The Dodgers nonetheless have a few days to attempt to win the Juan Soto sweepstakes.
Within the meantime, nonetheless, they’re already benefitting from the addition of one other left-handed hitting proper fielder.
In a mesmerizing main league debut Sunday, rookie James Outman had three hits and three RBIs, together with a house run in his very first at-bat, to assist the Dodger beat the Colorado Rockies 7-3 at Coors Discipline.
The victory gave the Dodgers (68-33) a sequence win in Denver this weekend, and an MLB-best 21-5 mark in July — matching probably the most wins the membership has ever had within the month and the fourth-highest July successful share (.808) by any main league workforce since 1900.
On Sunday, Outman left his personal mark on workforce historical past.
The 25-year-old turned the primary Dodger with three or extra hits in his MLB debut since Mike Piazza in 1992, the one participant within the membership’s Los Angeles historical past with three hits and three RBIs in his first profession sport, and the primary debutant of any MLB workforce to have three hits, three RBIs and a house run for the reason that Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo in 2015.
As Outman stood in entrance of his locker afterward, a sheepish grin crossed his face when requested if he ever might have imagined a lot from his first massive league outing.
“Obviously, I dreamed of it, playing Wiffle Ball in the backyard and stuff like that,” he mentioned.
“I never really thought that it was gonna be something that was gonna happen,” he mentioned with amusing, including: “I’m still riding high, that’s for sure.”
Amid a number of weeks of commerce rumors linking the Dodgers to potential pursuits of superstars reminiscent of Soto, Shohei Ohtani and others across the majors main as much as Tuesday’s commerce deadline, Outman’s call-up this weekend got here considerably out of the blue.
A former seventh-round decide in 2018 ranked because the membership’s No. 17 prospect by MLB Pipeline, the outfielder started this season in double A, seemingly behind a number of different younger hitters within the group’s gifted farm system.
However after hitting 16 dwelling runs with the membership’s affiliate in Tulsa, he was promoted to triple-A Oklahoma Metropolis a month in the past.
In 22 video games there, the Redwood Metropolis native was solely batting .225. But, when outfielder Zach McKinstry was dealt to the Chicago Cubs this weekend in change for reliever Chris Martin, Outman was referred to as up as the one wholesome outfielder left on the 40-man roster.
“He’s a guy that we’ve had in our camps the last couple years,” supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned. “We were hoping he would perform enough to warrant an opportunity to come up this year.”
Outman received the information late Friday night time and landed in Denver on Saturday afternoon, met there by eight members of the family, together with his mother and father and fiancée.
When he talked with reporters for the primary time Saturday, he credited his sudden rise to a “total rebuild” he made along with his swing during the last three seasons.
“I came into pro ball swinging the bat kind of like a caveman — really stiff, not much there,” he mentioned. “Tried to loosen it up, get some more length through the strike zone and it’s paid off.”
On Sunday, the brand new movement was on full show from the beginning.
Throughout his first at-bat within the third inning, Outman unloaded on a center-cut sinker from Rockies starter Germán Márquez, sending a two-run dwelling run into the right-field bullpens to develop into the eighth participant in franchise historical past to go deep in his first profession at-bat.
“To be honest, I don’t remember like 30 minutes after I hit that,” mentioned Outman, who was mobbed by his teammates within the dugout — together with getting splashed within the face with water by Justin Turner — whereas reliever Alex Vesia ecstatically retrieved the ball past the fence.
“I’m gonna put it up in my childhood room next to all my other baseball stuff,” Outman added, with the ball already sitting in a show case within the clubhouse. “I got like a shelf of all my Little League home runs and stuff like that. That might top them all.”
After hanging out within the fourth inning — which Outman mentioned truly calmed him down after his early adrenaline rush — he hit a leadoff single within the seventh and later got here round to attain on a Freddie Freeman double.
Within the eighth, Outman lined an RBI double to proper, serving to the Dodgers draw back on a day Tony Gonsolin gave up three runs in 5 innings, Cody Bellinger hit a go-ahead two-run double within the fourth, and each member of the lineup reached base not less than as soon as.
“What a debut,” Roberts mentioned. “Really fun to watch. You could just see his joy.”
It’s unclear how lengthy Outman’s first MLB stint may final.
Turner (midsection discomfort) in all probability gained’t play once more till not less than Thursday however nonetheless isn’t happening the injured checklist.
Chris Taylor (foot fracture) is scheduled to start a rehabilitation task with Oklahoma Metropolis this week that can final not less than seven days.
The Dodgers, after all, might additionally alter their roster through commerce earlier than Tuesday’s deadline, together with the opportunity of them buying one other bat that might drive Outman again to the minors.
Roberts had but to resolve if the rookie could be again within the lineup for Monday’s sequence opener towards the Giants in San Francisco — in a ballpark that, half-hour from Outman’s hometown, he typically went to video games at as a child.
“I don’t think anyone could have imagined this,” Roberts mentioned. “But we’ve got a lot of guys that come through our system that perform. James Outman is another one of them.”
As Outman mirrored on his path to the massive leagues postgame, the long-haired slugger made his strategy on the plate sound easy.
“I’m not trying to force things, make things happen,” he mentioned. “I’m usually just trying to hit the ball as hard as I can.”
He was then reminded of his caveman remark from the day earlier than, answering one final query with one other smile and chuckle.
“Yeah,” he mentioned. “No more caveman for me.”