No. 1 prospect Lux in mix for potential callup

August 31st, 2019

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers will add several reinforcements when rosters expand to 40 players on Sunday, but they will only be guys who are currently on the injured list. Manager Dave Roberts said the club could call up some players from Triple-A Oklahoma City early next week.

That still poses the question on many Dodgers fans minds: Will those callups include Gavin Lux?

Lux, the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect and MLB’s No. 10 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, has raked all season in the Minors. Entering Saturday, he was batting .346/.420/.608 with 26 homers and 76 RBIs in 112 games between Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa. The 21-year-old infielder also had a 50-game on-base streak that ended Aug. 16.

“We’re still obviously really contemplating Gavin. Right now, even to this day, we haven’t decided if we’re going to call him up,” Roberts said on Saturday. “He’s really making a strong case for himself that he can help our club.”

Roberts has mentioned before the possibility of Lux joining the Dodgers for an “apprenticeship,” like Will Smith did last season. Lux would be with the club, taking part in drills and meetings, but he wouldn’t be activated.

But Lux is making the decision difficult with his exceptional season in the Minors. When Roberts was asked about the potential pros and cons of calling up Lux, the manager only listed positives.

“There’s really not a whole lot of downside,” Roberts said. “I think the benefits are the at-bat quality, the versatility that he potentially could give you, the speed aspect of it, giving him a runway, getting his feet wet at the big league level. There’s a lot of upside. But again, we’re still in talks.”

If Lux is called up, expect to see him in the Dodgers’ lineup. There should be playing time available, especially with likely out two weeks with a right wrist fracture.

“If he comes up, he’ll play,” Roberts said. “What that entails, that remains to be seen. Right now, I don’t want to get too much into it unless it happens.”

Stripling to start Sunday

Right-hander will be one of the reinforcements activated from the injured list Sunday, and he’ll start the series finale vs. the D-backs at Chase Field.

Stripling went on the IL on July 27 with right biceps tendinitis, then he had a setback during his recovery due to neck stiffness. The righty is 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA in 26 outings (12 starts) for Los Angeles this season.

Roberts said the plan is for Stripling to only pitch two or three innings before bringing in right-hander Dustin May, who will likely work multiple innings after making four starts in August.

Verdugo set to begin rehab

Outfielder (right oblique strain) will begin a rehab assignment with Rookie League Ogden on Sunday. Roberts said Verdugo will play with the Raptors “for the week” before potentially returning to the Dodgers next weekend.

Verdugo has been on the injured list since Aug. 6. He batted .294/.342/.475 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs in 106 games.

Rest days for top Dodgers

Star outfielder was out of the Dodgers’ lineup for Saturday’s game against the D-backs, while Roberts said shortstop likely won’t play Sunday. Both are scheduled rest days as Los Angeles closes in on clinching the National League West division title.

“We’ve run [Bellinger] out there so much, we’re just making sure we manage his workload,” Roberts said. “For us right now, [11] days in a row for Cody, just to give him a break and get him back in there is beneficial.”