Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
As the Los Angeles Dodgers approach the end of their 2022 Spring Training schedule, Jake Lamb is making a strong push for a spot on their Opening Day roster.
The 31-year-old was among the club’s list of non-roster invitees after signing a Minor League contract earlier this month. He has taken advantage of his opportunities thus far, hitting .421/.450/.842 with two doubles, two home runs and a team-leading eight hits in eight Cactus League games.
Lamb has struggled to remain healthy the past four seasons, which negatively impacted his trajectory after a 2017 All-Star season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Now feeling better than he has in years, Lamb attributed his improved health and swing mechanics to his early success with the Dodgers, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Those were some serious mental demons I had to fight,” he said of his journey the past three years. “Any time I made a swing change and it didn’t work, I just wanted to go back to what I was thinking back then. But I had shoulder surgery. It was different. Things moved differently. My mind – I can’t speak enough to that – is in a much better state. I feel I’m stronger than I was back then. My swing is in a better spot. Now it’s just about going out there and showing that.”
Since earning an All-Star Game appearance with the Diamondbacks in 2017, Lamb has batted a combined .203/.308/.355 across 220 games from 2018-21. He is coming off a particularly futile 2021 season with the White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays that saw him hit a combined .194/.306/.368 in 55 games.
The Dodgers have found success with reclamation projects in recent years as Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner are among the players who experienced a turnaround at the plate after joining the club.
If Lamb breaks camp with the Dodgers, he will look to become the latest success story. Lamb would give the team another left-handed bat off the bench, joining other potential options Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios.
An infielder by trade, Lamb saw time at the corner outfield spots last season and has played right field this spring. His willingness to play multiple positions could further help his case for a spot on L.A.’s Opening Day roster.
Dodgers would need to make roster move for Lamb
If Lamb is to make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for the 2022 season, a move will be required to add him to the 40-man roster. That could be as simple as transferring Caleb Ferguson or Tommy Kahnle to the 60-day injured list.
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