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Gavin Lux as the LAD Shortstop

Gavin Lux is always going to have his supporters and detractors.  He is a bat first SS, but is not that poor of a defensive SS that the Dodgers NEED to find a replacement.  He will never be a GG defender.  Before examining Lux, let’s look at other MLB shortstops.

How many SS today excel at offense and defense?  The two that come most to mind are Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa.  However while both of their defensive metrics continue to shine, their offense have not been as robust.  Although, Lindor did win his third Silver Slugger, first as a NYM.  He was also a finalist for the NL GG.  And Correa is talented enough to renew his outstanding offensive skills.  And while he may be best known by LAD fans for his cheating in 2017, his overall postseason offensive metrics put him very top of offensive SS.

IMO, the best overall SS in the game today is former LAD, Corey Seager.  Seager not only won his third Silver Slugger, but was also one of the three finalists for AL GG.  His postseason prowess is also in the upper echelon.

However most MLB shortstops excel more at one facet than the other.

The three AL GG candidates for shortstop:

  • Carlos Correa – 1,144.1 innings – 6 errors, 4 fielding, 2 throwing – .230/.312/.399/.711
  • Corey Seager – 951.2 innings – 8 errors, 3 fielding, 5 throwing – .327/.390/.623/1.013
  • Anthony Volpe – 1,346.2 innings – 17 errors, 9 fielding, 8 throwing – .209/.283/.383/.666 – Gold Glove Winner
  • Francisco Lindor – 1,365.1 innings – 9 errors, 4 fielding, 5 throwing – .254/.336/.470/.806
  • Dansby Swanson – 1,279.1 innings – 11 errors, 5 fielding, 6 throwing – .244/.328/.416/.744 – Gold Glove Winner
  • Ezequiel Tovar – 1,327 innings – 7 errors, 1 fielding, 6 throwing – .253/.287/.408/.695

When you get a SS who has an OPS of 1.013, you keep him.  Seager’s career OPS is .873, as a SS.  I still remember what Adrián González said when he first saw Corey Seager play…He is going to be a HOF.

I do not think the Dodgers swung and missed on Seags.  I am not convinced that he wanted to remain a LAD.  Would the Dodgers have had to offer a $350MM contract for him to stay with the Dodgers?  I could not see them doing that at the time, especially with Trea Turner and Gavin Lux on the roster.  I do believe that if Seager was a Free Agent this year, the Dodgers would have overpaid to keep him.  I think the last two postseasons have altered the LAD brass’ thinking.  Stars cost $$$$.  Superstars cost more $$$$.

Looking at Lindor and Seager, one is clearly better defensively and the other has more offensive skills.  Lindor has a career bWAR of 42.7, while Seager is 32.0.  bWAR is driven quite a bit with defensive metrics.  OTOH, Seager has a career OPS+ of 134, while Lindor checks in at 117.

Other highly rated SS:

  • Gunnar Henderson – 584.2 innings – 8 errors, 3 fielding, and 5 throwing – .255/.325/.489/.814
  • Bo Bichette – 1,136.1 innings – 8 errors, 3 fielding, 5 throwing – .306/.339/.475/.814
  • Trea Turner – 1,342.1 innings – 23 errors, 12 fielding, 11 throwing – .266/.320/.459/.779
  • Bobby Witt Jr. – 1,280 innings – 12 errors, 7 fielding, 5 throwing, .276/.319/.495/.812

Gunnar Henderson is probably going to be moved to 3B to make room for Jackson Holliday.

Bichette had a good defensive year in 2023, but his two previous years were atrocious:

  • 2022 – 1,374 innings – 23 errors, 11 fielding, 12 throwing
  • 2021 – 1,271 innings – 24 errors, 11 fielding, 13 throwing

There was discussion on moving Bichette to 3B, but when the Blue Jays acquired Matt Chapman to play 3B, Bichette stayed on SS and put together his best defensive effort of his MLB career.  He also maintained his excellent offensive metrics.

Turner will always be a bat first SS.  While Witt Jr. has the ability to excel at the elite levels both offensively and defensively. I sure would like to see him on a contender to see how he plays in October.

