Injured Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux plans on playing a lot of video games

Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux throws during a spring game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Feb. 25.
(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

Follow along for the latest news and analysis from Dodgers spring training at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix ahead of the 2023 MLB season.

Gavin Lux on his knee injury recovery: ‘I’m already losing my mind a bit’

Peoria AZ - February 27: Los Angeles Dodgers' Gavin Lux is carted off the field after getting injured running to third base.
Gavin Lux is carted off the field after sustaining a torn ACL during a spring game against the Padres on Feb. 27.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Nearly a month after suffering a season-ending right-knee injury in a freak spring training baserunning mishap, Gavin Lux hobbled into the Dodgers clubhouse on crutches Sunday afternoon, the steel supports squeaking and creaking and causing his armpits to ache.

“Crutches,” the Dodgers infielder said before a Freeway Series exhibition game against the Angels, “are the worst.”

So, too, is all the downtime Lux suddenly has after he tore an anterior cruciate ligament while ducking a throw from a San Diego Padres infielder as he ran toward third base in a Feb. 27 game in Arizona.

The right knee of Lux, who was expected to replace Trea Turner as the team’s everyday shortstop this season, buckled awkwardly, and he tumbled to the ground in pain. He had season-ending surgery March 7.

“I’ve already talked to a lot of guys who have been banged up — Dustin May, Walker [Buehler] — just picking their brains, like how do you get through this?” Lux said. “I’m already losing my mind a bit. They said I gotta figure out something to occupy my time. A hobby. Mine is video games. That’s how I’ll be spending my next 10 months.”

Lux said he had no desire to watch a replay of the injury, but he did so on the advice of Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who wanted Lux to see exactly what happened to his knee before performing surgery.

“It was nasty,” Lux said. “It really looked gross, kind of freaky. I remember I just kind of tried to duck out of the way and I stumbled a little bit and straightened my leg weird, I knew right away something was wrong.”

Lux began physical therapy in Arizona the day after surgery. He will spend the next two months in Los Angeles, attending all home games, before returning to Arizona to increase the intensity of his workouts. He hopes to resume baseball activities in four months and start running in five or six months.

“Once you’re running, all the Band-Aids are off, but the recovery process is still nine to 11 months,” Lux said. “So realistically, I’m not gonna play this year.”


Ryan Pepiot on making Dodgers opening-day rotation: ‘Very surreal’

Dodgers starting pitcher Ryan Pepiot throws during a spring game.
Dodgers starting pitcher Ryan Pepiot throws during a spring game against the Oakland Athletics on March 9.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

PHOENIX — Ryan Pepiot didn’t get his hopes up.

Though the right-handed pitcher had made his MLB debut last year and was one of two finalists for the Dodgers final rotation spot this spring after Tony Gonsolin sprained his ankle, he stepped into Dave Roberts’ office Friday unsure of what news the manager had in store.

“I walked in there kind of somber, kind of played it down,” Pepiot said. “I was like, I’ve been in this room before.”

This time, though, the highly touted prospect wasn’t going back to the minor leagues.

After a strong spring performance, in which he displayed strides from his up-and-down big league debut last year, Pepiot had been picked to round out the Dodgers starting pitching staff, getting the nod for the opening day roster for the first time in his career.

Malachi Moore, who played at Compton Dominguez High and Compton College, is one of 10 umpires promoted to full-time MLB status for the 2023 season.

March 24, 2023

Although Pepiot said he entered camp hoping to make the team this spring, it wasn’t until Gonsolin rolled his ankle while coming off a backfield during fielding drills that a legitimate pathway was opened for the 25-year-old rookie.

“When I saw Tony went down, it was more continue on my path,” said Pepiot, who competed with fellow rookie Michael Grove for the final rotation spot. “Don’t think about it too much. Just go out there and do your work every day.”

That approach paid off, lining up Pepiot for one final exhibition start in Tuesday’s Freeway Series finale against the Angels before making his season debut April 3 against the Colorado Rockies.

“It was very surreal,” he said. “Lifelong dream. Very excited. Very humbled.”


Julio Urías earns his first opening day start for Dodgers

Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urías delivers against the San Diego Padres in Game 1 of the NLDS in October.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Major League Baseball asked its teams to wait until Friday to reveal their opening day starters, hoping to turn the annual announcements into a leaguewide event.

For the Dodgers, however, the choice had been evident for a while now.

Julio Urías will get the nod for the first time in his career — a fitting honor for a left-hander who has emerged as one of the best pitchers in the sport over the last several seasons.

“I think he’s earned this opportunity,” manager Dave Roberts said, with the pitching matchup for the team’s Thursday opener against the Diamondbacks finally officially set. “He’s checked a lot of boxes and this is one of the last for him; something that from his teammates to all of us, we’re excited for him to have this opportunity.”

Urías enters 2023 at both a high point and a crossroads of his burgeoning career.

Read more >>>


Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson claim final spots on opening-day roster

Ryan Pepiot delivers a pitch during a game.
Ryan Pepiot was named to the Dodgers’ starting rotation Friday.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

PHOENIX — Six days before the start of the season, the Dodgers opening day roster already seems set.

Ryan Pepiot will be the Dodgers fifth starter, after the other candidate for the role, Michael Grove, was optioned on Friday. Andre Jackson, meanwhile, will round out the Dodgers bullpen as the long reliever, beating out other relief candidates such as Victor González, who was also optioned on Friday.

Manager Dave Roberts said picking Pepiot over Grove for the final rotation spot — which was opened after Tony Gonsolin sprained his ankle, an injury that will cost him at least the first couple weeks of the season — was “probably the toughest decision” the team made this camp.

“We just felt that Ryan outperformed Michael this spring,” Roberts said.

Read more >>>


Healthy and motivated, Max Muncy out to prove he’s no baseball bum

Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy swings a bat at a ball during a game at Camelback Ranch.
Max Muncy hits during a spring game between the Dodgers and Angels at Camelback Ranch on March 10. Muncy is eager to have a bounce-back season after struggling in 2022.
(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The chip on his shoulder that fueled Max Muncy’s early years with the Dodgers — implanted during the month he spent out of baseball after being released by Oakland in 2017 — remains, though it has been reprogrammed.

Proving he belongs in the big leagues is no longer the main driver for Muncy, who established himself as a perennial All-Star by hitting at least 35 homers with an .889 on-base-plus-slugging percentage or more during each of his first three full seasons.

What’s motivating Muncy this spring is a burning desire to show he’s not the bum he suspects many felt he was last season, when his slow recovery from left-elbow surgery caused his swing to malfunction and his production to plummet.

Read more >>>