The Dodgers' futility against left-handed pitching led to a surprise callup for Rob Segedin in 2016, rewarding him for an excellent season at Triple-A Oklahoma City where he hit .319/.392/.598 with 21 homers. It was vindication for a player who nearly retired when the Yankees had demoted him to the minors and refused to release him so he could look for a team more willing to give him a big league shot. Segedin's splits against southpaws didn't quite serve as the fix the Dodgers were hoping for, as he hit just .205 with 13 strikeouts in 43 plate appearances against lefties. Despite that disappointment, he remains on the 40-man roster and should get another chance at carving out a bench role during spring training. His ability to play all four corner positions gives him a versatility the Dodgers value, but he is likely to begin the 2017 season at Triple-A as long as Scott Van Slyke, who fills essentially the same role, is fully recovered from his wrist surgery.
Segedin was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Wednesday, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. Despite having a solid spring, slashing .406/.441/.844 with three homers across 32 at-bats, Segedin was likely optioned down due to his inexperience and presence of minor-league options. He'll start back in Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he slashed .319/.392/.598 across 373 at-bats last season, and continue to work for a call-up.
Segedin returned to the Dodgers' lineup Saturday after playing for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. He went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI in a win over the White Sox. Segedin has put together a strong spring spring, batting .379 (11-for-29) with three homers between his time with Team Italy and the Dodgers. Despite the results, he has a tough hill to climb to make the club's Opening Day roster. The Dodgers have a plethora of options (Chase Utley, Andre Ethier, Andrew Toles, Franklin Gutierrez, Scott Van Slyke, Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Charlie Culberson) competing for five roster spots this spring, and Segedin's inexperience and presence of minor league options may land him in the minors to begin the season.
Segedin may find it hard to crack the 25-man roster this season. With the emergence of Andrew Toles and the return of Andre Ethier to compliment the likes of Trayce Thompson, Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez, Segedin will find it hard to even land a backup outfield position. There may be hope if he targets a backup corner infield spot, but he will face competition at those positions as well. Barring a torrid hot spring campaign, Segedin will likely start the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Segedin (paternity) is back in the lineup Thursday, batting seventh and playing right field. Segedin returns after missing Wednesday's game while on paternity leave. He'll take over in right field for Josh Reddick, who will be getting the day off in the midst of a 1-for-17 slump.
Segedin is expected to return from paternity leave Thursday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports. Segedin left the team Wednesday, but will only miss one game as a result. The Dodgers play the finale of their series with the Dodgers Thursday.