Roberts Noncommittal On Gavin Lux As Beginning Shortstop

The Dodgers are confronted with a stunning shortstop query halfway by means of Spring Coaching. Anticipated starter Gavin Lux has been charged with a pair of errors in his first 10 1/3 innings of exhibition work. Lux has had a couple of extra erratic moments, skipping a pair of throws to first base however being bailed out on scoops by Freddie Freeman.

His throwing accuracy is regarding sufficient it may influence his spot within the lineup firstly of the season. “I don’t know,” supervisor Dave Roberts replied when requested if Lux can be the Opening Day shortstop (hyperlink through Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Instances). “Clearly, efficiency is paramount at this degree for a staff vying to win a championship. So I don’t know what’s going to occur, however I do know that it is going to be within the vein of no matter offers us the perfect probability to win.

All through the offseason, the L.A. entrance workplace maintained that Lux was going to be the common shortstop. They reportedly thought-about commerce prospects, significantly Milwaukee’s Willy Adames, however clearly had Lux atop the interior choices. That may nonetheless be the case, however Roberts’ feedback add some urgency for him to kind out his throwing.

This isn’t the primary time that he has struggled with seemingly easy throws. He battled his accuracy at occasions within the minors, which he conceded was tied to anxiousness. That’s a part of the rationale the Dodgers moved the one-time high prospect to second base early in his profession, though Corey Seager and Trea Turner had blocked his path to shortstop anyhow. Los Angeles was ready to maneuver Lux again to shortstop final 12 months. A Spring Coaching ACL tear as a substitute ended his season earlier than it started.

Taking part in on the best aspect of the infield suited him effectively. He was charged with 5 throwing errors over 819 2/3 second base innings in 2022. That’s the next than common fee however actually not untenable. Public defensive metrics have graded him as an above-average second baseman total due to his plus vary.

Mookie Betts is shifting to the keystone this 12 months. That might bump Lux to shortstop however clearly locations additional stress on his arm. Signing Shohei Ohtani means the Dodgers will want Max Muncy to play usually at third base. Muncy is a below-average defender, placing a little bit extra stress on the L.A. shortstop to compensate.

That’s a part of the rationale that Adames, one of many sport’s high defensive infielders, was an interesting goal. Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic wrote this night that the Dodgers have continued curiosity in Adames, however Milwaukee stays reluctant to half with him. The Brewers have Joey Ortiz readily available as a possible shortstop substitute, however they might must depend on Ortiz at both second or third base all through the season. Adames can also be a powerful presence within the Milwaukee clubhouse and a stable offensive contributor as an annual menace for 25-30 homers.

A preseason Adames commerce appears unlikely with roughly two weeks till Opening Day. He’d absolutely come up in deadline talks if Milwaukee falls out of competition, however they’ll make a push to defend their title in a wide-open NL Central.

It’d most likely take that form of important improve for the Dodgers to look outdoors the group. They’ve choices to solidify the protection in the event that they’re not bought on Lux dealing with the place in the meanwhile. Miguel Rojas stays a plus defender. He owns a .236/.286/.322 batting line over the previous two seasons, so the Dodgers would like to maintain him in a depth position, however there’s no query Rojas may greater than capably deal with the place. He’d be a big offensive downgrade from Lux, who hit .276/.346/.399 in 2022.

Enrique Hernández and Chris Taylor are utility gamers who may cowl shortstop at occasions. Betts even began 12 video games there a 12 months in the past. There’s no indication the Dodgers are contemplating taking part in Betts at shortstop full time, however that’s a theoretical chance that will permit them to maintain Lux at second base.

After all, the best final result is that Lux settles in as he continues to construct his defensive workload. It’s truthful to anticipate some quantity of rust in all sides for a participant getting back from a year-long harm absence. His minor league points make the current throws extra alarming, nevertheless it’s potential he’ll get more and more comfy with extra reps. The Dodgers begin the season early with a two-game set towards the Padres in South Korea on March 20-21.

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