Why didn't Dodgers call up Andy Pages earlier with big-league roster struggles?

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Going into the season, the Dodgers' lineup depth was supposed to be the biggest strength of many. Even after the power tapered off after usual six hitter Teoscar Hernández, they were supposed to have Jason Heyward, who in 2023 had his best year at the plate since 2020; James Outman, who placed third in Rookie of the Year voting last season and hit 23 homers; and Gavin Lux, who led the Dodgers in triples before he got hurt in 2022.

On the bench, fan favorites Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández were prized for their defensive versatility, and Miguel Rojas has always put up elite numbers at shortstop.

However, expectation can't always align with reality, and Dodgers hitters after (Teoscar) Hernández have struggled to pull their weight. Heyward only appeared in four games before going on the IL with a back issue, and Outman and Lux are hitting a collective .164. Taylor has two hits in 48 plate appearances, and (Kiké) Hernández is only doing a little bit better, but he's still only hitting .200.

When Andy Pages was called up, he filled a spot vacated by Taylor Trammell, who in turn was supposed to be taking over for Taylor, who in turn was filling in for Heyward. It was a cascade of moves, none of which worked out until Pages, who's starting to make a case for himself as a player who should've been on the Opening Day roster, came up.

Andy Pages is starting to roar for the Dodgers, while the bottom of the lineup continues to slump

Pages got his first major league hit in his first at-bat, a single on a first-pitch fastball. This was after he hit .471 with a 1.571 OPS in spring training and proceeded to prove he wasn't just hot at the right time when he started in Triple-A to begin the season. It was a great start, but then he quieted down until Sunday afternoon, when he had a two-hit day and his first major league home run. His .222/.300/.500 line is now, by far, the best of the Dodgers' bottom lineup guys.

Although the unfortunate reality is that Pages will probably be sent back down when Heyward makes a recovery (and when Walker Buehler comes back soon, which will complicate roster moves further), his arrival in the majors should've come sooner in light of Taylor's struggles at the plate. He's still locked in for two years and $26 million, so Pages will have to get the bump. It's a shame, but at least he made a very good first impression if another injury hits the lineup.