This is what Baseball America included in their Gavin Lux draft scouting report:

In a draft lacking in true shortstops, Lux impresses because he’s one of the few high school shortstops in the draft class with a solid chance to remain at the position. A quick-twitch athlete with the hands, actions and a little of the flash that shortstops often have, Lux lacks only ideal arm strength. It’s solid average and it’s accurate with a quick release, but many teams like to see shortstops have a plus arm. He’s an above-average runner, though his feet move quickly. At the plate, Lux has a pretty lefthanded stroke that has shown improved power as he’s matured and added weight and strength over the past year. The track record of Wisconsin high school draftees is sparse and rather disappointing, but Lux’s smooth actions and athleticism separate him from the typical Wisconsin product. He should be a solid early-round pick who had late helium, which will make it hard for him to stick with his Arizona State commitment. His uncle, Augie Schmidt, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1982 draft as the Golden Spikes Award winner that year.

At 2020 scouting reports for BA:

Lux is a leader in the infield at shortstop. He attacks the ball, reads hops well and gets the ball out quickly. Lux has the athleticism, lateral range and above-average arm strength to stick at shortstop, but longstanding throwing accuracy issues make him more reliable at second base.

MLB Pipeline’s Scouting Report for 2020 (last year as a prospect):

Lux has a high baseball IQ, the result of growing up around the game because his uncle is the longtime coach at NCAA Division III Carthage (Wis.). He has the quickness, soft hands and solid arm strength for shortstop and last season ironed out some longstanding issues with throwing accuracy. The Dodgers played him solely at second base after calling him up last September, and may continue to do so because Corey Seager is a superior shortstop.

So the supporters and detractors can each point to whatever part of the report they want to support their position.  It is another glass half full/half empty discussion.

Lux has gone from average arm strength to above average arm strength.  He has always had issues with accuracy, but nowhere near the level of labeling him with the Yips.  Just not highly accurate.  That can be improved with hours of practice (right Badger?).  I know he has been putting in the work this offseason at SS.  He is fortunate to have two exceptional infield coaches to work with:  Dino Ebel and Chris Woodward.  Both are considered at the top of their field as infield defensive coaches.

While I recognize that the Dodgers value versatility more than static positions, IMO you do not do proper service to a player defensively when they are moving all around, and then expect them to play at one position as a regular.

Lux was only a SS until becoming a Dodger.  He has subsequently been moved 2B, LF, CF, and 3B (which was disastrous).  Lux is athletic enough where he could be a good defensive LF or CF, but if he can manage SS defensively enough to make him at least average, why move him?

In 2021, Lux played 471.1 innings at SS.  He had a DRS of +1.  He made 7 errors, 5 fielding and 2 throwing.  His fielding % was .966.

Moving over to 2B in 2022, he played 819.2 innings.  He had a DRS of +3.  He made 9 errors, 4 fielding and 5 throwing.

His only negative DRS has been in the OF.  Although he has never made an error in the OF including throwing.

Fans will always have their preconceived opinions on players.  I am not going to shy away from previously sharing my beliefs that Lux can be an average SS, but IMO would be an All Star at 2B.  However, the Dodgers are a better team with Mookie at 2B and Lux at SS.

In sports, the yips are a sudden and unexplained loss of ability to execute certain skills in experienced athletes. Symptoms of the yips are losing fine motor skills and psychological issues that impact on the muscle memory and decision-making of athletes, leaving them unable to perform basic skills of their sport.

That does not define Lux’s throwing errors any more than it defines any other player’s.  Lux is just not as accurate, even though his metrics seem to indicate that he has improved somewhat.  Not everyone has the same ability to make throws.  Of course there is more room for improvement, and I see no reason why an athlete at the level of Gavin Lux cannot continue to improve.  BTW, Lux’s issues pale in comparison to Steve Sax’s. Sax went on to become a 5 time All Star 2B in a 14 year MLB career.

If Gavin Lux comes close to that career, I think Dodger fans will accept a few throwing errors.

Lux has earned the right to assume the everyday SS position, and there is nothing in his totality of infield play (albeit a relatively small sample size), that would indicate that Lux has a problem with the Yips.

