When the Dodgers acquired Trayce Thompson from the Tigers in June, it was expected to be a short-term solution to a temporary problem — Mookie Betts' fractured rib.
Thompson wasn't interested in being a short-term solution, though, so he proceeded to post a .900 OPS in his first 204 plate appearances back with Los Angeles. Mookie's rib has long since healed, but Trayce is still here and looking to be a key part of the Dodgers' postseason roster.
It wasn't just the fans who were surprised by Thompson's performance, either. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was on Dodger Talk with David Vassegh between games of the doubleheader on Tuesday, and he Trayce's breakout came as a shock to him, too.
"I love Trayce. When we won the division last week, seeing how overcome with emotion he was was incredibly touching. I'll be honest, when we got him, it was when Mookie broke his rib and we went through, looking for right-handed bats, and obviously, he was having success in Triple-A and we noticed some swing things that had changed.
"But if you would have asked me at that time, I would not have thought that it was going to be a longterm solution. So the credit goes to him, and it couldn't happen to a better guy. I love when good things happen to good people. He has elevated his game to a whole new level. And I think that comes some with confidence, and how much he loves being here. ...
"This is a different level, and he's earned the opportunity to be here and carved out some playing time, and I couldn't be happier that he's done that."
The resurgence of Trayce Thompson underscores that no matter how good a front office is, there's a little bit of luck involved in everything. The Dodgers knew Thompson from his time in Los Angeles in 2016-17, so they were willing to bet on his work ethic, but even Friedman has been surprised by the outfielder's success.
Just one more thing that will make a really interesting chapter on the Dodgers 2022 World Series DVD.