After the Dodgers optioned righty pitcher Mitch White back to camp on Saturday morning, the team recalled Gavin Lux back to the big league club, leaving many fans wondering how the rookie infielder might fit into the roster picture moving forward.
In the short term, the move makes a lot of sense, as veteran third baseman Justin Turner is dealing with a hamstring problem after stealing a base in Friday’s loss to the Rangers. Skipper Dave Roberts told reporters that there’s a chance Turner’s injury could be only cramping issues, but he’ll definitely be re-assessed carefully throughout the weekend. Roberts did confirm that Turner will not play on Saturday.
Initially, Edwin Rios was slated to return to the squad before the opener against the Rangers, but the 26-year-old utility man has been dealing with some setbacks in his own hamstring recovery, pushing back his return to sometime next week, at the soonest.
With Turner out of the lineup for at least one day, it is expected that either Max Muncy or Chris Taylor might man the duties at the hot corner. So far this year, Turner has made 27 appearances at third base with Muncy making six and Rios five.
Taylor has not played third since September 18 of last year against the Rays.
Lux was recalled for the first time this season on Thursday as the team’s 29th man for the doubleheader against the Giants. He started at second base in the final game, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Once favored to be one of the top 2020 National League Rookie of the Year candidates, Lux showed up late for Summer Camp and his struggles began from there, often being criticized by Roberts for his lack of timing at the plate. Nevertheless, MLB Pipeline still ranks Lux as the second-best prospect in all of baseball.
As far as the long term and potential spots on the playoff roster go, Lux might find himself battling with Rios for one of the squad’s final postseason roster spots. Both players provide legit left-handed bats, but Rios just might have the upper hand based on his early season stats.
Through 14 games and 31 AB this year, Rios is hitting .276/.323/.690 with three doubles, three homers and nine RBI. What’s more, he has the ability to handle both corner infield spots. Last year, he made one appearance in left field.
After making his MLB debut on September 2 of 2019, Lux tallied 75 AB last season, hitting .240/.305/.400 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine RBI, mainly logging time at second base.