After concluding that his lower back problems wouldn’t respond to any additional rest, the Dodgers placed outfielder Trayce Thompson on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, and in turn recalled utility man Zach Walters from Oklahoma City.
Thompson initially felt the irritation last Sunday against the Padres while swinging his bat. Having gotten worse over the All-Star break, the Dodgers hoped the pain would subside over the weekend, but the club was forced to make a roster move after evaluations on Saturday.
Because he hasn’t made an appearance in a game since last weekend, the DL transaction is retroactive to July 11.
After a very productive beginning to the season, Thompson has slumped recently, hitting .225/.302/.436 on the year, including 13 home runs, 32 RBI and 32 runs scored. Over the last 35 days, he went 14-for-95, resulting in a .147/.214/.274 slash line.
Walters was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB draft out of the University of San Diego. The 26-year-old switch hitter was traded to the Nationals in 2011, and after working his way through the entire farm, made his major league debut on September 6, 2013, contributing a base hit in the sixth inning which broke up a no-hitter by Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez. The following year Walters was dealt to the Indians for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and cash.
Shortly after being designated for assignment by Cleveland in early April of this season, Walters, along with outfielder James Ramsey, was traded to the Dodgers for cash considerations.
In 77 appearances this year for OKC, Walters hit .298/.346/.491 with 10 home runs, 15 doubles and four triples. Since the beginning of June, he hit .349/.374/.610 with 21 extra-base hits in 39 games. His best full season in the minors came in 2013 for Triple-A Syracuse, where he hit .253/.286/.517 with 29 home runs, 32 doubles and 77 RBI.
Walters has played every single position on the field for Oklahoma City this year except pitcher and catcher.