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Dodgers: Gavin Lux Leaning Into the Role of Utility and Bench Player



When the 2021 season was about to start, the Dodgers were ready to give Gavin Lux second base. Teh departures of guys like Kiké Hernandez gave him the opportunity to take on the starting job, and Dave Roberts was ready to give him the runway to earn it. 

For the first month of the season, he did not earn it. Lux slashed .179/.213/.250 in the month of April and did not look ready to take regular at-bats at the big league level. But the health of the Dodgers roster gave him some more time to figure things out. 

Fast forward to now, and Lux is the odd man out in a stacked lineup. The Dodgers acquiring Trea Turner at the deadline and his opportunity almost immediately disappeared. Despite that, Lux seems ready to take on a new role with eh team. He spoke with The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya about it earlier this week. 

Obviously you look at that lineup up and down, it’s like an All-Star team. Wherever I can mix in, I’m more than happy. I mean, Trea’s one of the best players in baseball. He’s maybe the most dynamic player in baseball … it’s a learning opportunity. There’s a lot of really good players here, so that’s kind of the outlook I got on it.

Lux played some third base on his minor league rehab assignment and reportedly has been taking balls in the outfield as well. Given the Dodgers’ current roster construction, he’s going to need that versatility to get more playing time.

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For the moment, Lux has not played in a game since last week against the Pirates. And with Mookie Betts returning this week, there doesn’t seem to be a clear path to him playing. Getting reps in at new positions should help, but Gavin will also be a big part of their plans beyond 2021. 

Getting him that confidence playing in the right spots and hitting at the right time could be huge. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Yes, there remains a “bench” role for Lux, especially if – God forbid – Taylor goes elsewhere next year. But the problem remains not “where to play Lux,” the problem is “will he hit?” Hernandez and Taylor have been valuable not just because they could play anywhere. They were valuable because they usually produced offensively no matter where or when they played. Lux’s career thus far has been remarkably consistent in his lack of production.

  2. FO missed out in the trade market when Lux was highly coveted couple of years ago. His value was high @ the time as a few teams had him as most wanted in a trade. That’s one they hung on that didn’t pay off.

    • Bingo! Can’t help but think the Red Sox would have jumped at Lux instead of Verdugo two years ago. Hindsight being 20/20 that’s one Andy swung and missed at big time!

  3. Gavin Lux. Considering his great looks they should keep him – let Justin turner retire after 2022 and throw him a big party. Got to keep pollack. Got to keep Taylor. Got to keep Seager. I say let Belanger go !

  4. Folks, Freidman is too smart to let CT3 walk after this year. But the one thing that could be an issue is if Seager walks after this year and then Trea Turner walks after the 2022 season.

    • CT3 will probably walk this year. He will want a whole lot of money to stay here, and I don’t see that happening. Somehow, they will extend Trea Turner so that he can retire as a Dodger.

    • I agree – the FO will re-sign CT3. and will not let Trea out of their grasp either. He’ll get a huge contract. Corey may be elsewhere once Boras is thru negotiating.

  5. Send him back to the minors, he was successful there and that’s where he belongs permanently. He is not the type of player for a team contending for a championship.

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