Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Refutes Gavin Lux Service Time Theory
Gavin Lux, 2020 Spring Training
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

After Gavin Lux made his MLB debut last season and emerged as the starter at second base by the postseason, the expectation was he would be the regular at the position in 2020. However, Lux was optioned before Opening Day and remains at the Dodgers’ alternate training site at USC.

Lux was a late arrival to Summer Camp last month for an undisclosed reason. He didn’t appear to be his usual self at the plate and that was explained to be the reason behind optioning the former 2020 National League Rookie of the Year candidate.

However, there also has been some speculation the Dodgers were manipulating service time, which would give them an additional year of team control on Lux. That theory was categorically denied by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“There is no conspiracy theory with holding Gavin Lux down for any other reason aside from we don’t feel he’s ready right now,” he said. “And we let Gavin know that, so that should be put to bed. I think that with the short ramp-up for Gavin, he wasn’t right mechanically.

“He knows that, we know that, he’s still getting there at USC. He’s getting at-bats daily, it’s coming. I see video every single day, still not there yet but it’s getting considerably better.”

The Dodgers have recalled multiple pitchers through the first two weeks of the season, and when faced with a need for some depth on the position-player side, opted for Zach McKinstry on Wednesday.

McKinstry didn’t appear in the series finale against the San Diego Padres, and along with Adam Kolarek, was optioned to USC on Thursday as the Dodgers trimmed their active roster to 28 players.

“Zack was on our taxi and so we’re going to have shortened rosters to 28, so to potentially bring Gavin up for a day doesn’t make any sense at all,” Roberts explained. “We also told Gavin if there is a situation like that with the taxi or something, he probably won’t be the guy and he won’t be here until he’s a guy that couple potentially be playing every day.

“So that’s kind of the thought behind it. We’re happy that Gavin is continuing to get better, he’s handling everything like a professional.”

Lux ‘getting closer’

Roberts had previously indicated Lux was closing in on earning his way onto the active roster. The progress is exactly what the team had hoped for with Lux receiving an opportunity to iron out his swing mechanics on a daily basis and without the pressure of game results.

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