When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Breyvic Valera in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this month, the move was glossed over as one aimed at improving organizational depth.
Although that holds true, it meant more for Valera, particularly when he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Venezuela native grew up idolizing Omar Vizquel, a natural choice, but also Chase Utley.
“When I was a kid I would always look up to Chase Utley and Omar Vizquel. Especially because the way they batted, a lot of line drives, it was always my inspiration as a kid,” Valera explained.
His stint with the Dodgers was short-lived, as Valera was optioned back to Oklahoma City on Tuesday in a corresponding move to the club calling up Max Muncy.
Valera went 0-for-1 with a walk in two pinch-hit appearances. He was added to the active roster when Logan Forsythe was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. Valera has spent the bulk of his Minor League career playing second base, third base, shortstop and left field.
“It doesn’t matter which position I’m in, I just try to stay focused and do the best I can,” Valera said. “The most I’ve played is center field and second base, but mostly second base.”
Considering how the Dodgers rely on their depth throughout the course of a season, it stands to expect Valera joining the club at some point in the weeks or months ahead.