Dave Roberts: Michael Busch ‘Earned His Way’ Onto Dodgers Roster, But Role Unclear

The Los Angeles Dodgers finally placed J.D. Martinez on the 10-day injured list after weeks of dealing with a groin/adductor injury, which opened up a roster spot for the club to recall Michael Busch from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Busch joined the Dodgers roster for a third time this season, but he’d only appeared in 15 games prior to the latest callup, hitting .200/.294/.267 with three doubles, four RBI and six walks.

However, the top prospect continued to rake in Triple-A, winning the Pacific Coast League Player of the Month for July, and he continued that into August by batting .343/.432/.686 with four doubles, one triple, six home runs and 16 RBI in 18 games.

Because of his production, Busch forced the Dodgers’ hand to add him onto their roster and became the obvious choice to fill in for Martinez, manager Dave Roberts discussed on SportsNet LA:

“Michael earned his way to get back here, performing really well. He’s going to DH [Tuesday], he’ll be down tomorrow but available off the bench, and then I’ll figure out if he’s going to play the field or DH on Thursday. And then we’ll see from there.”

Busch’s role moving forward remains to be seen, and getting him consistent at-bats may prove to be a challenge with the options available to Roberts on a nightly basis. But the Dodgers also didn’t call him up to watch from the bench, so Roberts plans to do his best to give Busch some runway to get consistent at-bats:

“I’m going to try, but it’s also important for the other guys that have been here, to keep them going too. So try to mix and match, keep guys going, I’m going to do my best.”

Primarily a second baseman, Busch has also seen time at first base, third base and left field as a way of increasing his versatility, but defense has never been a strong skill of his.

The 25-year-old’s best position may be designated hitter thanks to a hit tool and power that should carry him to a solid Major League career, but he has made a strong effort to improve his defense and the results have shown up.

Michael Busch started at DH against Guardians

In his first game since being recalled, Busch started as the Dodgers’ DH on Tuesday against the Cleveland Guardians. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, lowering his season average to .188 with a .528 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Busch has had a slow start to his MLB career, but he has been hurt by a lack of consistent playing time. It may be beneficial for the Dodgers to give him a run of starts to let him adjust to big league pitching.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!