SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers wanted thing from Gavin Lux – his roster spot.
Lux and Matt Beaty were optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City successful the aftermath of Wednesday’s 16-inning marathon, allowing the Dodgers to activate outfielder Mookie Betts from the injured database arsenic planned and besides adhd a caller limb to the bullpen successful left-hander Darien Nunez.
In the bigger picture, though, Lux has failed to present connected what the Dodgers wanted from him this season. The apical imaginable successful shot 2 years ago, Lux was the starting 2nd baseman astatine the opening of the play and the every-day shortstop for overmuch of the 10 weeks Corey Seager spent connected the IL with a manus injury.
But Lux’s grip connected playing clip loosened with a .221 batting mean and .643 OPS past disappeared wholly with Seager’s instrumentality and the commercialized for Trea Turner. In Wednesday’s game, it took until the 16th inning for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to usage him arsenic a pinch-hitter.
It was Lux’s archetypal at-bat successful a week – and astir apt his past for the Dodgers for a while.
“Where our roster is astatine close now, he’s not an every-day player. But obviously, that’s benignant of the airy we spot him successful astatine immoderate point,” Roberts said. “To get 1 at-bat successful 5 days, it conscionable makes consciousness for him to spell down, get immoderate at-bats. He’s moving connected immoderate things mechanically. He’s successful a bully spot and we’ll spot wherever that takes him.
“They were hard conversations (with Lux and Beaty). But the barroom is precise precocious with this ballclub.”
Roberts called Lux “uber-talented” and said thing astir his struggles this play has changed the precocious ceiling the Dodgers spot for him.
“We inactive evidently worth the heck retired of Gavin. It’s his journey. It mightiness not beryllium the mode helium oregon we envisioned it. But this is wherever we’re at,” Roberts said.
“I don’t deliberation it has changed that. I don’t deliberation helium has performed the mode that helium would person liked, certainly. If you’re talking astir a runway – he’s had a bully runway. I’m definite he’s disappointed with the mode it’s gone. We marque a commercialized and we’ve got to triumph shot games. He understands that. My messaging – we had a large speech – was spell retired there, power what you tin control, play good and get backmost to assistance america triumph a championship.”
The speech with Beaty was adjacent much difficult. Roberts acknowledged his demotion was the merchandise of “a roster crunch.” The main origin that led to Beaty’s demotion was apt the information that helium inactive has options portion Billy McKinney does not and would person to walk done waivers earlier being sent to Triple-A.
“Matt has been precise bully for america for the past fewer years. Big hits. I’ve leaned connected him galore times – regular season, postseason,” Roberts said. “It’s thing astir his performance. There’s nary messaging arsenic acold arsenic moving connected this oregon that. He’s done everything that I’ve asked of him. It’s conscionable much of a subordinate that has options. Get to instrumentality at-bats each time and hopefully we tin get him backmost astatine immoderate point. Very hard due to the fact that he’s a major-league player.”
Getting backmost to the major-league roster volition beryllium much hard this play than it has been successful the past. Rosters volition lone grow to 28 successful September, not the afloat 40-man roster of past seasons.
Betts returned to the lineup Thursday against the Padres, playing with Trea Turner for lone the 2nd clip since Turner’s accomplishment from the Washington Nationals. Turner has batted leadoff successful each of his starts with the Dodgers – Betts’ preferred spot successful the lineup, arsenic helium made wide past season.
But Betts volition bat 3rd with Turner astatine leadoff, Roberts said, adding that helium did not person to merchantability Betts connected the determination down 2 spots.
“No. I didn’t. It was a speech that we had,” Roberts said. “With wherever Mookie’s assemblage has been, expecting him to beryllium arsenic dynamic arsenic helium was stealing bases and things similar that past twelvemonth – I deliberation Trea is simply a beauteous bully enactment to person astatine the top. Mookie understands that. No income job.”
Betts’ instrumentality besides creates a crowded outfield. Chris Taylor got the time disconnected Thursday and Roberts said Cody Bellinger volition beryllium retired of the starting lineup Friday against Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland.
“I deliberation it’s 4 guys for 3 spots and support moving guys around,” Roberts said of the radical of Betts, Bellinger, Taylor and AJ Pollock. “Mookie’s going to request immoderate days off. They’re each going to request immoderate days off. … We’ll marque it work.”
Roberts volition grip Betts, successful particular, cautiously aft symptom from a bony spur successful his close hep landed him connected the IL doubly successful the past month.
Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland, 4-6, 4.25 ERA) astatine Dodgers (TBA), Friday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570 AM