The Dodgers announced that infielder Miguel Vargas has been optioned to Triple-A. Southpaw Bryan Hudson was also optioned, while righty Yency Almonte was reinstated from the paternity list. This leaves Los Angeles with an open spot on its active roster, though Chris Taylor is expected to be activated from the 15-day injured list after the All-Star break.
There isn’t much surprise to Vargas’ demotion, as manager Dave Roberts hinted yesterday that a move back to Triple-A might be in the cards for the rookie. A consensus top-50 prospect in baseball, Vargas was one of several youngsters the Dodgers were counting on to fill roster holes, as the team went into 2023 with a mix of proven star veterans and promising minor leaguers. Stepping in as the regular second baseman, Vargas got off to a solid start that wasn’t entirely reflected by his bottom-line numbers, as he was getting plenty of walks and making lots of hard contact without much batted-ball luck to show for it.
However, Vargas’ production has cratered over the last month. Over his last 78 plate appearances, Vargas has hit only .079/.221/.175, with just five hits total. The slump simply became too deep for the Dodgers to ignore, and the 23-year-old will now get at least a brief stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City to try and get himself back on track.
It seems likely that Vargas will be back in the majors at some point this season, though that could depend on how the Dodgers approach the trade deadline. Shortstop and second base are both big target areas, as while Mookie Betts has continued to post MVP-caliber numbers while filling in at both middle infield spots, L.A. probably prefers to see Betts back in his customary right field spot. The versatile Taylor can factor into either middle infield position, but he is struggling through his second consecutive year of underwhelming offensive production.