Check on your air conditioners, because Gavin Lux is heating up.
The 24-year-old smacked a two-run double off Merrill Kelly in the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader, the go-ahead runs to boost the Dodgers to a 4-2 lead in the second inning. Lux also hit a single in the sixth inning, to opposite field. The Dodgers swept the doubleheader and won the nightcap easily, 12-3.
Walk off wins? He can do that, too. Lux also had himself a day on Sunday, where he smacked a bottom-of-the-ninth two RBI single that plated Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor. The late onslaught ended the game in a quite dramatic fashion to the melodic backdrop of thousands of screaming fans at Dodger Stadium.
Lux did not have an ideal start to the season; there have been some doubts about his glove at second base (he did commit an error in that aforementioned game versus the Phillies). He finished the month of April slashing .255/.350/.373 with one homer, a double, a triple, and five RBI in 60 plate appearances.
He’s been working with hitters like Freddie Freeman and Justin Turner, to stay balanced in his swing and adapt a more all-fields approach, to put the ball in play rather than just hitting for power. Turner suggested some adjustments - he noticed Lux was leaning forward too much, causing his head to move during his swing. While we’re working with a small sample size, he has indeed improved his contact; we’re already seeing an improvement in BABIP 17 days into May, at .323, compared to his April numbers at .293.
Given these adjustments and good results so far, Lux will be a hitter to keep an eye on.
Hitters with an EDGE
Seiya Suzuki vs. Pirates
1-for-4, 2 RBI
Seiya Suzuki hit his ninth double of the year in the fourth inning, plating Ian Happ and Willson Contreras. With this two-run knock, Suzuki is now on a six game hitting streak. Suzuki also got his first MLB outfield assist in this contest by throwing out Daniel Vogelbach, who tried to score from third on a deep fly.
Tommy La Stella vs. Rockies
3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
In the DH spot, La Stella absolutely slammed a leadoff homer in the first inning, at 464 feet. That's the eighth longest in all of baseball this season. This was his 2022 season debut, after being activated off the injured list; what a welcome back party at Coors Field, indeed.
Kevin Kiermaier vs. Tigers
3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
Kiermaier homered in the second inning for his fourth round-tripper of the year, and later plated Randy Arozarena off a single. This offensive onslaught was just a mere slice of an 8-1 clobbering by the Rays lineup.
Starting Pitchers with an EDGE
Dylan Cease vs. Royals
5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K
19 swings and misses in the matinee of this doubleheader, for a season high for the 26-year-old right hander. 10 of those whiffs were off the slider, contributing to a fantastic 34% CSW on the afternoon. Cease continues to have a very high strikeout upside; though the Royals lineup did connect with a handful of pitches, he was still able to miss bats, registering nine strikeouts. Cease threw 94 pitches, 61 of them for strikes.
Mike Clevinger vs. Phillies
5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
This was Clevinger’s third start after returning from Tommy John surgery; he threw 75 pitches, 49 of them for strikes. Clevinger threw 95 pitches in 4 2/3 innings in his debut, and 91 in 4 1/3 in his last start, so this is some nice progress to see. He now has a 3.21 ERA and 1.14 WHIP through 14 innings pitched.
Brady Singer vs. White Sox
7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K
The 25-year-old righty picked up his first win of the season in the nightcap of this doubleheader, and was easily able to stifle the White Sox by limiting baserunners and hard contact. Missing bats was a big part of Singer’s game in this start, as he lured hitters into 18 swings and misses. Singer’s slider, his primary pitch, was shining brightly, and contributed to an absolutely outstanding 43% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs.)
Edwin Diaz vs. Cardinals - 9th Save
1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
A nail-biting save for Diaz as he put the tying run on by a single and a walk. Harrison Bader swung on a slider to end the evening with a strikeout. With this appearance, he’s now 9-for-10 in save opportunities this season.
Craig Kimbrel vs. Diamondbacks - 7th Save
1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Kimbrel started the inning with a dreaded leadoff walk to Geraldo Perdomo, then followed that with a two-out RBI single to Ketel Marte. He eventually settled down and racked up three strikeouts to finish the game and lock in a 7-6 win for the Dodgers. Kimbrel has converted seven out of seven save opportunities, however, with some Dodgers fans suffering damaged cuticles in the process.
