Dodgers: Andrew Toles is who you Want Tim Locastro is who you Need
By Jacob Rudner
The Dodgers are as cold as it gets. Blowout after blowout the fans grow more impatient for success and in the eyes of the restless, the move to fix the situation, the spell to lift the curse, is calling up Andrew Toles. But, it is not Toles the fans should be begging for, it is Tim Locastro.
Tim Locastro has quietly been one of the Dodgers most prominent and successful minor leaguers in recent years. He has played like a top prospect, boosting his status from just another name on a roster to a trusted infielder while on defense and an exciting player with the bat.
But, Tim Locastro was not always a Dodger and like many before him, his journey to playing in blue included a trade early on in his career. A trade between the Dodgers and the Blue Jays was the culprit except it was a fairly one-sided deal. The Dodger merely bought Locastro and former Dodger pitching prospect Chase de Jong from Toronto. But, for money or not, the young speedster out of Ithaca College was a Dodger.
Locastro spent the 2015 season with High A Rancho Cucamonga where his batting average and contact rate plummeted from his time with the Blue Jays. A contact hitter his whole life, this was not a good sign.
The Dodgers reassigned Locastro to Single-A in 2016 and it was here that he would begin to make a name for himself. Locastro his .289 and his on-base-percentage jumped from .328 in 2015 to .347 the following seasons. The Dodgers noticed the improved performance and moved Locastro quickly through the minors over the remainder of 2016 and the entire 2017 seasons.
Then, after traversing the minors from High A to Triple-A in just a year, Locastro was called upon to make his major league debut with just four games left in the season. He was not added to swing the bat, he was added for speed.
If Vin Scully could call a game in which Tim Locastro appeared to run, he would affectionately call him the rabbit because Locastro can run. In his now six seasons of professional baseball, Tim has swiped 147 bases, an art he has down to a science.
But, the focus of this article was not the story of Locastro and what kind of player he is. The reason we are here is to dispel the claim that Andrew Toles should get called up over Locastro.
Andrew Toles is good. His defense is average if not slightly above that and his bat is undeniably good with both power and solid contact abilities. He also has speed and all of these skills were put on display in spring training. But, he is just not what the team needs.
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Andrew Toles is an outfielder. He can play no other position. This lack of flexibility will relegate him to a bench role in which his reps will be reduced and his playing time minimal.
Add this to the fact he just got hurt, again. Toles is dealing with a hamstring injury. And, after just having dealt with a torn ACL, another injury to the same leg is not promising nor should it be something to rush back to health.
Now, the case for Tim Locastro. First of all, he is defensively flexible. A second baseman by trade, Tim plays left and center field, and shortstop proficiently. He can move around the diamond and with injuries to Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley no longer capable of playing every day, someone who can play everywhere is a necessity.
Now factor in the speed he has that even a healthy Andrew Toles does not. The Dodgers are struggling to get base hits and creating your own offense (stealing a base) is, at the moment, the only way to get on and around the horn.
Next: Dodgers: Who Plays Second and Third if Forsythe Goes on the DL?
The Dodgers have an opportunity to go with a hot bat, a speedy player, and a defensive utilityman with Forsythe injured. The wish for Toles to join the roster is, unfortunately, an oversight of another more useful and hotter player. So, while Toles may be on the wish list, Locastro is the one you should be praying for.