The Dodgers received some bad news as Andrew Toles is out indefinitely while he deals with a personal matter. That means a roster spot could be opening for Edwin Rios.
The Dodgers received some unexpected bad news as Andrew Toles is not likely to show up during spring training while he deals with a personal matter. The news is a blow to the Dodgers’ outfield depth especially as trade rumors continue to swirl around Joc Pederson. The news is good news for other players trying to squeeze their way onto the Dodgers’ opening day roster.
One of those players is Edwin Rios. Rios was added to the Dodgers’ forty man roster this winter to avoid being available for selection in the rule five draft. Like many of the other Dodgers, Edwin is versatile and capable of playing first base, third base, and the outfield. Rios has played left and
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right field in the minor leagues although the majority of his outfield reps have come in left field.
For Rios the problem has always been where he would fit defensively but he has gotten much with the glove and his best position defensively was left field in 2018 which happens to be the spot where the Dodgers could use a backup outfielder if Joc is traded and Toles fails to appear before the regular season. The Dodgers have plenty of center field backup options in Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, and Enrique Hernandez so they just need a player who could back up both corner outfield spots.
The one problem that Edwin Rios has never had is producing offensively. Rios was injury bit in 2018 but still hit ten home runs with a .304 average this last season. In 2016 and 2017, Rios combined for 51 home runs across multiple levels of the minor leagues and hit above .300 in both seasons. This last season Rios also showed the ability to hit left-handed pitching as he slugged .430 against southpaw pitching.
If the Dodgers end up hanging onto Joc Pederson there is a slim chance that Edwin Rios could still sneak onto the opening day roster but a trade would almost guarantee the inclusion of Rios on the roster. With a talented organization across all levels, it’s hard for fringe prospects to get their chance in Los Angeles but perhaps in 2019 Edwin Rios will finally get his big league chance along with Alex Verdugo.