Dodgers recall Miguel Vargas, option former Rookie of the Year candidate

Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers
Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

While a couple of guys toward the bottom of the Dodgers' lineup and on the bench have seen some offensive improvements over the past week, things are still looking pretty bleak once you make it past Teoscar Hernández in LA's typical batting order.

Andy Pages has cooled off a little but still looks good, Gavin Lux was the only Dodger who could get his bat to work in a meaningful way on Thursday night, and Miguel Rojas is still hitting well when he gets opportunities to play, but almost everyone is failing to live up to the preseason hype about the Dodgers' lineup depth.

James Outman and especially Chris Taylor have been the biggest outliers, batting .147 and .083 respectively. Taylor moved into an everyday role after Jason Heyward went down with injury, and his struggles paved the way for Pages' come-up.

However, the Dodgers are ushering Heyward back into the fold on Friday night's game, and they're bringing up another familiar face with him — Miguel Vargas, who's been crushing it in Triple-A and could be a spark to the Dodgers' offense, with Outman headed back to the minors to free up the roster spot.

Dodgers call up Miguel Vargas, option James Outman in corresponding move

Vargas, who only hit .195 with a .672 OPS in the majors last season, got the bump out of spring training after the Dodgers re-signed Kiké Hernández to take their last bench spot. Since being down in Oklahoma City, he's hit .295 with an over one-dot OPS, with eight homers and 38 RBI. There's undoubtedly a gulf between Triple-A and the majors, but Pages' success down in Triple-A managed to translate to the majors for him, so maybe Vargas will also be able to step up to the challenge this time.

If he can't, Outman will undoubtedly be the next man up, and the two could go back and forth the same way that Dodgers relievers have been through the beginning of the season. It's a huge blow for Outman, who placed third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2023, but he's been far from pulling his weight, and every hint at the start of a hot streak has fallen flat.

Heyward's move back to the 26-man has yet to be officially announced, but the Dodgers did report that Max Muncy will go onto the IL with an oblique strain, freeing up space for Heyward on the roster without having to bump Taylor (yet).