Gavin Lux: Time At Dodgers’ Alternate Training Site Was ‘Needed’
Gavin Lux
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers twice erased a four-run deficit against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but if it weren’t for Gavin Lux slugging his second home run of the night, they would have suffered their first three-game losing streak of the season.

After AJ Pollock scored on a fielding error by Eduardo Escobar to break a tie in the 10th inning, Lux turned on a hanging breaking ball for a towering three-run homer. That extended the Dodgers’ lead to 10-6, and they needed every bit of it as Kenley Jansen allowed a two-run home run and RBI single before closing the game out.

Lux had previously given the Dodgers a 1-0 lead with an opposite-field home run in the second inning. It marked the first multi-homer game of his young career.

Jansen stranding the tying run on base helped keep the spotlight on what was Lux’s best showing since joining the Dodgers. “Any time you can help the team win it’s always good,” he said. “Just going up there looking to have a good at-bat and help any way I can. I got a pretty good pitch to hit.”

Once presumed to be the starting second baseman and a National League Rookie of the Year candidate, Lux now is essentially competing for a spot on the postseason roster. He entered the series opener against the Diamondbacks batting a feeble .148/.258/.222 with two doubles as his only extra-base hits.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had voiced confidence Lux was turning the tide, and the organization’s top prospect echoed that sentiment. “Brownie, Bates, Rob and I have been putting in a lot of work, just trying to stay locked in and picking guys’ brains whenever I can,” he said.

Much of the refining was completed at USC, the Dodgers’ alternate training site, where Lux reported prior to Opening Day of the 2020 season. “I just didn’t feel comfortable in the box at that time,” he said of being optioned. “Going to USC and getting at-bats on a daily basis helped me feel what I needed to and iron some things out.

“Just take it for what it is, and that’s what I needed. I got a lot of at-bats, which was good.”

Downplaying expectations

While his production has been inconsistent — albeit in a small sample size — Lux has continued to downplayed the idea lofty expectations led to pressing and thus negative results.

“I don’t really look at it as a problem to have that pressure,” he reiterated. “Pressure is like a privilege. I just think I didn’t have the at-bats that I wanted to. … The more at-bats I get, usually the more comfortable I feel. Like I keep saying, me, Rob, Brownie, Bates, have had a lot of really good conversations.

“It’s not always just mechanical; a lot of it is also approach and how certain pitchers might be trying to attack me. I think just overall, getting in the box, seeing pitches and getting more comfortable with these guys I’m facing and how they’re trying to attack me.

“Different teams attack guys different ways, so it’s definitely a learning process, but it’s all good because at the end of the day it is a process.”

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