The Los Angeles Dodgers boast one of the deepest 40-man rosters in all of baseball, and that was evident when they optioned Matt Beaty and Gavin Lux to Triple-A Oklahoma City last week.
They were the corresponding moves to activating Mookie Betts off the 10-day injured list and recalling Darien Núñez.
Neither player had been receiving regularly opportunities, with Lux only recently returning from a hamstring strain. The former top prospect is in the midst of another down season but the organization still has high hopes for him.
“We still obviously value the heck out of Gavin. It’s his journey. It might not be the way he or we envisioned it, but this is where we’re at,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“As far as the at-bats off the bench, he’s an infielder, so for me to deploy an infielder, that’s just game management. Guys are playing well and we’re in a situation where we need to win ballgames.
“I don’t hit for guys very much because guys have earned that right to hit against left and right, so that’s kind of been that. As far as roster crunch, options, get him to go play and get him back. Nothing has changed as far as what we think of Gavin, the person and player.
After a disappointing 2020 campaign that never truly got off the ground, Lux’s struggles have carried over into his third season with the Dodgers. In 85 games, he is batting just .221/.302/.340 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 37 RBI across 321 plate appearances.
“No, I don’t think it’s changed,” Roberts answered when asked if Lux’s performance has altered the perception of what his potential is. “I don’t think he’s performed the way that he would’ve liked, certainly. I think if you’re talking about a runway, he’s had a good runway.
“I’m sure he’s disappointed with the way it’s gone. We make a trade and we’ve got to win baseball games. He understands that. My messaging — we had a great conversation — was to go out there and control what you can control, get better, play well and get back to help us win a championship.”
Dodgers’ plans for Lux
With Lux back in OKC, his immediate focus will be continuing to work on his swing in addition to receiving playing time at multiple positions, including third base, right field and second base.
The 23-year-old previously expressed a willingness of taking on a utility role if it helps the Dodgers win.
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