Inbox: What role for Lux? Heaney in rotation?

Dodgers beat reporter Juan Toribio fields questions from fans

April 3rd, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and Angels begin their annual three-game exhibition Freeway Series on Sunday, which means the Arizona part of Cactus League games is finished and the regular season is within reach.

But before Los Angeles opens the 2022 season on Friday afternoon against the Rockies at Coors Field, let’s bring back the Dodgers Inbox, which we’ll be doing regularly again this season. Here’s a look at some of the questions for this edition:

What role does Gavin Lux play this year? Or where do you think he will be most beneficial to the Dodgers this year?
– @stevencarter96 via Twitter

The Dodgers want to give Lux plenty of at-bats this season. The only issue was that after signing Freddie Freeman, the playing-time situation became muddled. But after the trade that sent AJ Pollock to the White Sox, Lux’s path to consistent at-bats is a bit more clear.

Chris Taylor is now expected to handle most of the responsibility in left field. Lux, however, will get some chances there against right-handed pitching. Playing second base also opens up whenever Max Muncy starts at DH.

It’s a big year for Lux, the team’s former top prospect. Los Angeles is still high on his upside. If healthy, Lux will get his chances against right-handed pitching in 2022.

Is there a reason that Andrew Heaney is in the rotation instead of Tyler Anderson, who had a better spring and has been a starter for his whole career?
– @sam_scherer99 via Twitter

The decision ultimately came down to Heaney feeling more comfortable as a starter. Anderson arrived at camp a few days later and made it known that he would welcome any role. 

Also, despite his struggles this spring, the Dodgers believe Heaney has a higher upside if he figures out his new breaking-ball grip, an emphasis during camp. But while Heaney will get the first crack in the rotation, it’s important to remember the Dodgers could always pivot. Their decisions during the season will be based on production.

When is Dustin May going to be ready?
– @marino13882 via Twitter

May missed most of the 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. It was a devastating blow to the young right-hander, who was on his way to establishing himself as a very good big league starter. 

May won’t be ready until late in the season. If his recovery takes 14 months, he could be back in July. If it takes 16 months, he won’t be back until early September. Despite their need in the rotation, the Dodgers won’t rush May. He’s a key part of their future. But the right-hander, who threw his first bullpen session on Friday, is making really solid progress.

What’s the pitching prospect pecking order this season? Rank them: Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson, Mitch White, Landon Knack
– @bluegoon82 via Twitter

In the immediate, Jackson and White are the first two up if the Dodgers need length out of the bullpen. But by midseason, the Dodgers could rely on all three of Miller, Knack and Pepiot. Miller will get the start for the Freeway Series finale on Tuesday. It’ll give the Dodgers a good look at the right-hander, especially if the Angels send out Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon.

If I had to rank the three prospects, based on upside, I would go with: Miller, Pepiot and Knack. So predictable, right?

Any updates on a Trea Turner extension?
– @masterjoe824 via Twitter

Nothing of note. At the beginning of spring, Turner said he was open to having a discussion, but nothing has materialized. He noted that he would prefer to deal with those talks before the start of the season, so it’s unlikely that anything heats up after Opening Day. But if the Dodgers make a long-term offer that blows Turner away, that could change.

There’s also the outside perception that Turner, who is from Florida, wants to return to the East Coast. ( asked him about that earlier this spring.)

Honest thoughts about Trevor Bauer maybe coming back?
– @KobeSiy via Twitter

On multiple occasions, the Dodgers have said their focus is on the players currently in the clubhouse. The reality of the situation is that the Dodgers are not allowed to comment on Bauer’s situation until Major League Baseball completes its investigation.

Bauer’s paid administrative leave was extended through April 16. Maybe we’ll get more details then. Until that happens, it would be inappropriate to try to predict a result given the sensitive nature of the case.