LOS ANGELES -- An overcrowded Los Angeles Dodgers outfield claimed a victim on Tuesday when Trayce Thompson was designated for assignment.The solid defender with a long powerful swing is out of Minor League options and ended up on the wrong side of a numbers game when right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni
LOS ANGELES -- An overcrowded Los Angeles Dodgers outfield claimed a victim on Tuesday when Trayce Thompson was designated for assignment.
The solid defender with a long powerful swing is out of Minor League options and ended up on the wrong side of a numbers game when right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and added to the 40-man roster. Mazzoni, 28, was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
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Thompson was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in December 2015 and had a dynamic 80-game stretch in 2016, hitting 13 home runs, including multiple game-ending shots.
His 2017 season was far different, though, as Thompson was slowed by a back injury that was ultimately diagnosed as multiple stress fractures. He played in just 27 games last season, collecting six hits.
"It was a tough decision," manager Dave Roberts said. "Trayce does a lot of things well. Just where our roster is, an opportunity wasn't an option."
The Dodgers remain well stocked with outfielders in Matt Kemp, Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Alvin Toles. Infielder Kiké Hernandez will also see time in the outfield. Even if Thompson made the club, the Dodgers did not think there would be enough at-bats for him.
"With Trayce, he's a guy that needs to go out there and play," Roberts said. "We talked about it before, that when he had his success here, there was a two-month spurt when he got to play on a nightly basis, and we just didn't see that for him right now."
While Roberts sounded hopeful that Thompson would make it through waivers and remain with the organization, he sounded resigned to the fact that the outfielder would be claimed by another club.
"I think there is some interest in him, and we wish Trayce all the best," Roberts said.
Bullpen hopeful added at OKC
In Mazzoni, the Dodgers added a piece that figures to be added to the bullpen at some point this year. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound right-hander was a second-round Draft pick by the New York Mets in 2011.
He had a handful of games for the Padres in 2015 and '17. Mazzoni raced through the Mets' system as a starter, reaching Triple-A in '14, but the Padres converted him to a reliever after acquiring him via trade.
In 23 outings at Triple-A El Paso last season, Mazzoni posted a 0.59 ERA and had 48 strikeouts with just three walks. Mazzoni appeared in eight games with the Cubs this spring, posting a 9.27 ERA.
Roberts not ready to reveal lineup
The Dodgers were in no hurry to reveal their lineup for Opening Day on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants, but Puig helped deliver a clue during Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Angels that was shortened to five innings because of a water-main break at Dodger Stadium.
Puig appears to have locked down the No. 3 spot, at least at the outset, with two home runs in the Freeway Series and four since March 22. Puig has been batting third since Sunday, with Roberts saying at the time that it is a look he is willing to give some time.
If the Dodgers feature a heavy right-handed-hitting lineup against Giants lefty Ty Blach, Kemp, Taylor and Puig would likely be the outfield, Austin Barnes would catch and Hernandez would play second base.
What was Roberts willing to reveal?
"[Clayton] Kershaw's pitching," he said.
Kemp goes deep in exhibition finale
Kemp is starting to emerge from a late-spring slide that saw him go hitless in five consecutive games. He followed a single Monday with a home run on Tuesday.
It was Kemp's first home run in a Dodgers uniform at Dodger Stadium since Sept. 28, 2014, against the Colorado Rockies.
Kershaw will make his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday as the Dodgers welcome Blach and the Giants. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT.
Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.