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Dodgers: Who Should be the Everyday Second Baseman Down the Stretch?

The Dodgers don’t have many weaknesses, but second base is still one of them.



The Dodgers have largely been the best team in baseball this season. However, second base has not been one of their strengths. While they have gotten production from all other spots in the lineup, the platoon at second hasn’t lived up to the expectations coming into the season.

With that in mind, we wanted to see who the fans thought should be seeing the bulk of the playing time for the remainder of the season.

To provide some context for the proposed question, let’s take a look at how each player is currently performing.

Gavin Lux

It wasn’t long ago that Lux was expected to be the starting second baseman of both present and future, but those conversations have long been forgotten. After a late arrival to summer camp, Lux was too far behind to start the season with the big league club and just didn’t seem to have his timing.

Fast forward to September and Lux has finally been called up, but his appearances haven’t offered much confidence that the issues have been worked out. The simplest way to put it is that he looks scared every time he steps into the box. Dave Roberts alluded to as much during his pre-game press conference Wednesday afternoon when asked about his thoughts on Lux so far.

“I think defensively, he’s been sound, he’s been good. I think in the box… he’s just a little too passive for me — I think that not being afraid to swing and miss, not being agressive.. but he’s working through some things and Gavin will be fine.”

There is still too much talent there to give up on Lux as a prospect, but a shortened season does not allow much time for him to work out his issues. 2021 will more than likely be the chance for him to truly shine but if the Dodgers choose to play him down the stretch, he could end up catching fire just in time for October.

Kiké Hernández

There is no sugar coating it: Hernández has massively underperformed as a hitter this season. Typically a lefty killer, he has done even worse against them this year (.161 BA) than he has against right-handed pitchers (.231). Neither of those averages merit much playing time, but luckily for Kiké, there is more to baseball than just hitting.

One thing is certain, his glove has been his saving grace thus far. The 29-year-old has been an above-average defender at every position he has played. He has a total of 9 defensive runs saved above average (Rdrs), which leads the Dodgers. Out of those 9 extra runs saved, 8 have come at second base which shows his defensive value at the position.

By offensive numbers alone, Hernández shouldn’t be playing nearly as much as he currently is. But given his defensive impact and the way that that the rest of the offense has looked, they can afford to keep him there if they so choose.

Chris Taylor

Taylor is by far the popular fan vote to be the starting second baseman, and for good reason. He has been the most consistent of the three. The 30-year-old is currently hitting at a .252 clip with 9 extra-base hits, 13 RBI, and 17 runs scored, granted that about two-thirds of his at-bats have come against righties. Like Hernández, Chris Taylor is also sporting reverse splits and is essentially two different players depending on who he’s facing. Against right-handed pitchers, he is hitting almost .300, but vs. lefties, the average drops to .194 on the season.

Defensively, Taylor has been solid as well. He has a total of 6 defensive runs saved above average on the season, so he’s no slouch. This combined with his higher offensive numbers gives him a definite edge over the Lux and Hernández for the remainder of the season.

So Who Gets the Starts?

Based on their levels of production so far this season, Chris Taylor is the obvious choice to be the everyday second baseman. But if Dave Roberts is to be believed, Gavin Lux will see the bulk of playing time to close out the season. When asked about the competition at the position among these three players, he was quick to defend the young infielder.

“You know what you have in Kiké and [Chris] Taylor. With Gavin, I think that giving him a runway to play, to play consistently against right-handed pitching I think that he deserves it, he needs it, and we need to see it.”

In other words, the Dodgers feel comfortable enough with their lead in the standings and with their offense to give their rookie some time to learn on the job. This is a low risk/high reward move that could pay off big time in the postseason if Gavin finds a groove to end the season, which makes it worth the risk at this point.

22 games remain in the regular season. 22 games to make an important decision for an important October for the boys in blue.

NEXT: Dodgers Remain Atop MLB Power Rankings Following Trade Deadline

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. As Roberts states we know what we have with Taylor and Hernandez. Lux showed incredible offense in the Minor Leagues. He was rated the #2 prospect in baseball.
    The Dodgers have very well regarded hitting instructors and some talented players to help Lux. Let him play for a couple of weeks and see if he can find his swing. The Dodgers can fall back on their two utility guys for the playoffs if necessary. If Lux can find his way he could be a help in the playoffs.

  2. I hate when the team gets a lead in the standings and starts playing the equivalent of football’s prevent defense down the stretch. Put your best 9 out there, crush teams, and start building momentum to win the damn thing. And for God’s sake let the kids pitch past the 4th and 5th innings.

  3. Lux will be fine. Look how Bellinger and Muncy started. I still think that the biggest problem heading into the playoffs is our closer. Last night was another example of Kenley being Kenley. I realize that he was named “closer of the month” for July and August but I don’t think that the voters saw him on a regular basis.

