Dodgers News: Sheldon Neuse Determined To Contribute In Any Facet

With injuries continuing to mount over the past few weeks, Sheldon Neuse is among those the Los Angeles Dodgers have turned to in effort to fill the void. Neuse was recalled as the corresponding move to Gavin Lux being placed on the 10-day injured list last week.

The Dodgers acquired Neuse along with Gus Varland from the Oakland Athletics in a trade for Adam Kolarek and Cody THomas back in February. Neuse was hitless in his first two games with the Dodgers, then slugged a home run in Thursday’s loss to the San Diego Padres.

It marked not only his first with L.A. but first ever home run. Neuse’s blast came after AJ Pollock’s, with the back-to-back home runs pulling the Dodgers even with the Padres.

“It was unbelievable,” Neuse said of the moment. “I’ve been waiting a year and a half to get one like that. I was finally able to get it. Like I said, I wish I could’ve come up big at the end but it’s just part of baseball.

“I got the first hit ball, but I’m going to give the homer to my dad so he can put it in his game room and let him stock it up on the shelf.”

The Padres did claw out a win, but the 26-year-old versatile infielder was among the standouts for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Neuse made quality contact throughout the night and played quality defense at second base.

“Getting more comfortable every day. Playing with these guys, it’s an honor. A lot of big names. Just try to come in, fit in and find a way to help the team win,” Neuse said. “Definitely getting more comfortable each and every day here.”

Lux is likely to be reinstated from the IL on Monday, which could very well result in Neuse being optioned back to the club’s alternate training site at Camelback Ranch. However long his stay with the team is, Neuse is determined to contribute.

“I just hope to make the most of my opportunities, find a way to help the team win. Whether that be defensively, offensively, whatever it is,” he said. “We’ve got some guys down right now and hopefully I can step in, play a role and find a way to help us win. That’s what it’s all about.”

Neuse enjoying alternate training site changes

As MLB navigated the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year, alternate training sites were introduced as a means to help teams keep a group of players available amid challenging times. However, those locations were limited to intrasquad games at best.

Now, the Dodgers — and other teams — are able to play one another. “It’s been good,” Neuse said. “While we’re down there we’re able to play some games against some other teams to get some competition, which is nice not having to play your own guys every day. It’s been great.

“It’s been really good, been positive. Being able to get live at-bats, get your work in each week and things like, it’s been good. … I think it brings out more competition. You play your own team, you see those guys so much. To be able to play somebody else and get a different feel helps.”

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