Playing a brand new position is always tough. But when you add in the fact that you’re doing it at the big league level, it seems almost impossible. But that’s exactly what the Dodgers are doing with Gavin Lux right now.
A shortstop turned second baseman, the Dodgers had to pivot with Lux after acquiring Trea Turner. That deal essentially guaranteed that Lux would not be playing up the middle aside from giving guys days off. So they moved him to the outfield and he’s played there since his recall from OKC.
Lux has looked decent out there in his first taste in the outfield, but his speed helps to make up for any shortcomings. Lux spoke with Dodgers media today about the transition, and there seems to be one aspect that he struggles with in the outfield.
Just overall reading swings, it’s a lot different than the infield. You’re obviously a lot further away, reading swings from left-handers, playing the slice, playing top spin, the hook, there are just a lot more variables that go into the corners of the outfield.
But the good news is that Lux is feeling more and more comfortable out there every time he takes the field. He has 8 starts in the outfield since his recall and is out there once again on Friday night in Colorado.
Now obviously running out there I feel a lot more comfortable after getting 8 or 9 games out there. It’s just getting reps and taking reads off of the swings. So, night and day compared to a week ago.
The speed for Lux is really the difference-maker for the Dodgers. Getting reads is obviously important, but Lux’s ability to turn on the boosters separates him from the other guys that can play out there.
If he can keep up his offensive streak, Lux could be huge for the Dodgers in October. He is slashing .458/.552/.708 with a 1.260 OPS in the month of September. That sort of hot streak could be exactly what they need to get past the Giants in the NL West.