For those who think the Dodgers need a different SS, name one that is available?  Tim Anderson?  Amed Rosario?  If the Dodgers trade for a SS, which one is available?  One year of Willy Adames? Then what do you do with Lux?

Now, if you ask me if the Dodgers have not been diligent at all at drafting and developing SS to play at the MLB level, I am at the head of the line.  Of course that can be said for 3B, 2B, and OF as well.

For whatever it is worth (not much, I am sure), my opinion is to put Gavin Lux at SS and leave him there.  If you need late inning defense, there is always Miggy Rojas.  Lux is the best SS in the Dodgers organization, and it is not even close.

 

 

 

 

 

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SandyAmoros

Lux will be fine if Roberts doesnt sabotage him

Oldbear48

Roberts really has no other options but to start Lux. Rojas is no longer and everyday SS. Barring a trade, and I do not think that is happening, Lux is the man.

Badger

Well said Jeff.

A team controlled bat first average defensive shortstop on this team is an asset. The Dodgers are lucky to have him. He’s no Seager of course but it remains to be seen how good a hitter he can become. He’s still in his prime years and in this lineup he might be overlooked by opposing pitchers. I’m anxious to see how he performs this Spring.

On the previous thread Eric and W discussed an interesting take on adding Paxton that hadn’t really occurred to me. Not only the blocking of a spot for the next in line, which I had considered, but $25 million for a project player. They really don’t give a rat’s ass about how high payroll is this year do they.

And, yes on Sanchez. He’s a solid defender with some pop. Maybe time to move on from Barnes.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Mark Timmons

On Paxton: I don’t see it. The Dodgers have more than enough in the farm system to do as well as Paxton will likely do, and he might throw three pitches and his back will go out. Ryu has to be cheaper. Yes, Paxton is an LHP, which they need, but it smacks of an Ownership-Induced move!

I guess they are gearing up for one big run this year and then letting all the one-year deals go. Hernandez, Kershaw, Paxton, Buehler, Heyward, Rojas… all walk.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Dionysus

Gotta sign Kershaw before he can walk. Also Barnes, Margot, Kelly, etc.

Wolverine

but he can walk now

Oldbear48

They will most likely sign Kersh after spring training begins so they can just put him on the IL without using a roster spot. That is if he wants to come back.

Duke Not Snider

That sounds right. I assume there’s a gentlemen’s agreement regarding Kershaw. He may not want to sign until he’s confident that he’ll be able to get back into playing form.

Jimbo

I agree. We’ve got so many young pitchers we should give a couple of them a chance, Kershaw may be available mid-season as well

Oldbear48

Can’t have it both ways. Kids will get their shot eventually, some like Stone will most likely get BP work or hone their skills at AAA.

Duke Not Snider

How about a trade for Tanner Scott or Devin Williams or ???
With Paxton in the rotation, one of the top SP prospects could be packaged with Miguelito or ?? to upgrade the bullpen. I’d be fine with including Margot in the deal because there are some good FA outfielders available, like Michael A. Taylor.
One baseball yakker on YouTube suggested that Dodgers could package Dustin May. I really want May to get well and come back strong but he’s been pretty fragile. (I often forget about guys on IL when we ponder trades.)

Mark Timmons

But there was a time when Gavin Lux had the YIPS. Fabian Ardaya of The Atheltic wrote about it. There was a time, early in his career, that Gavin Lux would question himself and (in his words) instead of navigating the mental part of the game, which he called the “slippery slopes,” he would quietly slide down into his own personal abyss. He battled anxiety, the numbers and weight of his own expectations, and it left him sleepless. Here’s what Ardaya wrote:

The anxiety had been triggered there as well, with a bout of the yips impacting his ability to accurately throw the baseball at points while he was a prospect. It was then that he learned an art he’d seemingly forgotten in the bigs: how to let go.

The key to that transformation was Justin Turner’s giving him a book by Gary Vaynerchuk called “Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success.” It was a gift for each of his teammates, something to give them “a mentality, outlook piece that can kind of maybe change your perspective on things a little bit and how you go about stuff.”

