Dodgers Spring Training: Gavin Lux & Miguel Vargas To Start Together Often To Build Chemistry

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a new middle infield for the 2023 season following the departure of Trea Turner to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gavin Lux is sliding over to shortstop while Miguel Vargas is expected to start at second base. Neither has extensive Major League time at their new position, but Lux did play shortstop for most of his Minor League career.

The pair started the Dodgers’ Cactus League opener despite Vargas’ inability to hit due to a fractured pinky, and they were together again for Monday’s game against the San Diego Padres.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the plan was for Lux and Vargas is to start together during Spring Training “quite often.”

“I think we’re going to do that a lot just to kind of build that relationship,” Roberts added.

Roberts hopes the extensive time playing together during Spring Training will help them develop chemistry, which takes some time, and that relationship is even more important with the shift restrictions in place this season.

“Because even the subtleties of obviously the positioning, but the feeds on double plays,” Roberts said about it taking extensive time for middle infielders to build a rapport.

“Without the shift, a double play is always important, but when you get a ground ball on the ground, to be able to turn it, get the feed and arm stroke from the guy who is throwing the baseball, it’s important. So the more we can do that, the more comfortable they’ll be.”

Although it’s early into Spring Training, Roberts has like what he’s seen from the duo in workouts. “So far it’s been good,” Roberts said.

“It’s been good. Obviously, there’s a mutual respect. These guys like each other and they’re hard workers. It’s been good and our expectation is it only gets better.”

However, those best-laid plans may have taken a significant hit as Lux was removed from the game against the San Diego Padres with an apparent right knee injury.

Dave Roberts: 2023 Dodgers roster has ‘different edge’

The Dodgers had a mostly quiet offseason that featured the loss of some big-name players in free agency, including Trea Turner, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger.

But despite those losses, L.A. still projects to be one of the better teams in baseball this season as PECOTA and ZiPS have them either winning or tying for first place in the National League West.

As full-squad Spring Training workouts got underway, Roberts expressed his belief there is a different vibe to the Dodgers and said his group of players look sharp out of the gate.

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