What happened in 2014: Had the fewest plate appearances of any of the 25 non-pitchers the Dodgers used all year.
If you were in the worst, most boring bar in the world, you could probably win a bar bet by knowing that Mike Baxter not only made the Opening Day roster this year, but he actually started in one of the two games the team played in Australia. Sure, that’s partially because Matt Kemp was on the disabled list and Carl Crawford stayed behind due to the birth of his child, but still: it’s a real thing that happened.
Unfortunately for Baxter, that’s about all that happened for him. He appeared twice as a pinch-hitter in the domestic season-opening series in San Diego, failing to get a hit, and then was DFA’d on April 6 for the illustrious Colt Hynes, of all people. Baxter played for the team on two continents, but never did play a regular season game in Dodger Stadium in 2014. Returning to Triple-A Albuquerque, he had a perfectly adequate season in the outfield corner, never really garnering consideration for a trip back to the bigs. Which, I suppose, makes my initial reaction from when he was acquired last October an accurate one:
For now, consider him the next Dallas McPherson or Nick Evans (whose spot he actually took in New York in 2011) — guys who briefly float through the system, never to be heard from or thought of again.
Sounds right. But hey, free trip to Australia!
2015 status: Baxter became a free agent at the end of the season and is likely to continue his tour of America’s finest Triple-A cities.