That article tells you what Gavin Lux is all about. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do:

https://theathletic.com/3333580/2022/05/26/gavin-lux-dodgers-mental-health/

I think Gavin Lux can be a .300 hitter… maybe a .900 OPS guy… maybe 25 HR. I just am not convinced that he is a SS. I love him as a hitter. What happened to him last year was a damn shame. I hope that I am wrong about his ability to play SS. God knows I have been wrong plenty of times. If he can play SS at the level Seager did, that is all the Dodgers need. That is the best we can hope for.

Just don’t take it personally – I really, really like Gavin Lux, even if I don’t think he is an SS. I also really like James Outman, even if I believe he will never hit LHP.

Think about this: If Lux can play SS and James Outman can hit lefties better, this team is a juggernaut! One final thing: I think in his second full year at 3B, Max Muncy will be incrementally better than he was last year. He’s a pro who takes pride in what he does. Actually, Max had just 16 errors last year. Some fans think it was 30. Matt Chapman had 12, but I am not saying that Muncy is as good as Chapman. It’s just that I think he will be better.

Cassidy

It’s Lux’s position right now and I think he’ll be just fine and an all star next year.

Badger

I’m having trouble accessing that link. It just takes me to the front page of The Athletic. I found it with a separate link search on my own, same thing happened. What am I doing wrong?

There might have been a time when the term yips was used, but that had to be years ago. As Jeff pointed out, the numbers don’t really suggest there’s a lingering issue. Let’s go forward. Front window vision buddy.

Betts is the second baseman. Muncy is at third. Provided Lux will be recovered, and no real way of knowing that until the END of Spring Training, Lux is the shortstop. We know you don’t want him there, you’ve made that clear, but until further notice, he’s there. And who knows, maybe he gets traded to Wisconsin and the Wisconsin shortstop comes here. If so, your wish is granted.

Mark Timmons

My wish is that Gavin be an All-Star for the Dodgers. I also wish I were 40 years younger.

The Athletic is a Pay Sight, so you have to be signed in. It works for me.

Badger

I am a paid customer. Still takes me to the front page. Maybe it has to do with “My Feed”. Whatever. I believe you.

And Lux IS 40 years younger. He can recover from the yips. We can’t. Ours are now permanent. And more yaps than yips. As long as his leg has been successfully reconstructed, he should be fine. Might even be stronger.

Bluto

As was stated earlier with T. Hernandez, given where the Dodgers are there’s very little bad about a one-year deal like Paxton, at least to me. I guess you can contort yourself into saying Stone or Sheehan will have five less starts. Is that really a thing?

The Athletic is a pay site, not pay sight. It has a mediocre search tool, Badger, that is somewhat hidden., but should help you find this article.

I find very little more amusing than when fan bases arbitrarily label moves they don’t understand as “person B” caused. But every other move is by “person A,”

In football, this can be when fans claim a GM is over-ruling a favored coach. Or a coach imposing a play-call on the coordinator.

Here in baseball, we have created an excuse in the owners.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Mark Timmons

That is one option, and the other is that it is the truth. We will actually find out someday.

Bluto

not everything is binary Mark. In fact, very few things are.

It is most probably neither or both.

Badger

I don’t think it’s a bad deal Bluto, just a curious move. Could they have gotten him for less?

It looks possible to me, even likely at this point, the Dodgers are creating a lengthy staff of strong 5 inning pitchers, with a bullpen of multiple gunslingers to finish. 6 man rotation with 8-10: guys to fill it might guarantee a rested rotation fora longer postseason.

Bluto

Didn’t Chapman go for 10.5?

12 seems like a fair price. You pay more for less term, no?

Badger

It was the tax implications that got my attention. No big deal. It’s only money and the Dodgers have plenty of that.

Wolverine

& faster, lol. link is working BTW. Probably
your feed as you said

Badger

I got into it. Ardaya mentioned the yips in May of ‘22. I hadn’t heard it anywhere else.

