MLB Network Radio host CJ Nitkowski is concerned about the bottom of the Dodgers’ lineup with Gavin Lux out, but there aren’t any easy solutions.
The Dodgers lost shortstop Gavin Lux for the season this week after a knee injury suffered during Monday’s game turned out to be a torn ACL. In his absence, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts has said Miguel Rojas will get the bulk of the time at short with Chris Taylor also playing there at times.
Rojas isn’t the hitter Lux is, and MLB Network Radio host and former big-leaguer CJ Nitkowski is concerned about the bottom of LA’s batting order.
“The offensive angle of this is … looking at the Dodger lineup and wondering about the bottom half of it. Now it just got a little bit weaker. … So as they sit here and try to figure this thing out – and I’m sure they have all these contingency plans everywhere, you go into a season, and you have to ask yourself even before spring training starts, ‘Alright, what if we lose this guy for the year? What if we lose this guy for the year? What is our plan going to be?'”
Nitkowski then digs into a couple trade candidates, and his ideas kind of underscore just how little is available at the shortstop position. With all the concerns about the offensive impact of losing Lux, the best ideas Nitkowski could come up with were Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jorge Mateo. Kiner-Falefa has a career 82 OPS+, while Mateo’s is 80. For comparison, Rojas’s career OPS+ is 85 and Taylor’s is 105.
None of this is meant to criticize Nitkowski, but to highlight how likely it is for Los Angeles to fill Lux’s absence internally because, in short, the alternatives are pretty lousy. Nitkowski’s point about the offense getting a little worse is absolutely right; there’s just not much to be done about it right now.