During Monday afternoon’s Cactus League contest against the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux suffered a significant injury to his right knee which was revealed to be a torn ACL on Tuesday morning after further testing. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Lux suffered damage to his LCL as well.
Leading off the sixth inning, Lux had driven a pitch into center field for his second hit of the game before planting awkwardly later in the inning on his way into third base, jamming his knee which forced him to tumble to the ground where he would be carted off by the medical staff at Peoria Stadium moments after.
The 25-year-old shortstop was the Dodgers’ first-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft, a homegrown talent that many expected to see step into a full-time role at shortstop in 2023 and turn in a breakout season. Up to this point, Lux had been blocked from regular playing time at his natural position of shortstop due to Corey Seager and Trea Turner logging the majority of playing time at the position since Lux’s big league debut in 2019.
What’s next for the Dodgers?
According to Dave Roberts, the Dodgers will rely on the newly-acquired Miguel Rojas to fill the void left by Lux’s season-ending injury. As reported by Jack Harris of L.A. Times Sports, Rojas will see the majority of playing time at shortstop while Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts help plug the gaps in the infield. Miguel Rojas started 136 games at shortstop for the Miami Marlins last season, turning in one of the better defensive seasons in the league at the position.
Where the loss of Gavin Lux will be felt most for the Dodgers is on the offensive end. In 2022, Lux saw a career-high 471 plate appearances and turned in the best wRC+ of his career, lowering his strikeout rate while knocking in the most triples of any player in the National League. If the Dodgers decide to stand pat with their roster and give the keys to an in-house option, Rojas would fit the bill defensively but his .605 OPS last season is a cause for concern offensively.
With Opening Day a month away, the Dodgers do have time to explore a trade at shortstop if they would rather fill the vacancy with an external option. However, Roberts reportedly does not see a trade as a necessity. As RosterResource projects, Miguel Vargas and Yonny Hernandez could be potential options to log innings at shortstop as Los Angeles pushes forward with its youth movement in 2023.
According to Dodgers reporter Kirsten Watson, Gavin Lux will undergo surgery on his knee, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, on March 7th.
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