LOS ANGELES -- Rob Segedin is evidence that perseverance does get rewarded.
The Los Angeles Dodgers infielder/outfielder finally got the call to the major leagues Sunday after seven years in the minor leagues. He was quickly inserted into the starting lineup as the left fielder in the series finale Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.
The 27-year-old was a third-round draft pick in 2010 by the New York Yankees. He was acquired by the Dodgers in a trade this past offseason in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers, infielder Ronald Torreyes and left-hander Tyler Olson.
There were reasons Segedin’s road to the major leagues was challenging. He had a back injury that cost him a year of playing time in college and had hip surgery when he was in the minor leagues. There were even signs the Yankees were starting to have their doubts about Segedin before he was traded.
On Sunday, that long road all seemed worth it.
“First of all, it’s exciting for Rob, 27 years old to make his debut against the Red Sox at Dodger Stadium,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s earned it. He had a tough road with injuries, and to get back and perform and get rewarded is great. It’s a great story.”
Segedin took the roster spot of infielder Chris Taylor, who was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Trayce Thompson was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Thompson will be eligible to return to action in September.
Segedin had a solid spring training, even hitting two home runs in one game. But his chances of making the major league roster were long and he went to Oklahoma City to start the year, where he had been until this weekend.
Make no mistake, this opportunity is not a gift. Segedin earned his way to Los Angeles with a .319 batting average and .392 on-base percentage at Oklahoma City. He had 21 home runs and 69 RBIs in 103 games and led the Pacific Coast League with a .598 slugging percentage.
His call-up also was something of a necessity since the Dodgers have struggled against left-handed pitching and the Red Sox on Sunday will have lefty David Price on the mound. The Dodgers entered the day last in baseball with a .228 batting average against left-handers and 28th with a .665 OPS.
“He’s shown throughout his career [an ability] to handle left-handed pitching with some production and slug,” Roberts said. “So yeah, this year, offensively, we’ve struggled with left-handed pitching. It’s just to give him the opportunity and a look and see how it fares.”