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Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Talks Trayce Thompson's Resurgence and Future in LA

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts talked about what Trayce Thompson brings to the team and what to expect from the outfielder in 2023.

Trayce Thompson was a pleasant surprise for the Dodgers in 2022. When Mookie Betts went down with a rib injury in June, Los Angeles brought in Thompson as a short-term replacement to fill the gap for a few weeks. Instead, he ended up sticking around the rest of the season and posting a 145 OPS+ with 28 extra-base hits.

When the Dodgers non-tendered Cody Bellinger this fall, it opened up more potential playing time for Thompson, although L.A. doesn't seem ready to hand the center-field job to him.

Still, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts has nothing but great things to say about Thompson. When talking with the media at the Winter Meetings, Roberts talked about the intangibles Trayce brings to the team.

"Trayce is a high character guy, tremendous athlete. He earned his way back on the radar as a big league ball player."

While Trayce's specific role hasn't been determined for 2023, Roberts is looking forward to a productive season in which Thompson will fill several holes.

"I expect more big things out of him. I think the easy one is he was considerably better versus right this year. I think that's something that I don't think anyone saw happening. But I think that's something that's going to be front of mind for him this winter.

"I just saw him recently. Looks great. He's focused. He's ready, which is no surprise. And expect him to kind of play all three [outfield positions] next year."

Right field is pretty much locked down with Betts, although Roberts has said he likes the idea of Mookie getting an occasional start at second base as a partial day off. Center and left have much more playing time available at the moment, so having Thompson available to play all three positions would make him a very valuable fourth outfielder, especially if he can bounce back and hit lefties as well as righties.

Either way, Trayce's presence is something Roberts obviously values.