The Los Angeles Dodgers made a slew of Minor League signings last offseason, and among them was veteran catcher Rocky Gale right at the start of Spring Training.
The 30-year-old, coming off an eight-year stint with the San Diego Padres organization, added further depth to the Dodgers’ catching corps. He began the 2018 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he ultimately saw time in 85 games.
Gale hit .281/.305/.383 with 14 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 34 RBI over 318 plate appearances with the affiliate. He was one of four Oklahoma City Dodgers players to represent the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game.
As rosters expanded from 25 to 40 players in September, Gale earned a promotion to the Majors following Brock Stewart being placed on the 60-day disabled list.
Gale made his Dodgers debut on Sept. 23 against his former Padres club, entering the game as a defensive replacement for Austin Barnes.
Gale tallied one at-bat in the Dodgers’ 14-0 blowout over the Padres, popping out to the pitcher. He went on to appear in two more games at the Major League level before striking out in his final plate appearance of the season against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 30.
Gale logged just two plate appearances over three games with the Dodgers in September, but merely being called up was an achievement in itself.
With a stacked roster and scarce playing time for a number of veterans, Gale became the 52nd and final player to appear in a game for the club in 2018.
Having accumulated less than a full year of Major League service time thus far, Gale is pre-arbitration eligible this offseason. Considering their need for catching depth, retaining him at on team-friendly terms seems to be a given.