LOS ANGELES -- A year ago, Rob Segedin was contemplating retirement. He had just been sent down to Double-A by the Yankees, a team not interested in releasing him to find another opportunity.Sunday, he was standing on second base in Dodger Stadium, emphatically pumping his fist after a bases-loaded double
LOS ANGELES -- A year ago, Rob Segedin was contemplating retirement. He had just been sent down to Double-A by the Yankees, a team not interested in releasing him to find another opportunity.
Sunday, he was standing on second base in Dodger Stadium, emphatically pumping his fist after a bases-loaded double against David Price that helped lead the Dodgers to an 8-5 win over the Red Sox.
Between those two points, he found a trade to the Dodgers, an invite to Spring Training, a stellar campaign at Triple-A Oklahoma City and a team surrounding him to celebrate a call that had finally come. And that's not even to mention the baby on the way.
"We were actually doing team defense in Oklahoma and it was hot out," Segedin said. "Our manager called everybody in, the whole team into the mound. I thought we were going to get yelled at because we were struggling of late. He said 'Hey, I just wanted you guys to know Segedin's going to The Show.' It was probably the best way that I could get that callup because it was so surprising. Usually they call you into the office and you kind of have an idea of it."
The promotion was a long time coming for the 27-year-old Segedin, who considered leaving baseball last year when the Yankees demoted him to Double-A. He was eventually traded to the Dodgers for a pair of Minor Leaguers, then got a non-roster invite to Spring Training. He excelled at Camelback Ranch and continued to do so at OKC.
Segedin was called up Sunday to reinforce the Dodgers' hitting against left-handed pitching, a decision that paid off superbly as he set the Dodgers' franchise record with four RBIs in a debut.
Segedin's wife, Robin, is 38 weeks pregnant and was at the stadium to watch him line a two-run double to center in the fourth inning and single home two more in the fifth as the Dodgers built a 6-2 lead.
He started in left field but saw his day end in the top of the sixth when he was removed as part of a double-switch. Safe to say everyone involved was already satisfied with the performance.
"The pitcher was going to go one-plus, so it's the mechanics of working a National League game and we felt we were going to upgrade the defense," manager Dave Roberts said of the decision. "He hasn't played too much out there in the outfield, so for me, it made sense."
Segedin has received starts at left field and every spot in the infield with OKC this season, but the vast majority of his playing time has come at first and third base.
While Segedin's position doesn't exactly track with what the Dodgers would want, his hitting against left-handers certainly does. He was hitting .354/.426/.626 in 99 at-bats against lefties in Triple-A.
"We needed a boost vs. left-handed starters and that's pretty well-documented," Roberts said. "For him to get an opportunity and for us to a little shot in the arm from Rob Segedin, definitely a big lift."
The Dodgers entered Sunday hitting .245/.317/.399 against southpaws. Part of that could be a rough season from Scott Van Slyke, who could have his role nearly eclipsed by Segedin as a righty bat that plays the corners. In 41 plate appearances against lefties this season, Van Slyke's .243/.317/.405 line is nearly identical to the team's line.
As far as corresponding moves, infielder Chris Taylor was optioned to OKC and outfielder Trayce Thompson (back irritation) was placed on the 60-day DL. Thompson's move was needed to clear a spot for Segedin on the 40-man roster.
Taylor had been working as the team's backup shortstop behind Corey Seager, but a healthy Enrique Hernández would likely fill that role. Roberts said he expected Taylor to return when rosters expand in September.
"I told [Taylor] in my meeting today with him that he's part of the solution," Roberts said. "He does a lot of things to help the team win. Right now, where we're at, it makes sense to bring Rob, but I expect him to be back."
Thompson's move to the 60-day DL is a clerical move given that Roberts said Friday the outfielder wouldn't be back until September.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.