Gavin Lux was expected to be the Dodgers' second baseman when summer camp started. But a late arrival and struggles at the plate mean he won't be with the team when the season opens Thursday.
Los Angeles optioned Lux on Tuesday. Manager Dave Roberts said he informed Lux of the decision before the Dodgers' exhibition game Monday against Arizona but is hopeful Lux can be back on the roster soon.
“I just think there is a lot that goes with him and his swing and at this point he wasn't synched up,” Roberts said before Tuesday night's exhibition finale against the Los Angeles Angels. “I want him to get right. He started playoff games for us last year. That goes to show the confidence we have in him.”
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The 22-year old Lux, a first-round selection in 2016, played in 23 games last year, batting .240 with two homers and nine RBIs after getting called up in September. He also was 2 for 9 with a home run and RBI in the division series against Washington.
The late arrival this summer meant Lux appeared in only a few of the team’s intrasquad games. While Lux works on his swing at the club's reserve camp at USC, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez will get most of the starts at second base along with Max Muncy.
The Dodgers also made a bullpen move, agreeing on a one-year deal with left-hander Jake McGee, who was placed on waivers by Colorado last week.
The 33-year-old McGee was 4-11 with a 4.78 ERA in 225 games in four years with the club. He was 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA last season.
“He brings success and experience. He knows some of the guys already along with the division. His pitch mix fits our club well,” Roberts said.
McGee had a less than auspicious Dodgers' debut. He allowed back-to-back home runs to Albert Pujols and Brian Goodwin during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night. McGee worked two-thirds of an inning and allowed two runs on three hits during the Dodgers' 6-4 victory.
McGee — whose arsenal is mainly a fastball and a slider — agreed to a $27 million, three-year deal with the Rockies ahead of the 2018 season. He is owed $3,518,519 in prorated salary this year, of which the Dodgers are responsible for the $208,704 prorated share of the minimum, and the Rockies are responsible for the $2 million buyout of his $9 million option for 2021.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred right-hander Jimmy Nelson to the 45-day injured list. Nelson had season-ending back surgery on July 6. He signed with the team in January after spending six years with Milwaukee.