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Dodgers: Is Gavin Lux Destined to Be a Platoon Player?



It wasn’t too long ago that Gavin Lux was tearing up the minor leagues and was seen as one of baseball’s top prospects to keep an eye on. There were talks of him being the future at second or even short if Corey Seager leaves in free agency this offseason. That’s all in the past now as there’s a new discussion that should take place.

As talented as Lux was and may still be, could he end up being a platoon player in the big leagues? 

First things first, this is in no way a smear of Lux or a way to completely write him off, but the 23-year old has not been so hot against left-handed pitching.

How bad has he been?

So far this season he is hitting only .125 with no home runs, 2 RBIs, and 8 strikeouts in 24 at-bats against southpaws. And it hasn’t just been a one year struggle either. It was a weakness for him in 2019 (0.83 batting average) and 2020 (.100 batting average) as well. He’s also struck out 8 times in those 24 at-bats which translates to a 33.3% strikeout rate compared to a 26% rate against righties. 

What’s more, is his production against lefties in the minors was a similar story except in 2019. During his dominant run that season, he hit .299 with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs in 97 at-bats. That’s the version of Lux fans hoped they would be seeing in the big leagues. But we’ve only seen small glimpses of it.

While he has been better overall in his last 15 games, that success has mainly come against right-handed pitching. 

So now the big question is, is Gavin Lux a platoon player? He doesn’t have a great track record of success against lefties as mentioned above, so should he be benched when a southpaw takes the mound? The quick answer is yes, the longer one is it may still be too early. Lux is still young and forced his way into a role with the Dodgers with his breakout 2019 season. The new environment he found himself in was clearly overwhelming and it’s taken him a while to adjust. 

Final Thoughts

It’s possible that he could work things out in the same way that Cody Bellinger did in 2019. Or he could wind up as a platoon player like Joc Pederson. Only time and results will tell, but if he continues on the same path he’s on right now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him against only right-handed pitching. 

NEXT: Breaking Down the Albert Pujols Signing, How LA Will Use the Former MVP?

Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. Gavin Lux just started to hit for the first time in his MLB career about a week ago. I’m pretty happy just to see him hit at all. I have been very skeptical of Lux from the get go, but now that he’s actually done something with the bat, let’s see where it goes. Seager’s out for awhile. Taylor is banged up a little. McKinstry is still rehabbing. So Lux is going to get starts against RHPs and LHPs. It’s a good test for him.

  2. I think it is obvious that Gavin Lux has not met expectations and his performance has been subpar. I hope he can find his way back to become a valuable player.

  3. Betts isn’t hitting LHP either. Is he a platoon player ? No one on the roster excels with LHP. Been an issue for many seasons now.

      • you mean win the world series again! they have been playing October baseball for 8 years in a row! despite this weakness, which by the way most of the other MLB teams have as well

        • They’ve won 8 Division titles in a row but while most other teams may have similar issues against LHP, the Dodgers may tell you themselves that this struggle against LHP was a main reason they got bounced in 2016 in Nlcs. And then it cost them in part against the Red Sox in 2018. Not saying it was the only reason for early October exits, but it was a known issue that contributed as well .

    • Well career-wise, Muncy hits lhp better than right, JT, CT3, and AJ are just about even with both, and Mookie suffers a slight drop off. They may not be producing this season but that’s what they’ve done in their careers.

      Corey’s slightly less effective, Cody more so, and Joc was terrible – that’s where the team was vulnerable.

      Lux hasn’t hit anybody yet so I don’t see why platooning is even a discussion.

  4. Lux is only 23. He played his way up in 4 years after being drafted out of High School. He needs more at-bats before I would categorize him as a platoon player. Last night, May 17th he got two hits against lefties.
    In his last two weeks, he has looked much better at the plate. If Lux can stabilize around,275 cut down on the strikeouts, and raise his OBP everyone would be content.
    He is a work in progress.
    Great to see Pujos get his first Dodger RBI last night.
    Buehler had an inning of wildness but pitched a 7 inning shutout, very impressive.

  5. It’s simple; if Lux wants to be an ever day he best learn to compete and hit LHP as well. Now the Dodgers must give him every opportunity to do so by putting him in there against LHP and not automatically pigeon hole him at the outset. Joc had that chance in his first couple years here. So it’s up to Lux if he wants to avoid being relegated to a platoon player.

    • I agree – he has the opportunity to lock it in this year, after failing last year. So far this year he’s doing better. Joc and Kike given many opportunities to be full time player and never made it. I hope Gavin produces. We need a regular 2nd baseman – it’s been a revolving door for a decade or more

  6. Interesting mix of opinions folks… really too soon to tell on Lux. I like his potential and Seagers injury will provide more info for us to analyze. He seems to be coming on, we’ll see if it lasts. Not much to complain about re his defense.
    We do need to stabilize 2b at some point, We might get to see McKinstry a bit there, that would be interesting to watch.
    Also, the bigger need is how often we struggle against LHP. Pretty frustrating..not just the starting line-up but off the bench as well. No excuse not to fix the pinch hitting performance against lefties. We’ll have to see if Albert contributes there. Our in-bound from Tampa Bay is another lefty.

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