LOS ANGELES -- A mass of roster moves by Dodgers management this year has the side benefit of keeping Minor Leaguers on their toes, because in this organization you never know when you'll get the call.Non-roster players like Rob Segedin can spend the first half of his first season getting
LOS ANGELES -- A mass of roster moves by Dodgers management this year has the side benefit of keeping Minor Leaguers on their toes, because in this organization you never know when you'll get the call.
Non-roster players like Rob Segedin can spend the first half of his first season getting passed over by other Triple-A infielders like Charlie Culberson and Chris Taylor and not feel hopelessly buried. Segedin kept to the task and finally got the call Aug. 7. He's played in every game since, going 6-for-20 (.300) with six RBIs and starting the last two games at third base because of Justin Turner's bruised hand.
The Dodgers have made 140 roster moves since Opening Day, many dictated by a record-breaking number of injuries. They have recalled 40-man roster players 26 times and selected non-roster players nine times.
While front-office manipulation around the roster fringes might seem like an obsession to some, the players most affected appreciate the club's willingness to spread opportunities around in the search for incremental improvement.
"You never know what the move's going to be," said Segedin. "It seems like it happens every other day, almost like a revolving door that keeps shuffling us back and forth, but we appreciate the opportunity.
"A lot of it goes off current performance. That helps you keep that edge, going out on a daily basis and giving your best and perform at the top of your game. We're all working to be here [in the Major Leagues], and any given day any of us can get called up."
Segedin spent his first six professional seasons with the Yankees and described their approach as more traditional -- the top prospects on the 40-man roster are usually the ones promoted, while the non-roster players are generally considered fillers.
"The Dodgers have overall more of a sense of urgency," he said. "A Yankees prospect stays on the 40-man and it's more long term, where the Dodgers it's more day to day -- whatever they need to do for the next game. Other organizations, you've got to hope you're on the 40-man. But me, Andrew Toles, they want to put the best team out there that day, and it's awesome to be part of that kind of organization."
Segedin was acquired from the Yankees for Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Olson in January. The 27-year-old missed his sophomore season at Tulane with an injury called a pars defect, a stress fracture of the vertebrae in the spine. In 2013, he was limited to only 18 games before doctors discovered femur deformities that required labrum surgery and bone shaving in both hips.
With greater flexibility from the surgery, Segedin earned his promotion this year, batting .319 with a .989 OPS at Triple-A Oklahoma City. It hasn't been an easy journey, but he's not complaining.
"My wife and I have a mantra, from the [Robert Lipsyte] book, The Contender -- 'It's the climbing that makes the man. Getting to the top is an extra reward.' That's how I feel about the ups and downs I've had to get here."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.