Gavin Lux vs. Rockies
April 1 – Lux Starts at Second Base on Opening Day
Lux was the Opening Day starting second baseman for the Dodgers this year. Outside of one mental mistake, he had himself a pretty solid game. He was tested almost immediately in the first inning when the speedy Tapia hit a ground ball to him. The play itself was not challenging, but Tapia is one of the quicker guys in baseball. Lux fielded the ground ball well to throw him out at first. In the past, we’ve seen Lux spike the ball to first, so it was a nice confidence boost as a fan to see him handle it so well.
In his first AB of the game, he scorched a ball to third base, but Rockies third baseman Fuentes made an excellent play on the one-hopper and turned it into a double play. This ball came off the bat at 105.5 MPH, the second hardest-hit ball of the game. He was just unlucky. In his second at-bat, he went down looking. His third AB was a big one for the team as his RBI base hit would tie up the game in the fifth and would erase the 0-for-8 mark the Dodgers had with RISP to that point.
The tie wouldn’t last very long as Dodgers reliever Jimmy Nelson would struggle in the sixth, and this is where Lux’s mental mistake comes into play. Chris Owings stole second base with a runner on third, but he came off the base, and unfortunately, Lux did not hold the tag because he was worried about the runner at third. You always want your fielders aware, but with the baserunner at third being the catcher, it was doubtful he was going home. In his final AB of the game, Lux had an infield single.
The Dodgers lost to the Rockies 5-8.
April 2 – Hustling
Lux got the second game of the series going with an incredible diving play to get to a ball hit by Story at 104.4 MPH. With Story’s borderline elite speed, Lux had to rush to get the ball to first, and it wasn’t a good throw by any means, but it got the job done. His first hit of the game came in his second AB. Lux hit a ground ball to the first baseman but hustled out of the box to beat the pitcher to first for an infield single. His next at-bat he took a curveball in the lower outside corner and pulled it down the right-field line for a triple, driving home Will Smith. He struck out swinging and grounded out in his final two at-bats of the game.
The Dodgers beat the Rockies 11-6.
April 3 – Starts at Second, Starts the lineup
In Saturday’s game, Lux hit in the leadoff spot for the first time this season. He struggled against Rockies starter Jon Gray going 0-for-3, striking out twice. In his fourth at-bat, he would take a fastball on the inner half of the plate and rip it down the right-field line for his second triple of the series. This was yet another hit with an exit velocity of 105.5 MPH. He would come around to score on Seager’s base hit.
While fielding in the seventh inning, the leadoff hitter reached base, and the next batter served up the perfect double-play ball. But Lux’s throw forces Seager to stretch a bit, only allowing them to get the lead runner. Fuentes would come up to bat next and end up hitting a home run to tie the game. The throw didn’t go down as an error, but it would end up costing the Dodgers a run. Luckily the Dodgers would come back to win the game, so this wouldn’t matter, but they are the type of plays Lux will need to clean up. In his final plate appearance of the game, he drew a walk and would go onto steal second base.
Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-5.
April 4 – Starts at Shortstop
Lux made his first start at short in the series finale against the Rockies. He didn’t see many plays there but did make a nice backhanded play to throw the runner out at first. In the first inning, Lux hit a sac fly to drive home Turner to make it a 3-0 game. He would ground out in his second AB and caught some luck when Cron couldn’t pick the ball at first, avoiding the double play. Lux would single one back up the middle in his fourth at-bat of the game, giving him a hit in every game of the series.
Dodgers beat the Rockies 4-2.
Lux has picked up right where he left off this spring, hitting the ball extremely hard and playing some very impressive defense. Roberts gave him plenty of opportunities through this first series to shine, and he did not disappoint. With Lux, it’s all about taking things one game at a time. So far, it looks like he’s done just that. He’ll definitely be getting more starts at second base. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does over the next week against the Athletics and the Nationals.
For last week’s recap, click here.
For the latest Lux stats, click here.