Well … we all seem to be pretty far off of having any actual baseball news or activities to write about. So it feels like it is my duty to write a few of these to fill up the site and allow everyone a place to comment about things that have nothing to do with these posts.
As much as I would love to just immediately start doing these on players from this year’s roster (Andy Burns, Yoshi Tsutsugo, DJ Peters, Steven Souza Jr., Kevin Quackenbush, Mike Kickham, etc.), I’ll at least give it a little more time before digging through all of that mess.
A 2000 first-round pick out of high school by the Cleveland
Indians Guardians, Thompson was a Rule 5 Draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in December 2002 before being sold to the Dodgers on the same day.
After three seasons in Cleveland’s organization, never pitching above High-A, Thompson entered spring training needing to stick on the Major League Roster in order to remain with Los Angeles or be offered back. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Thompson never made it to the field in 2003. After 148.0 innings between Single-A Columbus and High-A Kinston, well above the 12.0 innings he threw in 2001, Thompson felt a twinge in his throwing elbow in February.
Missing the entire season due to Tommy John surgery, Thompson finally debuted in the organization with Double-A Jacksonville in 2004. A 3.72 ERA across 118.2 innings included 100 strikeouts to 51 walks and Thompson returned to Jacksonville in 2005 for a month before jumping directly to the majors in 2005 as the Dodgers struggled with their rotation.
While Derek Lowe, Jeff Weaver and Brad Penny held down three sports on a consistent basis, the combination of DJ Houlton, Odalis Perez and Scott Erickson left the team in need after trading away Kazuhisa Ishii to the Mets in the spring. Elmer Dessens earned a few starts in April, but it was Thompson the team turned to in late May over other options such his Jacksonville teammate Chad Billingsley, a struggling in Triple-A Edwin Jackson or a 34-year-old Pat Mahomes who spent the 2005 season in Las Vegas two years removed from his last major league appearance.
A few days after Wilson Alvarez made a spot start, Thompson made his major league debut on May 28 in Phoenix against the D-backs. Striking out four to four walks, Thompson allowed just two hits and left the game after five innings with a 4-2 lead thanks to a J.D. Drew homer and a Mike Edwards RBI double. Though Duaner Sanchez and blew the lead in the 7th, and Giovanni Carrara walked in the winning run in the 9th, Thompson returned for two more starts in early June. Thompson allowed three runs in five innings against the Brewers, striking out five to two walks, and then two runs to the Tigers in five innings. In all three starts with a 3.24 FIP and a 4.01 xFIP, Thompson left the game with the Dodgers ahead or tied, but one last appearance in relief on June 23 concluded his season in the majors.
Four games with Triple-A Las Vegas, including three starts, ended the 24-year-old’s season as elbow tenderness soon led to another Tommy John Surgery at the end of July.
Missing all of the 2006 season due to the surgery, Thompson became a free agent at the end of 2006 and signed a minor league deal with Oakland heading into 2007. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though Thompson recovered with no appearances in the majors or minors after the 2005 season.
A nine-year veteran of the majors after spending time with Seattle, Milwaukee, the White Sox (where he won a World Series) and Colorado, Podsednik landed in Los Angeles as a 2010 trade deadline acquisition from Kansas City. Hitting .310/.353/.400/.753 with 30 stolen bases across 95 games for the Royals, Podsednik was in the middle of possibly his best major league season at 34 years old.
Sitting six games out of first in the NL West on July 28, 2010, the Dodgers were desperate to fill in for Manny Ramirez as he played just 66 games for the Dodgers that season. Sending Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel to Kansas City for Podsednik, the Dodgers eventually placed Ramirez on waivers in late August and were freed of his contract by the White Sox.
The Dodgers started Podsednik for more than 30 games through August and into September, primarily in left field, as he hit .262/.313./.336/.648. Back down below his career averages, Podsednik ended up missing most of September with plantar fasciitis in his left foot leading to 33-year-old Jay Gibbons (who could probably fill his own entry into this series) receiving 10 starts in left field down the stretch in 2010.
Gibbons amazingly hit .280/.313/.507/.819 in 37 games for the Dodgers in 2010, all coming between August and October, but the Dodgers fell to fourth in the NL West with an 80-82 record and ended the year 12 games out of first.