Gavin Lux was a shortstop throughout his time in the Dodgers’ minor league system, but when he got to the big leagues, he shifted to second base because of the presence of Corey Seager and then Trea Turner. Well, Seager and Turner have both left for greener pastures (that’s green like money, not green like grass), which left an opening at shortstop.
All offseason, the presumption has been that Lux could be the starting shortstop if Los Angeles didn’t sign one of the free-agent shortstops or trade for Willy Adames or another starter-quality shortstop. Well, we’re two weeks from the start of spring training, all the free agents are gone, and no trades are on the horizon, so the writing is pretty clear on the wall.
But just in case, as Fabian Ardaya notes for The Athletic, LA general manager Brandon Gomes made it somewhat official on Wednesday.
After months of dancing around the obvious conclusion, Gomes and the Dodgers laid out their plan at shortstop.
“Right now, we see Gavin (Lux) as our everyday shortstop,” Gomes said. …
Lux’s offense appeared to come around in an everyday role at second base in 2022, particularly before a neck issue soured his final offensive line. The defense has always been the concern, particularly with Lux having a history of issues throwing and the Dodgers staff emphasizing that he needs to continue working on his footwork.
But with Turner and Corey Seager now in different uniforms, the front office has hyped up Lux for the position. Friedman dismissed concerns at the Winter Meetings, saying shortstop was Lux’s natural position. Roberts expressed a similar sentiment. Gomes on Wednesday said he felt “really good” about how Lux handled shortstop in extended action in 2021 as Seager dealt with a broken hand.
So even after trading for [Miguel] Rojas, the Marlins’ primary shortstop the past few seasons, it’s Lux’s job to lose. Rojas will slide into a utility role.
If Lux didn’t get the chance in 2023, he was never going to get it. It makes a ton of sense to give him every chance to be the starting shortstop, because his offensive potential — he was roughly Trea’s equal last year before the neck issue slowed him down at the end of the season — is extremely valuable if he can be even an average defensive shortstop.
Having Rojas around will be a huge benefit to the Dodgers, a legitimate big-league shortstop who can act as a fallback option but also as a mentor to the 25-year-old Lux. We’ve already seen Rojas working with rookie Miguel Vargas on his infield defense, and that’s the sort of value Rojas bring to the team even if he’s not getting as much playing time as he’s used to in Miami.
The Gavin Lux era has arrived in Los Angeles. How will it go? We’ll find out soon.
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