Gavin Lux won’t be a member of the first wave of players the Dodgers add when rosters expand Sunday, but he may not be far behind. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club is “really contemplating” calling up Lux, the organization’s top prospect, to play in September.
“We haven’t decided if we’re going to … but he’s really making a strong case for himself that he can help our club,” Roberts said.
The promotion would conclude the 21-year-old Lux’s rapid ascendance from 2016 first-round pick to can’t-miss prospect. The middle infielder batted .313 with 13 home runs and an .896 on-base-plus-percentage in 64 games for double-A Tulsa before moving up to triple-A Oklahoma. He’s been even better at the higher level. Lux was hitting .390 with 13 homers and a 1.201 OPS in 48 games before Sunday.
Oklahoma City’s season ends Monday. The club did not qualify for the postseason.
“There’s really not a whole lot of downside,” Roberts said. “I think the benefits are the at-bat quality, the versatility that he potentially could give you, the speed aspect of it. Giving him a runway. Getting his feet wet at the big league level. So there’s a lot of upside to this. But again we’re still kind of in talks.”
Problems with his throwing accuracy plagued Lux in spring training for his first big league camp and bled into the season. He overcame the problems in April and has primarily played shortstop this season. Lux, however, has logged more games at second base over the last month.
With Corey Seager at shortstop, Lux would receive more playing time for the Dodgers as a second baseman. More opportunities opened when Max Muncy, who has made 59 of his 118 starts this season at second base, fractured a wrist this week.
“If he comes up, he’ll play,” Roberts said. “What that entails, that remains to be seen. Right now, I don’t want to get too much into it unless it happens. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.”
Even if he isn’t added to the roster, Lux is expected to spend time with the team in September in an “apprenticeship-type” role similar to what catcher Will Smith did last year. But the Dodgers might have something else in mind.
In the meantime, the Dodgers expect to reinstate infielder David Freese as well as right-handers Dylan Floro and Ross Stripling from the injured list Sunday when rosters expand.
Verdugo rehab assignment
Roberts said outfielder Alex Verdugo is scheduled to go on a rehab assignment with rookie-level Ogden on Sunday. Verdugo is expected to spend the week with the minor league affiliate before being reinstated from the injured list next weekend in Los Angeles.
Verdugo, 23, was placed on the injured list Aug. 6 because of a right oblique strain. The rookie is batting .294 with 12 home runs and an .817 OPS.
Stripling to start
Roberts announced Ross Stripling will start for the Dodgers in their series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. Stripling has been on the injured list since July 25 with a neck injury. He is expected to log two or three innings. Dustin May, the team’s top pitching prospect, is slated to make his second career relief appearance.