While NBA superstar Klay Thompson celebrated his fourth championship after two years of rehabbing career-threatening injuries, his MLBbro (literally) is also in the midst of a comeback story worth noting.
Trayce Thompson is reunited with the LA Dodgers. On Monday the Dodgers acquired Thompson from the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations. The 31-year-old spent time playing for the Tigers Triple-A affiliate, Toledo Mud Hens, before being traded and hit .299 with eight home runs and 19 RBI.
Thompson last played with the Dodgers in 2017 and with Mookie Betts out, Thompson will have the opportunity to make an impact while the Dodgers star is on the injured list.
During the 2016 season, he made his debut with the Dodgers and appeared in 80 games hitting .225 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI. This opportunity will be important for Thompson as he attempts to prove his value and showcase his abilities while he’s filling in for Betts. The fact that he is over 30 is also a sign that his career clock is ticking, so time is of the essence. The past few seasons have been a rollercoaster ride for Tracye and this opportunity could not have come at a better time.
Trayce, the brother of four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson, spent a brief period with the San Diego Padres this season, only appearing in six games and recording one hit in 14 at-bats. Now, he’s in a loaded Dodgers lineup where all he has to do is pick his spots and play his game.
He’s also drawn a lot of inspiration from his resilient brother Klay throughout the years and talked about what that was like in an article from masslive.com.
“He (Klay) hurt his Achilles when I was home, so I got to spend quite a bit of time with him,” Trayce said. “It was tough because he truly just loves basketball. He’s done a lot for himself in his career. There’s a lot he would give just to play basketball and so to see that be taken away from him for a couple years, it was pretty tough for everybody, but we’re just happy he’s healthy.”
“I similarly went on kind of a went out of the picture in my career, but obviously it wasn’t for injury,” he said. “But if there’s anybody to draw inspiration from to keep moving, it’s him. I’m just similar to him. The only thing I’ve loved, my one true love in this life is baseball. I’ve got a job now and I was in the big leagues for a little bit this year and I know I still have a lot left to offer, so I’m just trying to make the most of each day.”
From 2015 to 2018, Trayce had the opportunity to play in the majors for multiple teams, a dream come true. But after the 2018 season, he did not appear in the majors for two years and the grueling, unpredictable and unattractive minor league grind can take a toll on a player, especially after they already got to taste years of MLB action.
Now he’s back playing at the highest level and what’s even better is that he’s a part of a team that is one of the best in the league despite not having Betts. The Dodgers want Betts back and healthy for what will be an eventual playoff run, so Thompson will get his chance to shine and impact the Dodgers by helping to put the team in position to win games.
No pressure. Just a heck of an opportunity and brother Klay has already provided the inspiration to make this comeback Trayce’s best one yet.