .125/.279/.339 and is yet to find expected success against left-handed pitchers. Following Friday’s start, Thompson is 2-for-33 with seven walks and 19 strikeouts against lefties this season.
Thompson has plenty of time to turn things around though. It’s still early in the season and if he’s able to identify his issue and correct it, he has the potential to be a productive bat off the bench for the Dodgers.
Although a slump can take a mental toll on any ballplayer, Thompson’s approach and attitude are focused on keeping an optimistic outlook, according to Bill Plunkett of Southern California News Group:
“You just try to stay positive and know that the fact of the matter is it’s a long season. You have to really take that to heart,” Thompson said before the game.
Thompson also said there were ‘two ways’ one could go about handling a slump and that he would rather take the more positive option:
“It’s coming. I know it is. I feel like you can be two ways about it. You can be pouty about it – ‘Woe is me.’ Or you can be, ‘You know what? I’m due.’ I feel like I have to choose the latter. I’ve served my time. Now it’s time to get hot.”
Although Thompson had a rough Spring Training, there was an immediate turn around during the regular season as he hit three home runs in his first game of the year.
However, things did not stay that way, especially as of late. Thompson is hitless in his last 27 at-bats, with more than half of them (17) ending on a strikeout.
What options do the Dodgers have if Trayce Thompson continues slump?
The Dodgers may be best off moving Thompson to a team in need of bats who can hit right-handers, but it can be difficult to match up on a trade this early in the season.
Still, a trade is most likely the best option for the Dodgers at finding a replacement, whether it be at the Major League level or the Minor Leagues.
Jason Heyward could receive more playing time with his career splits against lefties at .230/.302/.339, but that is still below league average and he hasn’t seen many at-bats against southpaws this season.
David Peralta is slightly better than Heyward when it comes to hitting left-handers, slashing .239/.303/.362 against them. Though, the Dodgers appear committed to keeping Peralta part of a platoon.
The Dodgers could also look to their Minors, but options are limited there as well. Their best choices may be Luke Williams or Yonny Hernández.
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