Gavin Lux injury: Miguel Rojas, other options for Dodgers at short after Lux’s after season-ending ACL tear
The defending NL champion West Los Angeles Dodgers was injured. devastating injury on a monday afternoon. The team announced Tuesday that starting shortstop Gavin Lux tore his ACL in his right knee after tripping on base lanes. According to manager Dave Roberts, he will miss the entire 2023 season.
Here’s Lux’s injury. He dodged the throw, stumbled, and his right knee buckled.
Lux, 25, was the Dodgers’ main second baseman last season, and he should have moved to shortstop, his natural position, to replace Trea Turner this year. Turner, of course, signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent. With Lux now injured, the Los Angeles shortstop depth chart looks something like this:
LHB Gavin Lux(Out for the whole season due to a knee injury)
- RHB Miguel Rojas
- RHB Chris Taylor (expected to spend most of his time in the outfield)
- SHB Yonny Hernandez (career hitter .198/.293/.228 in 55 MLB games)
As for plan B, you could do a lot worse than Rojas and Taylor at shortstop. However, they are a step down from Lux and a significant step down from Turner. Even before Lux’s injuries, FanGraphs predicted the Dodgers were about five games behind the San Diego Padres in the NL West.. Now this gap has widened a bit.
What could the Dodgers do to replace Lux at shortstop? Here’s a quick look at their options, which are pretty limited at this point in the baseball calendar.
statistics for 2022
This is almost certainly what the Dodgers will do. Rojas has been brought in to provide depth behind Lux, and he is a viable everyday shortstop thanks to his gloved work, with 15 defenses saved and 10 above-average strikeouts in 2022. The bat leaves a lot to be desired, but Rojas can play short and well. Connecting it as a replacement for Lux is a simple and straightforward move.
“Unfortunately, what happened to Laxie” Rojas told Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “But if that means I’m playing shortstop, that’s what I need to do. I’ve prepared for this opportunity. I have to be ready for it.”
Taylor had a poor season in 2022, his worst since joining the Dodgers in 2017, and hit an alarming 35.2 percent of his games. However, he remains one of the options in case Los Angeles needs him. Hernandez is a second baseman, not a shortstop, with good contact skills and little to no strength. It’s an emergency option.
Top prospect Miguel Vargas should have taken second base by now, and Lux switched to short. He has never played shortstop in his career and is in fact a natural third baseman with less than 30 career games at second. Fellow prospect Michael Bush is a second baseman and left fielder with no shortstop experience. Both have MLB-ready bats, but neither is a shortstop candidate.
The Dodgers acquired Rojas in the winter precisely because he can short-stop and play well, and now that Lux has been suspended for a long time, Rojas will almost certainly enter the roster to play in this position. This is an obvious move. Taylor will be a back-up plan and Hernandez is now third on the depth chart in case of another injury.
Sign a free agent
statistics for 2022
The best player left as a free agent is Yurikson Profar., who came out of the Minors as a shortstop but hasn’t played on the left side of the infield since 2018. A couple of shoulder surgeries early in his career sapped Profar’s arm strength and he is now a full-time job. left fielder. I believe the Dodgers could sign him to give Taylor more time in the infield, although that seems unlikely. Profar is a poor fit for the list given his current skills.
José Iglesias was once one of the best defenders in the game, but his glove has weakened significantly over the past few years (minus 26 defenses in the last two years) and he is no longer a daily player in that position. Rojas provides better protection and the same bit with high contact and low power. Others, like Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Villar, don’t budge. At the moment, free agency offers virtually no shortstop solutions.
To have a deal
statistics for 2022
One name immediately comes to mind: Isaiah Keener-Phalefa. The New York Yankees will hold a shortstop competition this spring, and Keener-Falefa, the current president, is vying for the job with prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Wolpe. Peraza impressed during his September call-up last year and even beat Keener Falefa several times in the postseason.
The Yankees have given up on all those great free-agent shortstops in the last two offseasons because they have a lot of faith in Perasa and Volpe. Kiner Falefa was brought in as a temporary measure until the children were ready, and Perasa appears to be ready. That doesn’t mean the Yankees will give up Keener-Falef – he’s still useful – but I’m sure he’s available.
Other potential replacements include Paul DeJong (St. Louis Cardinals), Josh Smith (Texas Rangers) and Taylor Walls (Tampa Bay Rays). Keep in mind that the teams are well aware that Lux was seriously injured. If the Dodgers are calling about a short deal, they can expect big asking prices. Teams will not help Los Angeles out of the goodness of their hearts.
It would be a surprise if the Dodgers did anything other than hand over the reins to Rojas in the immediate aftermath of Lux’s injury. Thanks to his glove, he’s a capable everyday shortstop, and if they’re not going to launch him now, what’s the point of turning down a solid prospect (Jacob Amaya) to get him? That is why the Dodgers invited Rojas.
Now, if Rojas sees his game drop at the age of 34, then the Dodgers could reevaluate and perhaps make changes to…