Dodgers' Gavin Lux defiantly claims he doesn't have throwing issues in Athletic piece

Feb 17, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA;  Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux (9) fields balls during
Feb 17, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux (9) fields balls during / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When a player's going through a slump, the line between reassuring fans and taking accountability must be a tough one to walk. On one hand, you can't wallow or not have solutions; on the other, you can't pretend that everything is fine and risk coming across as arrogant or just completely oblivious.

Right now, the Dodger needing to figure out how to walk that line is Gavin Lux. All eyes have been on him for the wrong reasons ever since the Dodgers put him back in the field after missing a year with a torn ACL. His first two chances at shortstop turned into errors, and a host of terrible throws or botched plays effectively sunk Yoshinobu Yamamoto's second spring outing.

The Dodgers probably thought they were onto something when they moved Lux to second and Mookie Betts to shortstop, but that hasn't worked out much better. Instead, we've been getting botched plays from both and, still, bad throws from Lux.

He knows the pressure is on, especially after the position switch, but he told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic that he "doesn't think it's a throwing issue" (subscription required). Interesting.

Dodgers' Gavin Lux seemingly in denial about throwing issues even after position demotion

He went on to say that it's an issue of "knocking rust off more than anything," which could be true. However, it does ignore the fact that he's had throwing issues in the past (during spring training in 2019, the Dodgers pulled him from games for a while to have him work one-on-one with a trainer) and has never had great arm strength. In 2022, he was in the 8th percentile of arm strength, which marked a decline from 2021, when he was in the not-much-better 17th percentile.

So how is Lux doing with that aforementioned line? Let's see — he doesn't seem to be wallowing, which is good, but he might be a step too close to acting like everything is fine. He addressed the position change itself and said it was "a little disappointing," but didn't seem to connect the dots between the change and the inciting incidents behind it.

The Athletic's article went up before the Dodgers' game against the Guardians on Monday; Lux proceeded to make a throwing error in the bottom of the first and be a part of that embarrassing dropped popup situation with Chris Taylor, making his insistence about his throwing seem even more devoid of self-awareness. Yikes.