Getting traded for the first time is always a bit of a shock. Second baseman Jake Peter found that out first hand this winter.
“It was kind of crazy,” said Peter, 25, of finding out in early January that a three-team trade involving the White Sox, Royals and Dodgers had landed him in Los Angeles.
“It was definitely something new because obviously that had never happened to me before, being with the White Sox the last four years after they drafted me. It was kind of overwhelming at first. But once I talked to my parents and let it digest a little bit, I realized that it was a great opportunity for me.”
The opportunity came because Peter’s versatile profile and the Dodgers’ affinity for multi-position players were a match. In a world with 13-man pitching staffs in the big leagues, a short bench is the result and versatility is a must.
“I definitely wanted to come in here and play well and show them I would work hard every day, show them that I am a versatile player and I can bounce around to different positions,” said Peter, a 2014 seventh-round pick by the White Sox out of Creighton.
“This is a huge organization for that,” he said. “You can look at their lineup and almost every player plays more than one position. I think that definitely bodes well for me going forward.”
During his four seasons in the White Sox organization, Peter played mostly second base while seeing some time at third base, shortstop and even the corner outfield.
“I think being a versatile player definitely helps me out in this organization,” said Peter who opened the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City. “Watching guys like Chris Taylor and (Enrique Hernandez)—guys who can literally play anywhere on the diamond—I’ve really tried to watch how they go about their defensive work and tried to learn from them and become a better ballplayer.”
The lefthanded-hitting Peter made a good impression during Cactus League play. He hit .233 with 14 RBIs in 26 games, but that included a four-game burst during which he went 6-for-9 with home runs in three consecutive games, a double, a triple and 10 of those RBI.
“We have thought about Jake in a potential role,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We want Jake to go down (to Triple-A) and get consistent playing time. But do we see Jake potentially helping us this year at some point? Absolutely.”
>> During the first week of the season, the last spot on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster changed hands multiple times before finally stopping with 26-year-old righthander Alec Asher. Los Angeles claimed him on waivers from the Orioles a week into the season. He previously reached the majors for the Phillies and Orioles, logging a 5.55 ERA over 117 innings in parts of three seasons.
>> Oklahoma City won its season opener by a count of 2-1 to give manager Bill Haselman his 500th career win.