Longtime Dodgers columnist tears into team for putting faith in Gavin Lux

Mar 10, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux (9) throws to first
Mar 10, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux (9) throws to first / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

During a particularly difficult sequence to watch in the Dodgers' March 11 game against the Guardians, Cleveland batter David Fry popped up an 0-1 pitch from Bobby Miller. The ball stayed in the infield, hit high but right in front of second base. Chris Taylor, playing shortstop that day, and Gavin Lux, playing second, moved toward the ball. Both stopped, Lux looked over at Taylor, and then the ball dropped right in front of Lux to allow the runner to arrive safely at first.

You could argue that the blame should go either or both ways (even though the ball did land less than a foot from Lux, while Taylor was further away), but no matter what, this is a bad, bad look for Lux. He switched positions with Mookie Betts over the weekend, moving to second in a "permanent, for now" move after multiple errors were made at short.

Lux has historically been a better second baseman than shortstop and is returning from a year-long absence after a torn ACL, but the defensive blunders haven't stopped since he was moved. Not only that, but Betts doesn't look great at shortstop either, which is understandable given that he's only ever played the position 16 times in his entire career.

It's a baffling decision on all accounts, and longtime Dodgers columnist at The Los Angeles Times Bill Plaschke didn't hesitate to make his feelings about the move known. In a tirade against the entire affair, Plaschke wondered why the Dodgers were forcing one of their star players to make concessions for Lux (subscription required).

Bill Plaschke blasts Dodgers for Gavin Lux/Mookie Betts position switch

Now, Plaschke has historically held... shall we say, 'controversial' views, but this particular take is hard to argue against. No matter where you put him, Lux just doesn't look like a major league defensive player right now. He's not catching routine infield flies, he's still bouncing throws to Freddie Freeman halfway between first and second ... he looks okay offensively, but his defense is so frustrating that even Dave Roberts is having trouble concealing his feelings.

Putting Betts at shortstop with so little experience and time to prepare before the regular season will only hurt his individual season as well. Always a team player, he's said that he doesn't care where the team puts him, only that he wants to contribute, but how much is he contributing when he can't field a grounder between second and third?

Plaschke openly wondered what made the Dodgers so certain in and faithful to Lux, which is a mystery to all of us at this point. Miguel Rojas could play shortstop with incredible effectiveness and the rest of the lineup could make up for his weak bat, but things are different across the board when Lux makes mistake after mistake.

Maybe, after that terrible dropped infield fly, the Dodgers will come to their senses and realize that the world won't end if they bench Lux.