The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled Matt Beaty on Sept. 10 and since then he has appeared in eight games, but seven of them have been as a pinch-hitter.
Beaty’s lone start came on Sept. 17, when he was in left field as a replacement to Gavin Lux being a late scratch due to getting hit by a pitch from a pitching machine. Dating back to Aug. 1, Beaty has appeared as a pinch-hitter in 22 of his 26 games played.
“I like Matt Beaty on the bench,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained. “I don’t see him as a defender. I see him taking a great at-bat against a right-hander.”
Beaty is defensively limited with -6 career defensive runs saved, but his bat is just above league average as he has hit .259/.330/.412 with a 101 wRC+ in his career.
This season he is hitting .260/.358/.367 with a 106 wRC+ in 226 plate appearances. However, Beaty has struggled as a pinch-hitter both this season and since his MLB debut in 2019.
When coming off the bench, Beaty has hit just .195/.404/.247 with a 61 wRC+ in 89 lifetime pinch-hit appearances. This season alone he is hitting .156/.296/.156 with a 45 wRC+ in 55 such plate appearances.
Earlier this season, Roberts said the best way for Beaty to help the club would be as a pinch-hitter who makes some occasional starts.
“But I think the thing for our club and for Matt to impact our club, it’s to get periodic starts to keep him sharp and be that valuable bat off the bench,” Roberts said at the time.
Beaty was frustrated with demotion
When the Dodgers activated Mookie Betts off the 10-day injured list in late August, Beaty was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room.
Beatys said it was “a little frustrating going down,” but now he is happy to be back with the team and working in the same role as before.
“Kind of fitting back into my role like it was before I left, and that’s to be a bench bat, come off the bench and have good at-bats,” Beaty said. “Just trying to find my rhythm again. It was kind of shaky my first couple at-bats, but I’m starting to feel better in the box.”
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