Surprising news from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Gavin Lux will start the 2020 season at USC. No, he is not returning to an empty college campus to sharpen his studying skills, he will be working out with the Dodgers’ player pool who won’t be part of the 30-man active roster to start the season. The team announced Lux was optioned on Tuesday morning.
This means he won’t be in the lineup when the team opens the season against the Giants on Thursday.
Lux arrived late to summer camp for undisclosed reasons. He was then kept out of the starting lineup for the two exhibition games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Monday, utility player Chris Taylor started in his place and went 2-3 with a home run.
The Dodgers seemed ready to put Lux in an everyday role at second base before Spring Training was shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The situation has since changed. Manager Dave Roberts recently indicated the starting job was open for competition. Now it’s completely up for grabs.
While it was clear that Lux needs more time to find his swing upon returning to Dodgers camp, whenever a top prospect is optioned, service time considerations come into play. Depending on rounding and the official pro-rated calculation used by MLB, it’s possible the Dodgers could prevent Lux from reaching one full year of service by keeping him off the active roster for just two weeks.
Gavin Lux was set to be a key rookie contributor this season for the Dodgers
Lux made his major league debut last season, playing in 23 games, just enough to get his feet wet. Several MLB prediction sites have Lux as a heavy favorite for the National League Rookie of the Year Award this season, but obviously his campaign to meet those expectations is now delayed.
Roberts has a deep bench to pull from in filling in the second base position. Besides Taylor, Kiké Hernandez is an intriguing option. Hernandez is set to become a free agent after this season, so he has incentive to put up a big contract year. He appeared in 85 games at second last season.
This is a breaking story. Please check back as more details become available.