When Luke Williams was non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers back in November, it did not seem likely that he would be part of the organization in 2023. Seeing big league time at Dodger Stadium was not a probable outcome.
However, the Dodgers wound up re-signing Williams to a Minor League contract and he was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. Although he impressed, Williams was assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to begin the season.
As Dodgers injuries have mounted and with Mookie Betts on paternity leave, the Dodgers recalled Williams on Tuesday.
It completed a journey that Williams was wished for when remaining with the organization. “I knew signing here that I have to prove myself and perform to get an opportunity to be up here,” he said.
“And so I’ve performed pretty well in Triple-A so far, and very excited for the opportunity.”
Williams was welcomed with open arms in the Dodgers clubhouse, which helped provide him with a sense of comfort and belonging.
“Love, love, love to hear that,” Williams said of teammates expressing their joy over his arrival. “The guys down in Triple-A have been awesome, fully support me. And it’s been nice to see some familiar faces up here.”
A prototypical utility player, Williams joined the Dodgers initially unsure when he would be activated but ready to complete any task asked of him.
“I think I know my role here,” said Williams. “It’s just do whatever I can to help the team win. Whether that’s coming off the bench, playing defense, base running, wherever the team’s going to ask me, I’m going to do it.”
Williams appeared off the bench in his first game with the Dodgers and started at shortstop in the series finale against the New York Mets.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Williams projects to be the starting shortstop while Miguel Rojas is on the 10-day injured list because of a left hamstring strain and Chris Taylor remains on the mend from left oblique discomfort.
Luke Williams picks best defensive position
The Dodgers are well-known for their ability to keep players on their rosters who can play multiple positions. When asked about where he felt the most comfortable with the glove, Williams was not coy.
“I probably played the most games at third base,” he said. “I played mostly short to start the year this year and I played a whole lot of outfield the last couple years in the big leagues. But I would say third is probably my best position.”