Dodgers second baseman Miguel Vargas hasn’t yet swung the bat in a Cactus League game, but Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts says that will change this weekend.
You’ve heard of the “three true outcomes,” right? That’s the nickname for the three things a batter can do that don’t depend on the defense at all, just the hitter and the pitcher. Those three things: home run, strikeout, and walk.
Former Dodgers outfielder Joey Gallo is probably the current king of the three true outcomes. In his career, 58.4% of his plate appearances have ended in one of the TTO. For comparison, in 2022, Kyle Schwarber led the majors with 200 strikeouts and led the National League with 46 homers, and he walked a lot, and his TTO percentage was “only” 49.6.
Anyway, this brief lesson about the three true outcomes serves merely as an introduction to a new phenomenon popularized by Miguel Vargas this spring: the two true outcomes. These are the two things that can happen if you never swing the bat: walk or strikeout. And Vargas’s 2TO percentage this spring is a whopping 100%.
That’s because Vargas isn’t yet allowed to swing in spring games. He fractured a bone in his right pinky finger last week, and while it’s feeling much better, the Dodgers are being extra cautious about the vibration of the bat when hitting a big-league pitch. So Vargas has played four games this spring and batted eight times, and he is 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and four walks.
That’s right, Vargas has walked four times despite everyone in the ballpark knowing he’s not allowed to swing the bat. But that reprieve will soon be over, as Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Wednesday.
“So Miguel is taking, doing coaches batting practice in the cage today and I think Friday is going to be an off day, a full off day. And then Saturday, he’ll be back playing and, hopefully, after the off day, he’ll get the green light to swing the bat during the game.”
Vargas has a .500 on-base percentage without swinging the bat. Once he’s cleared for takeoff, watch out, league!