Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Gavin Lux Got Some Help on His Throws From a Pitching Coach

There is a reason why assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness flew through the Dodgers farm system. Everywhere he goes, the pitching improves in one way or another. Take Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, lead the California League in strikeouts in 2018 and 2019 according to Dodgers Insider’s Rowan Kavner

Now with the big league squad, McGuiness is a big part of what makes the Dodgers pitching staff so successful. But as it turns out, it’s not just the guys in the bullpen and starting rotation that McGuiness puts in work with. 

Kavner spoke with Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux, who recently had to transition over to shortstop. With Corey Seager to for a few weeks due to a broken bone in his hand, Lux is going to be the guy there for a while. Lux spoke very highly of McGuiness and what he has been able to do. 

I know he’s a pitching coach, but he’s actually helped me a ton throwing. The ability he has to feel for people, and his people personality, it’s unbelievable what he does. He’s obviously such a smart human being on a baseball side. You throw in how good he is with people, communication, talking — that’s a skill in itself, especially with baseball terminology — he’s really good at what he does.

When Lux was coming up through the Dodgers farm system, the biggest knock on him was his arm. Most experts predicted that he would not hang around shortstop long-term, prompting a move over to second base during his minor league career. 

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But that hasn’t been the case so far, at least from what we’ve seen during games. Whatever McGuiness is doing with Lux, it seems to be working. There have even been flashes where his arm looks better than Seager’s over at short. 

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  1. Nomar was saying how sometimes when he was playing , the sticky stuff on the ball would result in an errant throw. Imagine how hard it must be for infielders today when you get an extra sticky ball to throw to first or underhand to second for a double play.

  2. Lux at 2B was using a bad wrist angle, turning his hand under the ball causing it to sail. at SS, his footwork is bad. just like for a pitcher who wants an accurate throw, a player has to step into a throw, pushing off his back foot. for an infielder a shuffle or two helps add rhythm.

  3. When Seager went down I felt by giving Lux the runway to play short was a good idea until he starts to falter. He had a good run where he was comfortable offensively and defensively, however the grind of the game day in day out is fatiguing him where now he is showing signs of sloppiness and weakness. My buddies and me have been infielders when we played in our younger days all see the same thing and we know the Dodgers also see it. For a major league shortstop, his arm is average , his range is limited, can’t backhand, and at times his footwork is out of rhythm to get the right movement towards his throws. This all can also affect his game in the box which is now regressing. Maybe in time where he can build his stamina, mental stability, and mechanics will make him an everyday shortstop in the big leagues, but if you look at all the shortstops playing for other teams Lux right now is not even close to their capabilities. That position is a demanding position to play, and can be rewarding if you play it well.

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