With active rosters set to expand on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are anticipating the returns of several injured players. Beyond that, all indications continue to point toward top prospect Gavin Lux also joining the club.
However, what role Lux will fill — specifically whether or not he will be added to the active roster — remains unclear. “Gavin Lux is having a great year. He’s having a great year,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said from the dugout at Petco Park.
“We’re still evaluating and want to make sure it makes sense for everyone. The apprenticeship, that’s a conversation, too. How we want Gavin to be here, I do think having him in here in some capacity, probably is a certainty. We just haven’t decided to what extent.”
Last year the Dodgers had Will Smith join the team for the final month of the regular season simply to expose him to life as a Major League catcher. Although Smith was never placed on the active roster, he sat in on meetings and studied film.
That’s believed by the organization to be a factor behind the impact Smith has had as a rookie this season.
Roberts first floated the idea of Lux being exposed to an MLB clubhouse in a similar capacity earlier this month. If he is to be added to the active roster, Lux presumably would receive the bulk of his opportunities at second base.
In effort to improve his versatility, the 21-year-old requested that the Dodgers allow him to begin playing the position more frequently in addition to his natural shortstop. They obliged, and Roberts and the Dodgers are confident in Lux’s ability to play second base in the Majors.
Lux has put himself in position to at least be part of the clubhouse thanks to a remarkable year. He began the 2019 season with Double-A Tulsa before earning a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Moving up a level in competition did nothing to slow his production.
Instead, Lux produced a 16-game hitting streak upon joining the Dodgers’ top affiliate, and included with that was a stretch of five consecutive games with at least one home run.
If the Dodgers do elect to activate Lux, it will require a corresponding move to add him to their 40-man roster.
Roberts made his remarks prior to Max Muncy being hit by a pitch in his right wrist. A fluoroscopy and subsequent X-ray both came back negative, but the Dodgers are sending Muncy for additional testing on Friday.