One of the things that has distinguished the Los Angeles Dodgers during their decade-long streak of playoff appearances has been their remarkable depth. Plenty of times, the organization has been forced to turn quickly to the next man up to find an alternative. This is how the Dodgers have continued to win, despite injuries in recent seasons to everyone from Clayton Kershaw to Mookie Betts.
Their vulnerability now, following Gavin Lux‘s season-ending knee injury, is highly unusual in the Dodgers’ universe — particularly at such a crucial position, shortstop, in the first year of restrictions against the defensive shifts that helped to cover for defensive liabilities.
The 25-year-old Lux seemed poised to ascend into an everyday role in 2023, after serving three seasons of apprenticeship for the Dodgers. But even he would have had a hard time making Dodgers fans forget Trea Turner, who was an All-Star and a Silver Slugger winner for the team in 2022 before departing as a free agent. With Turner absorbing the bulk of the playing time at that spot for L.A., the Dodgers ranked third in the majors in shortstop WAR last year; now, it might be a challenge for the Dodgers’ shortstops to rank higher than the bottom third.
These are some of the alternatives that manager Dave Roberts and the organization must consider, in the eyes of industry evaluators who talked and texted Tuesday evening after news of Lux’s extended absence broke.