Liam Hendriks vs. Royals - 11th Save
1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
An 18 pitch save for Hendriks, who has experienced some recent shakiness. He allowed a leadoff single to Nicky Lopez but later induced a pop-up, strikeout, then a groundout to slam the door on the Royals in the matinee of today’s doubleheader.
Josh Staumont vs. White Sox - 3rd save
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Staumont picked up the save in the nightcap of the doubleheader, preserving Brady Singer’s brilliant performance, and a 2-1 win for the Royals. He’s now converted three out of five save opportunities.
Kenley Jansen vs. Brewers - 9th save
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB
Kenley Jansen fired a perfect ninth inning Tuesday, protecting a three-run lead against the Brewers to record his ninth save of the season. The 34-year-old veteran stopper has converted all nine of save opportunities this season.
Alexis Diaz vs. Guardians - 1st save
1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
The younger brother of Edwin Diaz (also picking up a save tonight), Alexis has been the Reds' best reliever this season, allowing just one run in 17 1/3 innings pitched. He now has a 0.52 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, and 21 strikeouts to accompany those good numbers.
Taylor Rogers vs. Phillies - 14th save
1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
The lefty closer picked up his 14th save of the year; he’s converted 14 out of 15 possible save opportunities and has the impressive numbers to accompany those totals. He has a 0.56 ERA and 0.56 WHIP in 16 innings pitched this year.
Aroldis Chapman vs. Orioles - 9th save
1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Chapman got two quick outs, but the Orioles threatened with a rally, with back to back singles by Tyler Nevin and Robinson Chirinos. Ryan McKenna then doubled, scoring Nevin; with the tying run 90 feet away in Chirinos, Cedric Mullins popped out for the final out, culminating in Chapman’s ninth save.
Adam Cimber vs. Mariners - 3rd save
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Giovanny Gallegos vs. Mets - 7th save
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Christian Walker - 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks - Rostered in 7% of Yahoo Leagues
In his past 15 games played, he’s slashing .306/.404/.633 through 56 plate appearances including four homers, seven runs scored, seven walks drawn and 10 RBI. He’s also among league leaders in xwOBA, HardHit%, barrels, and chase rate. He makes high quality contact and has been turning pitches around well; notably, 13 of his 60 career home runs have been against the Dodgers.
Wednesday’s Matchup of the Day
This matchup is the second of a three game set to be played at Dodger Stadium. Though I would be reluctant to start Davies versus the Dodgers, he does have a solid 3.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over seven starts. Walker Buehler gave up five runs in five innings Friday in a no-decision against the Phillies, so he’s due for a bounceback start; he’s set to do much better against the Diamondbacks, where he’s held hitters to a .229 OPS over nine innings pitched this year.
American League Quick Hits
Mitch Garver (forearm) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Double-A Frisco. … Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Tuesday during an interview with MLB Network Radio that Michael Pineda (finger) will not require surgery. … White Sox transferred LHP Garrett Crochet from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. … Lucas Giolito (COVID-19) told reporters that he's starting Wednesday against the Royals. … Lance Lynn (knee) is scheduled to face hitters Friday in New York…Brandon Lowe has been diagnosed with stress reaction in his lower back. … Astros placed RHP Jake Odorizzi on the 15-day injured list with lower leg discomfort. … Royals placed C Salvador Perez on the 10-day injured list with a left thumb sprain. … Mariners manager Scott Servais said that J.P. Crawford (ankle) is "fine.".
National League Quick Hits
Joey Votto (COVID-19) will play in a minor league rehab game Tuesday for Single-A Dayton. … Antonio Senzatela (back) is expected to be placed on the injured list. … Jacob deGrom's follow-up imaging Monday on his injured right shoulder revealed "continued healing in his right scapula.". ... James McCann (wrist) underwent left hamate surgery Tuesday. … Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that Clayton Kershaw (pelvis) is "unlikely" to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. … Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that David Price (COVID-19) will be activated for the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Diamondbacks. … Rockies placed RHP Antonio Senzatela on the 15-day injured list with a lower back strain. …Brandon Nimmo has been diagnosed with a bruised right quad.