With one exhibition game left before the Dodgers begin their regular season Thursday against the Giants, the front office made a few personnel moves Tuesday morning.
What was quite a surprise to many Dodger fans, highly touted prospect Gavin Lux was optioned. Lux, who is currently ranked the second-best prospect in MLB’s rankings, will now work out at the Dodgers alternate site at the University of Southern California.
Lux showed up late to Summer Camp for undisclosed reasons. He saw limited action in the two Dodger exhibition games and struggled a bit, misplaying a few balls in the infield and showing inconsistencies at the plate. He was named the favorite by many to win National League Rookie of the Year honors.
The 22-year-old Wisconsin native was presumed to be the starting second baseman by many analysts. With Lux now being optioned, Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor or even Max Muncy could split time at second base.
The Dodgers also announced that they have agreed to terms on a one year contract with left-handed pitcher Jake McGee.
In order to make room for McGee on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers have transferred right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to the 45-day injured list.
McGee is expected to join the team Tuesday.
The move reunites McGee with Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, who served in the Tampa Bay Rays front office when McGee was drafted in 2004. The 33-year-old native of San Jose was placed on waivers by the Colorado Rockies Friday after spending four seasons with the team.
In four years with the Rockies, McGee went 4-11 with a 4.78 ERA (104ER/195.2 IP) in 225 games, including a record of 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA (20ER/41.1 IP) over 45 games in 2019. Throughout his 10-year career, the lefty has posted a 25-22 record with a 3.64 ERA (184ER/455.1 IP) and 497 strikeouts in 522 games.
The 31-year-old Nelson signed with the Dodgers this offseason. He did not make any Spring Training appearances with the club and had season-ending lumbar surgery on July 6. He spent six seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, going 33-46 with a 4.22 ERA (297 ER/633.1 IP) and 578 strikeouts throughout his tenure.
The Dodgers have played and won two exhibition games against Arizona Diamondbacks, and will play their final exhibition game against the crosstown rivals Anaheim Angels on Tuesday night.
The Dodger bats have really flexed their muscles during the two-game span against Arizona. The offense put up 21 runs and tallied a run differential of 18 runs.
On Monday night in their second game against Arizona, the Dodgers plated 12 runs. Taylor, Mookie Betts and Joc Pederson all hit home runs during the 12-1 win. Pederson and Taylor both had four RBI while Betts knocked in three, all courtesy of a three-run bomb.
Julio Urias pitched five innings, allowing just one run on an Ildemaro Vargas homer. Urias gave up four hits, one walk while striking out three batters. The bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, with Edubray Ramos, Dylan Floro, Blake Treinen, and Brusdar Graterol contributing.
The Dodgers will send their No. 3 rated prospect, Josiah Gray, to the mound against the Angels for their final exhibition game. The 22-year-old right-hander went 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA in nine games during 2019 with the Tulsa Drillers, the Dodgers Double-A affiliate.
Tuesday’s contest is the final tuneup before the real thing begins Thursday against the biggest rivals from up North, the Giants. Amid everything that has occurred in 2020, it will still be Dodgers and Giants on Opening Day.
It will finally be time for Dodger baseball.