Duke Not Snider

Mark seems to think that, against lefties, Outman has been hitting below the Miguelito–er, I mean Mendoza Line. Below .200, in other words.
This is highly misleading.
Outman batted .254 against lefties in ’23–kinda meh, but not terrible.
But because a walk is as good as a hit, he also compiled an OBP of .357, which is darn good.
A high OBP is a sign of a quality AB. So while Mark stubbornly loves to suggest that Outman is terrible against lefties and should be platooned, the evidence shows that Outman is actually productive: he gets on base. Last season, the only regulars who got on base against lefties more frequently were Mookie and Freddie. Outman had a higher OBP against lefties than both JD Martinez and Will Smith. (Max’s OBP against lefties was way down at .263, and his BA was just .155.)
So what the data actually shows is that Outman has been a slugger against righties (.835 OPS, 22 HRs) and a contact/on-base guy against lefties.
So let’s bat Outman 6th against righties and 8th or 9th against lefties. He’ll get on base and Mookie or Freddie will knock him in. And there’s no reason to think that Outman, entering his sophomore season, can’t improve his slugging against lefties.
For perspective, Miguel Vargas had a BA of .195 and an OBP of .305 in ’23.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Dionysus

Great piece. I wasn’t aware anyone thought he wasn’t the answer.

Cassidy

Isn’t this the same group as last year when everyone was complaining that you can never have too much pitching?

Dionysus

I’m on Mercury Island so I wouldn’t know.

OhioDodger

The annual Dodgers Dugout Hall of Fame voting has begun.
Players’ ballot here.
Non-players’ ballot here.

Dodgfan

I have my doubts that Lux can remain at SS over the longterm. The issue is not the glove or arm strength, but the accuracy of this throws. Too many times I saw this when he played at Rancho Cucamonga. However, I hope he has overcome this issue, which could turn into a problem if rears its ugly head during a pivotal moment. The bat plays but the accuracy of his throws is a question mark in my opinion.

Mark Timmons

Actually, Jeff used to be a little more pessimistic about Lux. He has evidently changed his mind.. which is fine. I just have not changed mine.

Bobby

I, and I’m guessing most Dodger fans, have way more confidence in Gavin Lux at SS than Max Muncy at 3b.

Matt

Not I. Muncy is actually an above AVG 3B and I believe he will/has put in a lot of work over the offseason to improve even more over there.

Got lotta faith in Max.

Badger

“Muncy is actually an above AVG 3B”

Not according to those pesky defensive stats at fangraphs. They have him ranked 172nd. But, what do they know ey?

I too think he could improve. No where to go but up, right?

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Matt

I dont really care what Fangraphs says.

Dodgers got a lot of smart people (smarter than you or I) and if they thought Max couldnt handle 3B a change would have been made….

Bumsrap

Max probably would be better defensively if he lost 25 pounds.

Bumsrap

Witt would want a Seager contract in 3 years anyway.

Dodgfan

It’s too late now. The Dodgers have no choice but to give Lux his shot, which may not necessarily be a bad thing, but the alternatives are now wearing Ranger and Philly uniforms.

Wolverine

well, maybe. I am fond of Rojas personally. Numbers don’t lie but defense is golden.

TennisMenace (TM)

Yes…..glad to know I’m not alone in the MRojas bandwagon here. I too love “D-fence” at the SS position….and MR gave us more than enough bat last year.

dodgerpatch

The “Lux-Can’t-Play-Shortstop” is one of Mark’s favorite topics. Not only has he gone on record with this position, but he goes on record about once a week or so. There’s hardly a trade scenario that has crossed his keyboard that hasn’t included poor Lux.

To be fair, Mark did post some back to back video of Lux vs. that other SS shortstop the Dodgers recently traded, and, yeah, I’ll admit my eyeballs weren’t impressed with his overall arm strength, but as the quote by that scout above mentions, he gets by with a quick release and athleticism. His Yips are over with.

Seager had a very good defensive year last year, but he was always a below average defensive shortstop with the Dodgers. No one was really complaining about the defense at that position then.

Lux was given a 70 Future Value rating by Fangraphs in 2019. He was the second highest rated prospect in all of MiLB behind Wander Franco. He hit nearly .400 in AAA. The scouting summary described him as a “perennial All-Star.”

He needs the opportunity to sink or swim or flourish by having a consistent position and playing every day (the same opportunity Mark wants to afford Vargas). If his overall arm strength is not “plus,” oh well. If he hits .280 with 25 home runs and a 130 wRC+, I think the Dodgers can live with it.

