Dodgers Hopeful Gavin Lux Will Benefit From Time At USC Training Site
Gavin Lux, 2020 Spring Training
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers made a bit of a surprising roster move on Tuesday, optioning top prospect Gavin Lux, meaning he won’t make the team’s Opening Day 30-man roster.

Lux went into Spring Training as the leader in the clubhouse to be the Dodgers’ starting second baseman. He began to serve as the designated hitter just before Cactus League play was suspended, and wound up reporting late to Summer Camp for an undisclosed reason.

In his limited action after that point, Lux hasn’t looked like himself at the plate, which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed went into the decision to option him.

“It’s more of there’s a lot that goes into his swing. At this point in time he just wasn’t synced up,” Roberts explained. “Nothing against him, it’s just right now, where we’re at, we hope for Gavin to log some at-bats offsite at SC and be ready when called upon.

“He started playoff games last year. That just shows the confidence we have in him as a ballplayer and young man. I just want him to get right, and I expect him to be with us (at some point during the season).”

Lux also made an error on defense while playing second base Monday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, although Roberts clarified that didn’t factor into the decision.

“I don’t think [Monday] night is indicative of anything. I had a conversation with Gavin in the late afternoon, and it probably bled into play,” he said. “Gavin has a very strong mind and he understands defense versus offense. It was just one of those nights. It’s probably my fault. I wanted to talk to him and be forthright, so it probably led into his psyche a little.”

With Lux no longer an option, the Dodgers’ starting second base job will likely be split between Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor, with Max Muncy also potentially seeing time at the position when he’s not playing first.

Plan at USC alternate training site

For Lux and all of the other Dodgers in their 60-man player pool that won’t be making the Opening Day roster, they will head to the team’s alternate training site at USC to stay in shape in case their number is called.

“We don’t have enough players to put together an intrasquad game, but we have arms, we have catchers, coaches and position players. I think we see it as a lot of simulated games,” Roberts said.

“The great thing about that is you can put pitchers in situations to simulate Major League Baseball games. You can do the back-to-back days, get a guy some rest and get him back in there after sitting down. We can get Gavin to take eight or 10 at-bats, and that’s something you can’t do when you’re on a roster and not playing.”

Roberts concluded that they will have somewhere between 15 and 20 players training there on a daily basis, so the organization will have plenty of options if players go down with injury or contract coronavirus (COVID-19).

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