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Inbox: Is Lux a lock for LA's postseason roster?

Beat reporter Ken Gurnick answers fans' questions in the latest Inbox
@kengurnick
September 16, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Before the Dodgers return to the field at home for a five-game stint against the Rays and Rockies, they first get the day off Monday. With that being said, let's take a look at the latest edition of the Dodgers' Inbox. **With two weeks to go, what

LOS ANGELES -- Before the Dodgers return to the field at home for a five-game stint against the Rays and Rockies, they first get the day off Monday. With that being said, let's take a look at the latest edition of the Dodgers' Inbox.

With two weeks to go, what are the chances Gavin Lux makes the NLDS roster?
-- @ladodgers1975

Based on recent playing time, it would be shocking if he didn’t. Management seems to be using the same playbook as it did in 2015, when it called up a 21-year-old Corey Seager in September, gave him the starting shortstop job that was Jimmy Rollins’ and started Seager in four of the five games against the Mets in the NLDS. Seager started 25 of the Dodgers’ 30 games after his callup in '15. Lux has started 11 of the 12 games since his callup. Coincidence? Keep in mind, though, that Seager hit .188 that October and struck out in half of his postseason at-bats.

Will Smith is still mired in his first big slump. Is there a chance Austin Barnes gets a bit more playing time to see what he can do before postseason roster decision time?
-- @Grelman_

Not likely. Since his recall, the Dodgers have played nine games and Barnes has started one. That’s not how a team prepares somebody for the postseason. It’s pretty clear that management wants Smith to be the primary catcher and to change back to Barnes now would imply panic -- even its rare that a rookie callup takes over behind the plate for a team expecting to win a World Series. Russell Martin’s rapport with Hyun-Jin Ryu alone should guarantee him the other catching spot.

Will the Dodgers keep 13 pitchers for the NLDS?
-- @Muley34

From all indications, they will have 12 pitchers for the best-of-five Division Series and, based on previous years, 13 pitchers for the best-of seven series.

Is Kiké Hernández not going to make the postseason roster?
-- @JacobNorling

Even if Hernández isn’t starting at second base anymore, that doesn’t mean he won’t make the postseason roster. He’s defensively as versatile as anyone on the field. His postseason offense is marked by incredible highs and lows.

[Red Sox] and [Astros] didn't use lock-down closers, and I recall Giants deploying [Madison Bumgarner]. So, in the last decade or more, how many World Series champs did use the stereotypical closer?
-- @alanwooten19

2016 Cubs -- Aroldis Chapman
2015 Royals -- Wade Davis
2013 Red Sox -- Koji Uehara
2012 Giants -- Sergio Romo
2010 Giants -- Brian Wilson

The postseason, and especially the World Series, are entirely different than the regular season because of the elimination potential, and are managed accordingly. It’s still hard to imagine the Dodgers winning a World Series unless Kenley Jansen is on his game.

What are the chances Alex Verdugo makes it to the NLCS roster, if the Dodgers make it there?
-- @LASports210

Until he actually does something baseball related, zero chance. He’s shut down. He’s hurt, obviously. Back injuries are never minor. His has lasted four months. Anything is possible, but there hasn’t been any good news from him in more than a month.

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