Dodgers News: Gavin Lux Recapturing Feeling From 2019

For a second consecutive year the Los Angeles Dodgers went into the regular season with every intention of providing Gavin Lux with an opportunity to take hold of the starting job at second base.

Last year Lux struggled during Spring Training, was then a late arrival to Summer Camp for an undisclosed reason and left off the Opening Day roster. The former top prospect never found his footing and only appeared in 19 games for the Dodgers and made just one plate appearance during the playoffs.

That came in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, and Lux otherwise was not on the active roster for the other three postseason rounds.

This year has been markedly different story for the 23-year-old. Lux shined during the spring and carried that momentum into the regular season. However, he began to cool and spent time on the 10-day injured list with right wrist soreness.

Lux was slow to produce upon being activated but turned the corner so far during the month of May. His highlights include hitting a first career grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Just coming off the IL, the more at-bats I get, I feel like the more comfortable I get. More consistent at-bats just helps me get my rhythm and timing down, and just figure out some things in the box,” Lux explained.

“Especially when guys slide-step, guys mess with timing. These are guys I need to face just to figure out stuff on my own. I just think the more consistent at-bats I get, the better I usually feel.”

He reiterated that expectations from once being a top prospect didn’t necessarily add an extra layer of pressure this season or while being mired in a slump. Lux instead has focused on playing free in games rather than overthinking matters.

It was an approach that saw his stock rise in 2019 while hitting at a blistering pace for Double-A Tulsa, then in Triple-A Oklahoma City, earning a call-up for his MLB debut. “You’re kind of unconscious,” Lux said of his torrid stretch in the Minors.

“You’re not really so worried about your mechanics. You’re kind of just going out and playing, and you’re not worried about the results or stats. You’re literally going out and playing baseball. That’s kind of where I feel like I’m at right now. The mental freedom is big, but just going out and having fun playing baseball.

“That’s really been a big point for me and I think it’s given me some freedom, for sure.”

Lux perfectly comfortable at shortstop

Although his MLB career has been predicated on becoming acclimated at second base to fill a need, Lux now is taking over at shortstop for Corey Seager during his recovery from a right hand fracture.

“I feel pretty comfortable over there,” Lux said of shifting to the other side of the infield. “Growing up there, coming up through the Minor Leagues, doing ground ball work every day I usually try to bounce around — take ground balls at third, take ground balls at short, second, wherever it may be. You never know.

“The more familiar with more positions you can be, the better. Especially with all the shifts we do, you’re in some weird spots. The more comfortable you can get at these spots, the better.”

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