Monday, July 20, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020
Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers whipped the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-to-1. Joc Pederson, Mookie Betts, and Chris Taylor homered.
Every Dodger pitcher who took the mound dominated the Diamondbacks. Julio Urias used all of his pitches during the five-inning outing. Although he had a little bit of trouble with his control, his pitches had movement. Urias has an opportunity to pitch every fifth day over the course of the unusual 60-game season. From 2019, Urias needs to improve at throwing his breaking pitches and changeup for strikes.
The relievers, who followed the young left-hander, were more impressive than Urias. Like usual, during spring training and summer camp, Brusdar Graterol, a right-handed flamethrower who came to the Dodgers to the Minnesota Twins in February, stole the show. Graterol breezed through the ninth inning while hurling 91-mile-per-hour sliders and from 99 to 101-mile-per-hour fastballs. At some point this season, barring an unforeseen injury, Graterol will pitch for the Dodgers.
While most of the Dodger roster is already established and healthy, the second base position represents an evolving door for the team. Since 2015 when the organization traded second baseman Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins, the second base position has been unstable, but it did not harm the Dodger winning ways.
Entering in the 2020 season, most Dodger fans believed left-handed rookie Gavin Lux would be everyday Dodger second baseman. Neither during spring training nor summer camp where he arrived late without any public explanation, he has not impressed. According to manager Dave Roberts, Lux’s batting stance is inconsistent. Defensively, Lux reminds longtime Dodger fans of Steve Sax during the 1983 season when Sax had trouble throwing to first from second base. As late as Saturday, Lux was looking forward to competing for the National League Rookie of the Year. One thing that Lux does not lack is confidence in his ability.
Who can play second base on Thursday, Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants?
Well, the likelihood of Lux starting at second base is improbable. Since Johnny Cueto, a veteran right-handed starter who is coming off Tommy John surgery, will start Thursday, Max Muncy probably will play second base. Against left-handers, either Chris Taylor or Kiké Hernandez will play second base. Both Taylor and Hernandez will give the Dodgers great defense.
Again, being cocky cost a promising rookie an Opening Day start. If Lux begins working hard and improving, he might appear as a Dodger during the 2020 season. If not, he can be trade bait for the Dodgers.
Monday, July 20, 2020