Last season Gavin Lux was baseball’s top prospect but he did not do much to contribute to the Los Angeles Dodgers as he struggled during his brief time at the Major League level.
Coming out of Spring Training this season, Lux was given the starting job at second base but failed to grab a firm hold of it and ended up being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 26.
Prior to returning, the Dodgers acquired Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals, and he took over at second base.
When Lux was optioned, he was hitting just .221/.302/.340 with a 78 wRC+ on the season. Rather than become frustrated with the demotion, it served as fuel.
“Yeah, last year was definitely a grind mentally, physically. It sucked, to be honest,” Lux said. “So after I got optioned, my whole mindset was just try to get back here and help the team win and try to make the postseason roster, and that’s really been the whole mindset.
“As soon as I got optioned, to get back here, just be on base and take good at-bats and just try to make the roster, honestly. So that was the whole mindset.”
Now that Lux is back with the Dodgers, he is looking to establish himself at the Major League level, and the results are showing.
Lux was recalled on Sept. 10 and since that day has looked like the player the Dodgers hoped he would be, batting .360/.467/.500 with a 162 wRC+ while walking more than he strikes out.
“In my mind, if you do what’s best for the team and that comes first, the other individual statistics or any of that will take care of itself,” Lux said. “So it’s team first and everything else will kind of fall into place and take care of itself, but it’s all team first right now. There’s no individual thoughts at all.”
Now, Lux has earned a starting spot in the Dodgers’ most important game of the season, Game 5 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers were shutout by Webb in Game 1 of the series, so the lineup will look to make adjustments and hope Lux can help provide a spark to the lineup.
“I mean, they’re good at making adjustments too, so go back to the drawing board and see what we got, like Will said, as a collective unit,” Lux said. “And see how we can come up for a game plan to beat him. He’s good, but we like Julio as well. Julio’s a big-game pitcher so we like that guy too.”
Lux talks preparation for Game 5
Although the entire season comes down to Game 5, Lux doesn’t anticipate the team preparing any differently than they would under any other circumstance.
“Honestly, just being around, it’s similar preparation. No one takes a different approach to the day,” Lux said.
“It’s just another day. And everyone knows obviously the stakes are a little higher being an elimination, but everyone still goes through their same routine, same process, and you don’t really see guys change from that, and that works over the course of 162 games, plus the postseason. You know that works.”
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