What Lux’s injury means for Dodgers

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Lux suffered a torn ACL on Monday that ends his 2023 season.

Gavin Lux appeared to be primed for a breakout season.

Early reports from Dodgers camp this spring complimented Lux and the work he put in during the offseason. He was one of multiple Dodger hitters who spent time at Driveline, where he gained 6 mph in bat speed. He also worked significantly to transition to shortstop permanently and refine his consistency in throwing across the diamond.

Then, in his second game of spring training, Lux made an awkward cut running the bases and injured his knee. His torn ACL ends his season prematurely.

Lux was slated to be the everyday shortstop. After losing star shortstop Trea Turner to free agency this offseason, the spot already was likely to take a step back in production. Now, without Lux being able to slate in, the shortstop position is possibly the biggest hole on the roster.

A trade for a big name shortstop is unlikely at this point. Spring training games are underway and teams have figured out their rosters already. If any star shortstops end up getting traded, the Dodgers will likely have to wait until the trade deadline. That means they will have to plug the hole internally for now.

The Miguel Rojas trade, which Andrew Friedman swung in January, is looking like a huge move. Rojas has primarily played shortstop over his entire nine years in the majors. He had been slated for a utility role, but now a big brunt of the shortstop innings will fall to him.

Chris Taylor is also likely to take more responsibility at shortstop than he’s had recently. He only made one appearance there in 2022 while he battled injuries and Trea Turner only missed two games. Taylor is naturally a shortstop, coming up through the minors there and playing the majority of his first two MLB seasons in Seattle as a shortstop. He’s older now and has primarily been an outfielder since 2017, but his infield history should help him bear more of a load this season.

As for the bats, Lux’s absence will surely be felt. He posted an .800 OPS through August of last season before sustaining a neck injury. Barring a huge Taylor bounce back, the Dodgers are unlikely to replicate that offensive production at shortstop with anyone currently in the organization. They still have plenty of big bats (no offense with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith should be dismissed) but losing Lux is a huge blow.

It will be important for other young infielders like Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch to step up to fill in the void left by Lux’s injury. Veterans like Max Muncy and Chris Taylor will look to bounce back after somewhat rough 2022 campaigns. Either way, the Dodgers are still a very good team that has championship aspirations, and they will find a way to win games despite this highly unfortunate turn.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x