The Los Angeles Dodgers have become one of the deepest teams in the entire sport under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. That has helped them weather injuries to key veterans, but also forced manager Dave Roberts to make difficult decisions.
In some cases, the Dodgers’ talent has sometimes prevented Major League-ready prospects from taking on bigger roles. The most recent example came when Will Smith was twice demoted back down to Triple-A Oklahoma City soon after each of his first two MLB call-ups.
The Dodgers did not recall Smith up for an extended period until they essentially handed him the starting catcher job and sent the struggling Austin Barnes down to the Minors in mid-July.
Like Smith did before his last promotion, top overall Dodgers prospect Gavin Lux is demolishing Triple-A pitching.
Additionally, Lux has successfully lobbied for more time at second base instead of his natural position at shortstop so he can prepare to play alongside Corey Seager.
However, Friedman is still unsure whether Lux will make his long-awaited MLB debut when Major League rosters expand in September, as he recently told Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I don’t know,” Friedman said of the likelihood that Lux will join the Dodgers when rosters expand. “I think a lot of it goes into what our 40-man situation is with our pitchers and just making sure, assuming we got all of our guys from the 60(-day Injured List) or most of them back – you have those moves and then other potential non-roster (guys). There’s just a lot of factors that go into that.”
One issue for Lux is the Dodgers currently have a glut of middle infielders. Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez just returned from the 10-day injured list this week.
While they were sidelined, Friedman swung trades for Kristopher Negrón and Jedd Gyorko to augment the team’s infield depth. Though, Negron is currently on the IL with neck stiffness and Gyorko just returned from an extended absence.
Max Muncy has handled second base for most of the second half, allowing Cody Bellinger to spend more time at first base with Joc Pederson in right field. The stellar play of Muncy, who made the 2019 National League All-Star team, could be the biggest factor working against Lux’s chances of making the Dodgers’ Major League roster any time soon.