September has finally come. (Hopefully) gone are the days of the Dodgers and their mediocre and seemingly uninspired ways. Late August is usually not kind to the Dodgers, but it’s time to move on and gear up for the playoffs.
And with that calendar turn, means new, and more, faces. Edwin Rios, and Kyle Garlick will be returning to the big club, where they have spent parts of the season. Austin Barnes will also return, and try to compete against Will Smith to get his starting job back. They will return after the Triple-A season is over.
But the new face in the dugout that everyone is excited about is that of Gavin Lux. The Dodgers top prospect is set to make his Major League debut on Monday, starting and manning second base.
There had been quite a bit of discussion about whether the 21 year old would join the Dodgers as an observer, like Smith did last season, or as one who would see a bit of playing time. The forearm injury to Max Muncy, and the stellar play of Lux at Triple-A Oklahoma City this season made the decision presumably easy.
If you’ve been following Lux’s career path, you’ll know that 2018 was his emerging year on the farm. He started the season at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, batting .312 (72-for-231) with eight home runs and 35 RBI and was named a Mid-Season All-Star. He continued his dominance in the second half of the season, slashing .346/.396/.528 and was selected as a post-season California League All-Star, finishing among the league leaders in average (.324, 3rd), OBP (.396, 2nd), SLG (.520, 3rd) and OPS (.916, 2nd). After 88 games with the Quakes, he was promoted to Double-A Tulsa where he hit .324 (34-for-105) with four home runs, nine RBI and a .408 on-base percentage in 28 appearances.
2019 saw Lux beingpromoted to OklahomaCity on June 27th, where he has done nothing but continue to impress. His slash line with the Baby Dodgers is a cool .392/.421/.607/1.028 with 13 homers, on top ofthe 13 homers he hit in Double-A Tulsa.
“I pride myself on being a good hitter first and power hitter later,” Lux told Pedro Moura of The Atlantic. “I try to hit for damage, but if I get to two strikes, I’m just trying to put the ball into play without striking out, make the defense work a little bit, which is kind of the old school in me.”
“When he does get that call-up, there’s gonna be guys who mess with him because he’s the baby,” Edwin Ríos also told Moura. “But he’s ready. He’s confident. And he knows he’s good.”
How Lux reacts to Major League pitching remains to be seen. His defense is adequate, but no doubt will benefitfrom the advice of his new major leagueteammatesand coaches.
The Dodgers now start a six game home stand with a three game series against Colorado. The Rockies sit at 59-79, 29.5 games behind LosAngelesand last in the NL West.
Pitching matchups will be Monday, Walker Buehler and Peter Lambert; Tuesday Kenta Maeda and Chi Chi Gonzalaez; and Wednesday, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Antonio Senzatela. Monday’s game will be at 5:10, while Tuesday and Wednesday will be at 7:10 PDT.