Dodgers SS Gavin Lux out for season after knee injury
Gavin Lux hasn't seen the video of the injury that ended his chance of being the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting shortstop this season, and has no plans to watch it.
Lux will miss the season with torn ligaments in his right knee after getting hurt running the bases in a spring training game. The 25-year-old came to camp as the top candidate to replace Trea Turner as the Dodgers' primary shortstop.
“That's one of the hardest parts," Lux said Tuesday, fighting back tears and leaning on crutches inside the team's facility in Glendale, Arizona. “I think every baseball player’s dream is to play shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
Lux got hurt Monday when running between second and third base against San Diego after a groundball was hit to third. Soon after ducking to avoid a throw to second, he took a couple of steps before his right knee buckled, he stumbled forward and fell to the ground. He said he felt something pop and his leg went numb.
“I think my cleat got kind of stuck into the ground a little bit and straightened out a little funky, and bowed out. ... Freak thing. I don’t even think it’s really avoidable,” Lux said. “In hindsight, probably should have just took the throw to the nose and worn it.”
The Dodgers' first-round pick in the 2016 amateur draft, Lux played nine games at shortstop last season while hitting .276 with six homers and 42 RBIs in 129 games, most at second base and some in left field. He led the NL with seven triples.
Turner left as a free agent for Philadelphia this winter. That came after Corey Seager left the Dodgers the previous offseason and signed with Texas.
Miguel Rojas is now expected to get the bulk of playing time at shortstop for the Dodgers, with Chris Taylor also an option. The 34-year-old Rojas was acquired from Miami in a January trade.
“Crush my rehab and try to be ready for 2024, when it rolls around,” Lux said. “It’s kind of all you can do.”
On the same day the Padres finalized a $350 million, 11-year contract with All-Star slugger Manny Machado, still-suspended Fernando Tatis Jr. — who is signed a year longer in San Diego — played his first game in nearly 17 months.
Tatis, their former starting shortstop, went 0 for 2 with a walk, a stolen base and scored a run in a 7-5 win over San Francisco. He was the designated hitter in his first game since the 2021 regular-season finale — he has since had wrist and shoulder surgery.
“I saw that it was 500 or something days since I was out there,” Tatis said. “Since the beginning of spring I thought about this. The shoulder and wrist are 100%. Everything feels good.”
Machado’s deal is the fourth-largest in baseball history, and goes through the 2033 season. Tatis signed a $340 million, 14-year contract before the 2021 season.
Tatis missed all of last season. He was about to come back from wrist surgery when he got suspended for 80 games last Aug. 12 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Tatis blamed his positive PED test on a cream he said he took for ringworm. He had surgery on his troublesome shoulder during the suspension.
With 20 games left to serve on that ban, the 24-year-old Tatis won’t be eligible to play in the regular season until at least April 20.
Tatis is moving to the outfield after the Padres added four-time All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts on an $280 million, 11-year contract in free agency.
The Padres project to have the third-highest payroll in the majors this season at $255 million, trailing only the New York Mets and Yankees.
Shohei Ohtani pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings in his only spring training outing on the mound for the Angels before he joins Japan for the World Baseball Classic.
Ohtani struck out two and walked two, but had no issues with his pitches or the new clock. The two-way star, expected to start the season opener for Los Angeles, didn’t bat.
“The main goal today was to feel out all my pitches. I felt pretty good with all of them," Ohtani said through a translator. "I wanted to ease in. I’m satisfied.”
— Tyler Glasnow will miss the start of another season for the Tampa Bay Rays.
After not making his debut last season until September following Tommy John surgery, the 29-year-old Glasnow is expected to miss six to eight weeks because of a left oblique strain.
The Rays said Tuesday that an MRI detected a grade 2 strain. That came a day after the 6-foot-8 right-hander, who signed a $30.35 million, two-year contract, cut short a live batting practice session after throwing six pitches.
Glasnow was the Rays’ opening day starter in 2021, when he went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts before his surgery.
— Padres All-Star pitcher Joe Musgrove will be sidelined for at least two weeks after breaking his left big toe when he dropped a kettleball, making it uncertain if he will be ready for the start of the season.
Once Musgrove is cleared to throw, he will have to build up arm strength and endurance.
“He is not starting over, but the longer you go the more it gets closer to starting over. Joe is a guy who keeps himself in really good shape,” manager Bob Melvin said.
The 30-year-old right-hander went 10-7 with a 2.93 ERA last season. He is starting a $100 million, five-year contract.
Veteran left-hander José Quintana felt a bit rushed in his spring training debut for the New York Mets. He gave up four extra-base hits and five runs while getting only two outs on 30 pitches against Houston.
Quintana admitted he was rushing when his outing started because he was conscious of the new pitch clock.
“I tried to be on time. I need to be more aggressive and don’t worry about the clock,” he said.
The 34-year-old Quintana, with the Mets on a $26 million, two-year deal, is scheduled to make one more spring start before leaving to play in the World Baseball Classic for Colombia.
The Philadelphia Phillies had a couple of aces around Tuesday, a pair of former Cy Young Award winners who combined won more than 600 big league games.
Roger Clemens and CC Sabathia both addressed the National League champions at the request of manager Rob Thomson. Both pitched for the New York Yankees when Thomson was in that organization.
“They were great,” Thomson said. “Roger came in and talked about competitiveness and preparation. CC is the vice president of Players Alliance, and that was really good because that’s an important organization. It helps out a lot of people.”
Clemens, who won 354 games over his 24 seasons, also got a chance to see his son Kody, who is trying to win a spot on the Phillies roster. The younger Clemens started at first base Tuesday, going 1 for 2 with a walk.
Sabathia won 251 big league games.
ONLY 1 ROGERS
Taylor Rogers struck out two of the three batters he faced in his spring debut for the San Francisco Giants, but his twin brother didn’t pitch Tuesday as planned.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Tyler Rogers, who has been with the Giants for four seasons, had a cut on his right index finger.
Taylor Rogers finished last season with Milwaukee after appearing in 42 games for San Diego.
AP freelance writers Mark Didtler, Rick Hummel, Gary Schatz and Jack Thompson contributed to this report.
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Stephen Hawkins, The Associated Press