- July 29, 2020 at 11:29 am #208954
LOS ANGELES – Top prospect Gavin Lux’s road to the National League Rookie of the Year Award hit a serious detour on Tuesday when the Dodgers optioned him to their alternate training facility at USC. The Dodgers also announced the signing of free-agent left-handed reliever Jake McGee.
The 22-year-old Lux arrived late to Summer Camp and did not discuss why with reporters. In limited game action since, he had trouble making contact at the plate and appeared shaky in the field. “There’s a lot that goes with his swing and at this point in time, he just wasn’t synced up,” said manager Dave Roberts. “Nothing against him. It’s just, right now where we’re at, we hope for Gavin to get lots of at-bats off site and we’ll see him be ready when called upon. He started the playoffs for us last year, that shows the confidence we have in him. I just want him to get right.”
Roberts said second base will be shared by Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor, with occasional cameos by Max Muncy sliding over from first base.
A first-round pick out of high school in Wisconsin in 2016, Lux was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top prospect in the organization and the second-best prospect in the game after a 2019 season that earned him the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year Award Andre Ethier Jersey.
Lux appeared tentative at the plate in his limited Summer Camp action. He also was very shaky in the field on Monday night, but Roberts said that might have been the result of learning before the game that he wouldn’t make the Opening Day roster.
“It was probably my fault,” Roberts said. “I had a conversation, wanted to be forthright, and so it probably bled into his psyche a little.”
Roberts said Lux can take up to 10 at-bats in a simulated game with the extra pool players and get his complicated swing ironed out.
“That’s something you can’t do when you’re on the roster and you’re not playing,” Roberts said.
Meanwhile, McGee provides left-handed bullpen depth after being released last week by the Rockies, who are obligated to pay the bulk of his pro-rated $9 million salary. McGee, 34 next month, came up with the Rays, who were run at the time by current Dodgers president Andrew Friedman.
“I just think his pitch mix fits in with our club,” Roberts said.
Caleb Ferguson and Adam Kolarek are the left-handed relievers who have seen the most action in Summer Camp, with Scott Alexander coming off hand surgery. McGee has a 3.64 ERA and 497 strikeouts in 522 career games over 10 MLB seasons. He also has a Major League contract, which probably gives him an advantage over Ferguson or Kolarek.
To make room for McGee on the 40-man roster Fernando Valenzuela Dodgers Jersey, pitcher Jimmy Nelson was placed on the 45-day injured list. Nelson, signed to provide depth as a swingman, had season-ending back surgery last week. Jackie Robinson again grips a bat, his muscles bulging through his suit jacket. Eight days after announcing his retirement from baseball, Mickey Mantle speaks in what surely was his first major public appearance since leaving the game. Willie Mays, always the entertainer, unintentionally prompts laughter from the studio audience.
These arresting images, all more than a half-century old, can be seen via streaming video on The Ed Sullivan Show’s official YouTube channel. Nearly everybody possessing or approaching senior-citizen status or who maintains ample pop-culture knowledge recognizes Sullivan’s impact Chris Taylor Dodgers Jersey. Celebrities boosted their profiles and aspiring performers vaulted from anonymity to stardom with even the briefest appearances alongside Sullivan, whose variety shows aired Sunday nights on CBS from 1948-71.
To celebrate Thursday’s opening of baseball’s regular season, SOFA Entertainment/UMe is releasing footage of Sullivan stints by Robinson, Mantle and Mays, who continue to inspire awe among today’s fans.
Robinson, whose video clip will be available beginning Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, offered what initially might have sounded like banal advice when Sullivan asked him to share a few hitting tips. “Probably the most important thing for a youngster is to keep his eye on the ball, Ed, from the moment it leaves the pitcher’s hand until it comes in contact with the bat,” began Robinson, clutching a bat as a prop.
As Robinson continued, he hinted at the ever-present drive to reach one’s potential — which was among the values he symbolized as he became the Major Leagues’ first black player in 1947. “Because if he takes his eye off the ball, he will lose sight of it, and therefore, he will not be the hitter that he ought to be,” Robinson concluded.
Mantle, whose appearance will be released on Friday at 2 p.m. ET, left no doubt about his decision to retire.
“I feel just about as good as I ever did,” said the oft-injured slugger, “but the last two or three years, I haven’t been able to run as good as I used to, or hit and throw. The young kids are just getting a little bit too fast for me. So I thought it was about time that I quit.”
Mays climbed into second place on the all-time home run list behind Babe Ruth 11 days before his Sullivan visit, which will be available on Sunday evening. That might have prompted Sullivan to ask Mays to analyze his swing.
“Well, to tell you the truth Clayton Kershaw Dodgers Jersey, I don’t know where [the ball] is, Ed,” said an affable Mays as the audience laughed. “I just swing and hope that I hit it.”
Robinson’s appearance originally aired on May 20, 1962. Mays and Mantle appeared on May 15, 1966 and March 9, 1969, respectively.
LOS ANGELES — Despite getting the kid-glove treatment in Summer Camp, Dodgers co-ace Walker Buehler said he’s healthy and ready for his first start, which likely will be next Tuesday in Houston.
“I feel good and ready to go,” Buehler said.
Buehler has pitched in only one simulated game, retiring the seven teammates he faced. Instead of pitching in one of the three exhibition games against the D-backs or Angels, he’s only thrown to Dodgers hitters and will do that again in a voluntary workout on Wednesday.
LA options Lux, inks McGee to 1-year deal
Buehler, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015, said he threw less than his staff mates during the pause because of the uncertainty over when camp would resume. He believes he’s only “an inning or two behind” the other Dodgers starters, although they have already thrown six innings in games.
Buehler wouldn’t speculate how many innings he would pitch in his first start, and manager Dave Roberts said Dustin May might be saved to pitch the same game as Buehler. Buehler has dismissed any concern about not being able to face opposing hitters in Summer Camp. Decision time
Roberts said the club still has two roster decisions to make, one a position player, one a reliever. He had said the club could carry anywhere from 14 to 17 pitchers.
He said Zach McKinstry, likely one position player on the roster bubble Corey Seager Jersey, “has the skillset, the mindset to be a big league player right now. As they say, he’s an injury away. He’s right there.”
Reliever AJ Ramos, the former Marlins closer who was signed last week, has impressed for someone that hasn’t pitched in two years because of shoulder surgery. “At the off-site [training facility], he can do the things he hasn’t been able to do” while sidelined. Roberts also complimented reliever Edubray Ramos.
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