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With Turner out, LA calls up prospect Lux

@kengurnick
August 29, 2020

With Justin Turner out of the lineup at least until Tuesday, top prospect Gavin Lux was recalled on Saturday and will play second base against right-handed pitching. Pitcher Mitch White was optioned. Turner left Friday night’s game with what Roberts now describes as “a low-grade strain” of the left hamstring,

With Justin Turner out of the lineup at least until Tuesday, top prospect Gavin Lux was recalled on Saturday and will play second base against right-handed pitching. Pitcher Mitch White was optioned.

Turner left Friday night’s game with what Roberts now describes as “a low-grade strain” of the left hamstring, suffered while stealing second base after singling in the tying run in an eventual 6-2 loss to the Rangers. Roberts said Turner was improved on Saturday, but that he would miss the remaining two games of the series in Texas, continue treatment on the day off Monday and be evaluated on Tuesday.

Roberts said Edwin Rios, already on the injured list with a hamstring strain, could be activated Tuesday or Wednesday.

Turner was hit on the top of the left hamstring by a pitch earlier in the week and missed one game, but Roberts said he believes this injury is in the “belly” of the hamstring, lower than where Turner was hit by the pitch. Turner missed three weeks with a right hamstring injury in 2014 and three weeks with a left hamstring injury in 2017.

While Turner is a gamer who often plays injured without revealing it, Roberts said he trusts Turner won’t put his health at greater risk.

“He does have a high pain tolerance, he wants to be out there, but he’s very good at self-evaluating,” Roberts said. “There’s a governor in there and he can play to the speed he needs to. But he doesn’t ever put himself in jeopardy to make it worse.”

Turner played both games of Thursday’s doubleheader in San Francisco, serving as designated hitter in the nightcap. He was hit by pitches in both games.

The 35-year-old Turner is in the final year of a four-year, $64 million contract and is slashing .282/.384/.410 with two homers and 20 RBIs in 32 games.

Whether or not Turner ends up on the injured list, Roberts indicated Lux will now get the same test he received last September, when he was originally called up and became the primary second baseman through the playoff series with Washington.

Rated the No. 2 prospect in the game by MLB Pipeline coming into Spring Training, Lux arrived late to Summer Camp without an explanation and didn’t demonstrate that he was ready for the start of the season, so he was optioned to the club’s alternate training site where, Roberts said, Lux needed to work on his complicated swing.

He’s been on the taxi squad for this trip, getting a call-up on Thursday to go 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, and was recalled on Saturday in the wake of Turner’s injury.

“His swing has really come along and Gavin, to his credit, put the work in at the secondary site, cleaned up the swing, taken a lot of at-bats and feels in synch,” said Roberts. “We got him in a game in San Francisco to break him in. Right now, the plan is to play him against right-handed pitching. We see him as an every day guy going forward, but we’ve got good players as well.”

Kike Hernández has started 18 of the club’s 34 games, but is batting .209 overall and in an 0-for-12 tailspin with six strikeouts. Chris Taylor figures to start at second base against left-handed pitching. In Saturday’s lineup, Max Muncy started at third base and Matt Beaty at first base.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.