After struggling for most of the first half and spending some time in the Minors to work on his swing, Gavin Lux was recalled by the Los Angeles Dodgers last month.
With several injuries plaguing the roster at the time, the 23-year-old took on a utility role and has looked like a different player offensively ever since. He batted a stellar .360/.467/.500 with four extra-base hits and nine RBI over his final 17 games of the regular season.
Lux picked up where he left off in the postseason, reaching base five times in 11 plate appearances against the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series.
Lux attributed his success to valuable advice he received from Justin Turner and Chase Utley during the 2019 season.
“Going into the playoffs in 2019, J.T. pulled me aside, and Chase Utley was in there too, and he was just like, ‘Every time you step up in the box try to have that feeling that you’re 4-for-4,” Lux recently recalled.
“That’s like the best feeling you can have if you’re a hitter. Going up there 4-for-4, there’s no pressure. You feel good. So that’s kind of the best take of advice I’ve gotten from anybody, I think, going into the playoffs.”
Despite spending only parts of four seasons with the Dodgers, several players — both past and present — have raved about the wisdom Utley brought to the clubhouse.
In addition to Lux, the likes of Kiké Hernandez and Joc Pederson credited the six-time All-Star for helping turn around their careers. Perhaps not coincidentally, both players have thrived in the postseason with the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, respectively.
Although Utley has been retired for three years now, he still is involved with the Dodgers on several fronts. He has been a guest instructor in past Spring Trainings, an analyst on SportsNet LA and holds an advisory role in the front role.
As for Turner, he remains an important leader in the Dodgers clubhouse, as well as off the field through the Justin Turner Foundation.
Lux sent GIF to Bellinger
Along with Lux, Cody Bellinger also enjoyed success against the Giants in the NLDS. The two went a combined 7-for-24 with one double and three RBI.
Recognizing their contributions, Lux sent Bellinger a GIF of former L.A. Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal prior to the deciding Game 5. “Yeah, confirmed. He definitely did send that GIF, and props to him,” Bellinger said.
“I mean, he hit a single just as well as I hit a single. I just happened to have J.T. on second base. So he put together an unbelievable at-bat for myself to try to keep the momentum going.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!