The Los Angeles Dodgers remained active during the All-Star break in terms of roster movement as Miguel Vargas was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Manager Dave Roberts hinted at the possibility earlier this month as the 23-year-old has been mired in a season-long offensive slump. Vargas is batting .197/.302/.370 with 15 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 32 RBI in 81 games this year. He hit just .136/.243/.273 over his last 30 games.
For his part, Vargas recently said he had not lost confidence at the plate and believed a turnaround would eventually come.
Roberts reiterated to the rookie infielder that the Dodgers still have big plans for him and believes Vargas’ demotion to Oklahoma City will help his development, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“None of us saw this coming,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I wanted to assure him that we didn’t lose any faith in him. I thought this was the right thing for him and his development. I think the injury to his right thumb and then trying to find his swing didn’t help the situation. Then you start scuffling and you’re not getting hits when you hit the ball hard. It sped up on him.”
Roberts had previously suggested Vargas’ slow start was related to the right pinky fracture he sustained in Spring Training and a subsequent hit by pitch on his hand early into the 2023 season. However, Roberts more recently ruled those out as being to blame for Vargas’ ongoing struggles.
With Vargas in OKC, Mookie Betts presumably will continue to see more time at second base. Chris Taylor was also activated off the 10-day injured list and could occasionally play there as well.
Miguel Vargas remaining confident
Considering Vargas was carried by his hit tool throughout the Minor Leagues, his struggles at the plate have been a surprise for all.
Prior to the Dodgers sending Vargas to Oklahoma City, he said confidence was not an issue. Vargas believed his at-bat quality and controlling the strike zone would ultimately lend to improved results.
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