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerpatch
Eric

The newest article at dodgers.com is hinting or even saying the Dodgers will have a 6 man rotation and Buehler won’t start the season in the rotation because they want him for October.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eric
Singing the Blue

I think it’s just as likely that Buehler starts the year in the rotation and gets his break somewhere towards mid year, maybe when (if) Kershaw rejoins the team. After not pitching for so long it seems to me that breaking up his pitching year makes more sense than delaying the start and then having him go for 4-5 months solid without a break.

dodgerpatch

They should do it. It’s what Yamamoto and Ohtani are accustomed to, and next year, with Ohtani giving the Dodgers a de facto extra roster spot, it’ll be easier to do, and a six man might be necessary if you want to find room for both May and Gonsolin.

Maybe the Dodgers are establishing a new trend. With pitchers throwing harder and with more effort, if you have a system that reduces the overall workload it certainly won’t hurt.

Paxton was a near stud through June last year but wore out after the ASB. He’s a guy who probably just can’t handle more than 120 innings. He’s a lefty that throws 95+ when he’s on, though. He’d be a good fit if you want to slow roll Buehler to begin the year and sign Kershaw and put him on the IL till the 2nd half.

Bumsrap

The Dodgers might be able to reset their CBT status in 2025 so with that, after spending so much money for 2024, now is not the time to not address any potential weaknesses.

Jayne Cobb

I won’t spend too much time analyzing past stats on a player like Lux. He walked into 2022 with Trea Turner as the SS. He had to transition to being an everyday 2B which, as is common, required the team to endure some growing pains. But by the end of the season he was a solid, albeit not fantastic, everyday 2Bman. And before a nagging injury slowed him down at the end of the season he was showing he could be a .300/.400/.450 level player.

I also won’t put too much emphasis on what I saw from him in Rancho. He was 20 and playing in A ball. His skill set was very good for players in the CA league at the time (before they were dropped from high A to low A).

What I did observe was a kid with a great work ethic. He was coming off a disappointing season on the Loons (.690 OPS), especially for a 1st round pick. He didn’t light up the CA league immediately, but his improvement over the half season he was there was significant. When he was called up to AA he was one of the best hitters in the league and around the country at that level. And he just got better as he progressed from AA to AAA.

Lux has shown he has the work ethic to overcome challenges. SS is where he is comfortable and he was on notice that he was penciled in at SS for 2023. So he knew what was expected and what where he had to improve. Unfortunately, he (and fans) were robbed of the opportunity to see what he can do everyday at SS. He, once again, is penciled in at SS. He knows it’s his position to lose. I don’t think the Dodgers are under any illusion of the issues he may have at the position. But he’s the kind of guy that has shown he will step up and improve when asked. He now has had two full off seasons to prepare to be the Dodgers everyday SS. I’m going to go with past history to say that I am confident he will be much improved over the small sample size we’ve seen from him at the position. If not, well…. the Dodgers will cross that bridge when they come to it. But this is one of those times when intangibles play a bigger role than stats. Gavin is young and was asked to do a lot at a young age. And he did what was asked of him. Transition to 2B at hit at the bottom of the order. Two things he has never really done before. And I saw a lot of positive progress as the 2022 season progressed.

The Dodgers are going to give the kid every chance. He earned it.

in contrast, there is one other highly touted Dodger SS prospect that few speak of. He was also Dodgers Minor League Player of the year and destroyed AAA, in 1990. If I remember correctly he finished second in the overall minor league player of the year vote to Frank Thomas. Unfortunately, Jose Offerman never showed he could progress and improve once he became a regular in the majors. The Dodgers gave up on him as an infielder after a few seasons, so did the Royals. He never filled out and didn’t developed any real power. He had a decent pro career but ended up being a light hitting 1bman in Boston. I had high hopes for the guy when he came up. But it was quickly obvious that he was not improving on defense or offense after 2 or 3 season.

I don’t see the same with Lux. I see work ethic and improvement. He came into last year in fantastic shape. Put on lean body mass and looked like he worked his tail off in the off-season. The freak injury didn’t allow us to see where else he had improved.

I’m squarely in the camp that thinks he will show up to ST ready to take on the challenge.

Oldbear48

Paxton deal is now official. 11 mil plus 1 mil signing bonus and 1 mil in incentives.

