How Will Gavin Lux’s Injury Affect the Los Angeles Dodgers

After a gruesome non-contact injury on February 27, Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux’s 2023 season is already over. Lux sustained a torn ACL after attempting to duck a throw in a Spring Training game against the Padres, as well as damage to the LCL. It’s a big blow for the Dodgers, which will now need to rely on a new addition to provide stability in the infield.

Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: What to Make of Pirates Infielder Rodolfo Castro

A Look at Lux

Primarily a second baseman in the Majors, infielder Gavin Lux spent most of his career in the Minors at short. A former first-round pick, Lux showed a lot of talent in his Minor League career. The 25-year-old demonstrated a very good approach at the plate, good pop, and tantalizing bat-to-ball skills.

Lux saw his first MLB action in 2019, but didn’t see regular time with the Dodgers until 2021. His first season proved to be a bit rocky; Lux hit just .231/.314/.358 in the first half of the season. Injuries and a demotion back down to AAA limited Lux to just 102 games in 2021.

The 2022 campaign proved to be a bit of an improvement. Lux hit .276/.346/.399 with six home runs, 33 extra base hits, and 42 RBIs over 129 games. Lux’s seven triples last year tied for first in the National League, alongside Mets OF Brandon Nimmo.

Lux hasn’t cleared the fence much in his MLB career thus far, but could be a 15-20 home run hitters as he further grows as a plyer. No, it might not be the best idea to expect a 26 home run campaign like the one he put up in 2019, in very favorable conditions. But, Lux does possesses solid pop, and is a disciplined hitter at the plate. A patient hitter who doesn’t chase often and has a good eye, Lux recorded above-average walk rates in each of the last two seasons.

After a number of notable departures in the offseason, the Dodgers infield was in store for a shakeup. Justin Turner is gone, leaving the hot corner to Max Muncy. Highly-regarded Miguel Vargas appears to be the favorite at second, and Lux was set to be a regular shortstop for the first time in his MLB career. Now, the Dodgers will have to wait for him to return.

What it Means

The injury to Lux is problematic, for a number of reasons. Besides the obvious impact that it will have on the young infielder and his development, it now shines a spotlight on what has now become a major question mark in the Dodgers lineup.

Los Angeles has seen Corey Seager and Trea Turner depart in back-to-back offseasons. It’s not often that a team loses two elite midfielders like Seager and Turner in a short amount of time, but with a push to limit payroll for the 2023 season, the Dodgers didn’t pursue one of the marquee shortstops in free agency as a replacement. Instead, LA opted to run with its internal options for the middle infield, and acquire former Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas via a trade with Miami back in January.

Now, Rojas will most likely be looked upon to provide stability at short. The 34-year-old doesn’t possess much in the way of pop or the hitting ability of Lux, but has been a very reliable defender at the position. Defensively, the Dodgers shouldn’t lose a beat. But, how much offense the Dodgers will get out of the veteran infielder will be something to watch. Depth was already a concern, given the aforementioned departures from this past winter. The subtraction of a good hitter that can get on-base consistently doesn’t help with answering questions about whether this Dodgers lineup can push this group to another NL West title.

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