Notes: Lux starting 2B?; Wood, Jansen debut

February 24th, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers gave the starting second baseman job last September, but they haven’t given it to him yet this spring.

“We’ve still got a long way to go to make that decision,” said manager Dave Roberts on Sunday. “With what Gavin did last year and the upside, he’s certainly in that conversation. I still think he has to earn it. He’s earned it and he has to continue to earn it. You can say that about a lot of players, but there are only so many roster spots.”

This contrasts with the treatment of another young player, Will Smith, who Roberts said will get the majority of starts behind the plate, with Austin Barnes backing up.

At second base, Max Muncy started Saturday’s Cactus League opener at second base. In drills, utilitymen Enrique Hernández and Chris Taylor have been getting reps at second and are proven Major Leaguers.

Lux was in Sunday’s starting lineup and went 1-for-2 with a run scored.

has insisted since he signed that he will be in the Dodgers' starting rotation, and he pitched like it on Sunday with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning as the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 4-2.

“I’ll be in the rotation,” said Wood. “I wouldn’t have taken the risk of coming back without knowing Opening Day I’d be in the rotation. I don’t know what’s been said, but I came back here knowing I’ll be in the rotation. Once the season starts, things can change, you have to perform. I came back here fully cemented in the rotation.”

Assuming Wood is the fifth starter, the rotation appears set with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price and Julio Urías the other four. Wood, who worked with Driveline Baseball, had his fastball clocked consistently at 92-93 mph. His average last year was 90 mph.

, in what he called the earliest spring appearance of his career, also fanned a pair in a scoreless inning, saying he was pleased with the movement of his cutter after a winter that included work with Driveline Baseball. Jansen’s velocity was 92-93 mph.

“You look back a year ago, how the ball was coming out, we were seeing fives [85 mph] and sixes [86 mph],” said Roberts. “He was sitting at 92, a 93 in there, direction to home plate really good. Seems like he’s really synced up with his body and his arm catching up. If he can stay there, a lot of good things are going to happen.”

• Joc Pederson missed his fourth day of workouts with right hip soreness.

“We got ahead of it early, but what that means as far as getting into a game, I just don’t know right now,” said Roberts. Pederson has not resumed baseball activities.

• Clayton Kershaw threw live batting practice on Sunday, which would put him on schedule to make his Cactus League debut on Friday, but the Dodgers haven’t announced probables that far in advance.

“You look at Clayton a year ago, he was laboring through his delivery, his body wasn’t right. Today, you can see from the swings, the ball had a lot of life in the zone,” said Roberts.

Relievers Joe Kelly and Brusdar Graterol also threw live batting practice, moving closer to their first game action.

• Urías bruised his right (non-throwing) thumb when it was caught in a closing car door, but that didn’t stop him from throwing a bullpen session on Sunday. He just had a coach handle the catcher’s return throws.

• Jimmy Nelson threw another bullpen session, showing no signs of the sore lower back that slowed him last week. But Dustin May still hasn’t returned to the mound because of a strained side muscle.

Up next
Mookie Betts is scheduled to be back in the lineup for a second game, probably as designated hitter, when the Dodgers play the White Sox on Monday at 12:05 p.m. PT at Camelback Ranch. Ross Stripling will be on the mound for the Dodgers against Alex McRae. Watch live on MLB.TV.