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.
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.