Bumsrap

Thanks Jayne. Great perspective.

RC Dodger

Good points Jayne Cobb.
Lux certainly has some risk as a SS, but love to hear about his work ethic. He is very athletic, and was a top 5 MLB prospect a few years ago. In 2022, he was having a great year with an OPS of 812 before he was hurt at the end of August. He can potentially be a middle infielder with an OPS well over 800 making only $1.1 million this year. Lux can be an extremely valuable player for the Dodgers. Like Smith, Buehler, Outman, and Miller, Lux is paid well below market value. These guys enable the Dodgers to overpay outsiders like Ohtani, Yamamoto, Glasnow, and Hernandez instead. I hope and expect Lux will have a good year in 2024.

TennisMenace (TM)

Nice write up Jayne. I’m open minded enough to give him his chance and hope for the best. I also like having Rojas behind him just in case…. or for late inning replacement just in case…

Oldbear48

Beltre, Mauer and Helton elected to the Hall of Fame. They will be inducted along with Jim Leyland this summer. Billy Wagner fell just short of 75 %, 73.1%, and Gary Sheffield was under 70 percent in his last year on the ballot.

Duke Not Snider

Any mention of “the yips” makes me think of Steve Sax.
Perhaps we all remember when Pedro Guerrero was struggling at 3B. In an interview, Pedro admitted that, while manning third base, his first thought was, “Don’t hit it to me.”
And his second thought was, “Don’t hit it to Sax!”
But I think Lux will be fine. If not, either Rojas and Taylor could step in. The Dodgers offense should be a juggernaut, so an average SS should suffice. Rojas should suffice. And I think Lux will be above average.
I am saying this even though, some years ago, I really wanted the AF to include Lux in a package for Lindor some years ago. The report was that the Dodgers refused to include Lux, and that was a dealbreaker. If the Dodgers could have landed Lindor and moved Seager to 3B, with Max manning 1B, that would have been sweet. (I also wanted the Dodgers to deal for prime Andrelton Simmons and shift Seager to 3B.)
But if that had happened, perhaps AF wouldn’t have later swung the deal for Mookie. Impossible to know.
And I’ll take Mookie over Lindor any day, so that worked out.
But what if Lux doesn’t work out at SS?
One notion is for Mookie and Lux to simply switch positions. But I sense that Mookie prefers 2B, so that is unlikely.
If Lux struggles, perhaps the issue could be addressed at midseason. Perhaps Adames or another proven SS will be on the market.
One guy who might become available is the O’s Jorge Mateo, a spectacular athlete.
If Jackson Holliday gets promoted and Henderson shifts to 3rd, Mateo could become available.
He’s a glove-first guy with great range and a great arm, much like Simmons. He also has great speed. Not much of a bat, but GG potential, with 30+ steals. Just bat him 9th and he would win a few games with his glove and maybe a couple more with his legs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Duke Not Snider

If Lux struggles against lefties–he used to have wide splits–Rojas could give him some days off.
Last season, Rojas didn’t suck against lefties. He batted .286 with an .331 OBP and .737 OPS. I wouldn’t argue for a full-time platoon because Lux is young and should improve. (He did just that before his injury.) But a part-time platoon would keep Rojas sharp and give Lux a bit of rest. He’d be a great weapon off the bench.
Chris Taylor has better numbers, but I’d prefer to have him platoon with Heyward.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Badger

And they won’t win the Central without him so he’s not going anywhere. QO candidate.

Duke Not Snider

Apparently Jack Harris fell victim to the latest wave of layoffs at the once-mighty LA Times. He’s done a really good job covering the Dodgers and I sure hope he finds a good path forward.

Bumsrap

“It boils down to putting guys in the best position to succeed,” Friedman said. “When we’re looking to acquire a pitcher by free agent or trade, I think our scouts, analysts and pitching coaches work really well together to identify the levers we want to pull to increase the likelihood of success. I think the secret sauce for us is how well our groups work together. The collaboration between our really talented pitching group to our performance group, to our training staff as well as the people who play a role in identifying the talent on the front end. … I think that communication and collaboration is a huge part of why we’ve had success.”

via Mike DiGiovanna the Los Angeles Times

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