As the calendar flips to March, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. What will the Dodgers do without Lux?
In letting shortstop Trea Turner depart for Philadelphia this offseason, the Dodgers expressed confidence that former top prospect Gavin Lux would be able to flourish in an everyday shortstop role if given the opportunity for the first time in his career. Unfortunately, that opportunity was snatched from him yesterday, at least for the time being, as Lux is set to miss the entire 2023 with a torn ACL. That moves glove-first shortstop Miguel Rojas, who was initially planned to act as a utility infielder, into a starting role.
While Rojas is a serviceable regular, Chris Taylor as the only other shortstop-capable player on the projected roster. Yonny Hernandez and Bryson Brigman are both depth options, but it would make plenty of sense if the Dodgers looked for external help in replacing Lux. Unfortunately, the market is rather thin at this point, with Jose Iglesias standing as perhaps the best option remaining. Behind Iglesias, there’s a handful of shortstop-capable rebound candidates the club could take a minor league flier on, including Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons.
2. More info on Rodgers injury expected today:
When Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers dislocated his shoulder yesterday, manager Bud Black indicated that there would be more information on the timetable for his return “in the coming day.” Black’s comments indicate that Opening Day may be in question for Rodgers, who would be good to go in “a few weeks” if all goes well. Rodgers, who won a Gold Glove at second base and posted a strong 4.3 bWAR in 2022, figures to be a key cog in the Rockies lineup this season, so any missed time is a blow to Colorado’s already slim chance at competitiveness.
Should Rodgers miss time to open the season, the Rockies are left with primarily utility options able to cover second base, such as Alan Trejo and Harold Castro. One alternative could be shifting third baseman Ryan McMahon to second base, thus allowing another player with experience at third but not second, such as Kris Bryant, Nolan Jones or Elehuris Montero, to take over at the hot corner.
3. MLBTR Chats Today
MLBTR is excited to continue our series of live chats with players and other people from around the game as today we welcome right-hander Josh Lindblom. Lindblom pitched in the big leagues for parts of seven seasons between 2011 and 2021, while also spending parts of five seasons overseas in the Korea Baseball Organization. Lindblom’s best years in the majors came as a member of the Dodgers, for whom he pitched to a 2.91 ERA (130 ERA+) with a 4.02 FIP in 77 1/3 innings of work. During his 2018-19 with the Doosan Bears, he was the best pitcher in the KBO, tossing 363 1/3 innings of 2.68 ERA ball with a 23.8% strikeout rate and a 4.6% walk rate. He won the Choi Dong-won Award in both 2018-19 — the KBO equivalent of MLB’s Cy Young Award — leading the Bears to a Korean Series championship in the second of those two seasons. Lindblom also pitched for the Phillies, Rangers, Athletics, and Pirates before finishing his career as a member of the Brewers. After announcing his retirement back in January, he joined the Brewers as a special assistant in their player development department. Lindblom be answering questions from MLBTR readers in a live chat scheduled from 11:30am CT today, so be sure to stop in if you have a question to ask!
Later today, MLBTR’s Anthony Franco will be holding a live chat of his own, fielding questions from readers as Spring Training continues. If you have questions about where your team stands as clubs gear up for the regular season, or about the baseball world at large, you can follow this link to submit a question in advance. That same link will take you to the chat if you would like to participate live, or allow you to read the transcript after the chat has ended.