    • I agree Glen, the bullpen talent that the Dodgers have should not be handcuffed by the idea of a “Closer”. The Dodgers have the full spectrum of pitchers from the wonky Kolarek to the fire-balling Graterol & McGee. Treinen with his 97 mph sinker to when they get back Kelly and Baez. Pitchers should be selected by the other teams lineup and their tendencies and the situation.
      Unfortunately the Dodgers have the best overall Bullpen I can remember, and I am a very long time Dodger fan, but the worst Manager in the MLB for selecting pitchers in late innings. Does Roberts listen to his coaches?

  4. I loved that Taylor put down a bunt in the 10th trailing by a run. Finally some small intelligent ball!!
    You are down a run in the 10th a runner is placed on second. There are no outs why wouldn’t you bunt him over? Put the pressure on the pitcher and the defense! And the pitcher made the mistake that tied the game and led to a Dodger win.
    Props to Pederson for grounding out to move Taylor to 3rd and to Smith for getting the ball in the air far enough to score the run.
    Good solid baseball no home runs just fundamentals love to see it!
    The playoffs will come down to fundamentals I believe.
    Great pitching duel by AZ ‘s Gallen and Buehler the next generation of dominant pitchers.

    • Tax. Concur on Lux, let him play against all comers for the time being anywsy. If Dogers are to see him as a regular, then he needs the consistent reps. Otherwise. 2nd base can be looked at going into 2021.

  5. Kike is a free agent after this year; so it makes sense to play Lux quite a bit. I can’t see them resigning Kike at this point. Like it or not, Taylor is a much more dynamic player. His WAR has been really good for a part time player. And though Kike is a tad better fielder, Chris is no slouch. Kike can go in for defense in late innings the rest of the year. And get Justin, Cody, or Mookie off their feet.

  6. I like Chris Taylor for second base but, Kike Hernandez is the best defensive player for second base. I think that the Dodgers have enough offense to pick up Kike. I like that Dave Roberts has enough players to rest some and give others more playing time even if the season is only sixty games.

  7. Not Gavin Sux how about that? Looks like they’re going to make the same mistake as last year. I’ve said it before this isn’t the season for Lux to figure it out, it’s a sprint using the best night in and night out through October. Mess around next year during a 162 game season

  8. Gavin looks terrible at the plate and strikes out too much. Yes Kiki will be gone next year along with Pederson who is definitely lost at the plate once again back to the usual of striking out. I agree play your best players.

  9. Chris is the better overall p!ayer. He’s aggressive but smart on the bases – putting defenses on stress. A very smooth fielder with a plus arm that can play multiple positions with confidence. He should be having a higher batting average if he would go with the pitch instead of pulling everything as the pitchers only pitching him outside with breaking balls, and ditch the hitch! As far as hitting lefties, the whole team is struggling including Mookie. Find a lefty to throw batting practice when facing a lefty starter. Seeing more reps from the left hand can help with vision on timing.

  10. Kiki will be a FA after this year but as this page points out he has been awful against LHP and Joe Davis mentioned that against LHP Dodgers fall short right now but I find that hard to imagine because unlike the past few years Dodgers appear anyway to have a better balanced lineup as far as RHB and LHB go.

  11. Love how much muncy and bellinger or any other player struggles and still in the lineup but when kike struggles he’s not. Taylor might be doing offensively but he doesn’t belong on 2nd. Kike deserves to on a team that plays him at 2nd everyday good or bad. Hey sometimes bellinger sucks and muncy’s average is .209 not much better than Hernandez when he’s had more ABs 132 vs 96. So what’s muncy’s excuse? Why is he starting everyday while kike sits 2-3 games?

    • Because Muncy has hit better for 2 years (top 15 for league MVP both years), walks a lot, hits both rhp and lhp equally, and has more power. Muncy’s 209 is a product of a slow start due to an earlier injured finger and he’s picked it up of late. Kike is what he is: an outstanding fielder, great team guy, and a sub-average hitter (career OPS+ of 97) with some pop that doesn’t walk often.
      Kike’s had some great moments but Muncy’s had more in less time with the team.

  12. Although Dodgers have a power packed lineup they should not have to ‘carry anyone offensively, it’s a team effort. But depending hoe 2nd base plays out this year may determine what Dodgers do in off season as far as 2nd base goes

  13. Kike at 2B. Lux is not quite ready (on either side of the ball). CT3 in LF vs. Joc. Muncy at 1B. AJ platoon OF. JT at 3B, but when out sub Kike at 3B, CT3 or Muncy at 2B (then Beli shifts to 1B).

  14. My vote………..Chris Taylor……….I do not like having a defensive player who makes errors that allow the opponent to have four outs. Lux is kinda like Sax……..every throw is an adventure. Kike for whatever reason is struggling defensively this season. If you had asked me this question last season I would have voted for Kike. But this year Taylor is the clear answer for me. But Dave Roberts does not care what we think so better start pulling for Lux to settle in and hopefully do well.

    • Your comment reminds me of an interview with Pedro Guerrero in the late ’80s when asked what he was thinking about while playing 3rd. Guerrero – a notoriously poor fielder – replied “Don’t hit it to me, don’t hit it to me. Unless it’s the 9th inning then I think don’t hit it to Sax, don’t hit it to Sax.”

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