After Zach McKinstry got his first taste of regular major league playing time in 2021, this season turned out much different for the 27-year-old. The Dodgers didn’t have much playing time for him when he was with the big club, making it difficult to make any kind of an impact at all off the bench.
When the Dodgers needed a relief arm to help bolster the uncertain back end of the bullpen at the trade deadline, McKinstry was dealt to the Cubs in exchange for right-hander Chris Martin. It turned out to be a positive turn of events for the Dodgers relief core as Martin allowed just four runs in 24 2⁄3 innings and struck out 34 against just one walk.
A frequent flyer between Triple-A Oklahoma City and the majors, McKinstry was active with the Dodgers for just 39 games this season and only played 10 times. He batted 14 times. That included four games in the last 19, for which he was active. McKinstry started in left field once and was the designated hitter once, making up the only two games he started before being shipped off to Chicago.
In parts of three seasons with the majors, McKinstry hit .210/.266/.403, a 79 wRC+ with 10 doubles and eight home runs in 74 games and 193 plate appearances. He played second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field in the majors. This year in Triple-A, McKinstry spent most of his time at shortstop (33 starts), and he hit .335/.417/.487, a 129 wRC+ in 48 games for Oklahoma City.
Stats w/Dodgers: .091/.286/.364/.649 (1-for-11), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 78 OPS+, 91 wRC+, 0.1 bWAR, 0.0 fWAR
Stats total: .199/.273/.361/.635, 6 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 7 SB, 78 OPS+, 129 wRC+, 0.4 bWAR, 0.9 fWAR
Game of the year
McKinstry had just one hit for the Dodgers this year and it came on June 3. It was a two-run homer off Chris Bassitt of the Mets.
Cody and now Zach? The suite life. pic.twitter.com/1rQke2BjXA— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 4, 2022
McKinstry is under team control for the Cubs and isn’t arbitration eligible until 2025.