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The Los Angeles Dodgers are less than two weeks away from opening Major League Baseball's regular season with a two-game series against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea. However, that doesn't mean they're ready to commit to a starting shortstop. To wit, manager Dave Roberts told reporters earlier this week that he's not married to Gavin Lux serving as the most-days shortstop to begin the year.

"I don't know," Roberts said when asked if Lux was going to be the starter, according to ESPN. He added that "performance matters." 

Lux has produced at the plate so far this exhibition season, hitting .348/.423/.348 in eight games while facing competition that, on average, played at Double-A or above, according to data provided by Baseball Reference. Where Lux has underperformed is on the defensive side. In particular, he's struggled to make consistent quality throws to first base, sometimes lawndarting the ball on otherwise routine fielding opportunities. 

Lux, 26, would seem to have a valid excuse for being rusty: he missed all of last season after tearing his ACL. The catch is that his ability to make all the throws from the shortstop position was questioned even before the injury, with rival evaluators declaring him a better fit at second base or in the outfield.

The Dodgers being uneasy about using Lux as their starting shortstop does raise a lot of questions. Below, CBS Sports has offered answers to three particular inquiries.

1. Do the Dodgers have a Plan B at short?

As a matter of fact, they do. Miguel Rojas may not be the most exciting option for a pennant contender, but he served as the primary starter on last year's Dodgers squad that won 100 games. He's an excellent defender who has had a brutal two-year stretch at the plate, resulting in a 69 OPS+ despite a penchant for putting the ball into play. Rojas' issue is that he does not strike the ball with authority: he ranked in the 15th percentile in average exit velocity in 2023 – and that represented a three-year best. 

Still, if we're being generous, Rojas seems due for a better offensive season. Even with those two poor showings under his belt, his career OPS+ remains 82. Baseball Savant's "expected" metrics, based on each batted ball's exit velocity and launch angle, suggest that he may have underperformed – not to the extent that the Dodgers will be looking forward to his turn at the plate, but enough to make his at-bats more tolerable.

Beyond Rojas, the Dodgers lack compelling depth options at shortstop. They acquired Trey Sweeney, the 20th pick in the 2021 draft, from the New York Yankees this winter. Alas, Sweeney might be a worse defensive option than Lux. Jonathan Araúz is in camp as a non-roster invitee, but he's been a worse hitter than Rojas at the big-league level. The Dodgers recently netted Noah Miller in the Manuel Margot trade. He's yet to play a game above A-ball, making it hard to count on him as a real option for this year.

It's fair to write that the Dodgers lack great internal options at shortstop. Are there any external targets they could add to address that weakness?

2. Is there any help to be found on the markets?

This shouldn't come as any surprise given that Opening Day is a crow hop and a throw away, but the trade and free-agent markets are not rich with starting shortstops. Shy of someone making a surprising last-minute deal, the Dodgers' external options are likely to be end-of-roster types who would not necessarily represent upgrades. 

For example, the Cincinnati Reds are expected to move on from former notable prospect José Barrero, league sources told CBS Sports on Friday. Barrero is without minor-league options, however, and it seems unlikely that the Dodgers (or many other teams) would consider him worthy of a guaranteed spot on their 26-player roster.

Otherwise? The Dodgers can wait and see if any veterans with opt-out clauses – think the Nick Ahmeds and Kevin Newmans of the world – re-enter the free-agent pool over the coming weeks. It's not clear that either would be an improvement over what the Dodgers have in house, suggesting that they're better off staying internal and seeing who is placed on the trading block heading into the summer.

3. What happens to Lux?

So far, we've focused on what happens at the shortstop position if the Dodgers lack confidence in Lux. Let's not overlook how his dynamic on the roster becomes tougher to figure out if he's not the one standing at the six spot most days.

The Dodgers have primarily used Lux in the past as a platoon option at second base and in left field. Those pathways to playing time might not be available to him anymore. 

Indeed, the Dodgers will deploy Mookie Betts as their everyday second baseman, with their corner-outfield spots being manned by a combination of Teoscar Hernández and Jason Heyward. Don't forget that Roberts has to find playing time for veteran utility players Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernández – both being righties, it would stand to reason that they'll see action against lefties in place of Heyward and/or James Outman.

Where that would leave Lux is anyone's guess. According to Roster Resource, he does have two minor-league options remaining. Whether or not the Dodgers would be willing to farm him out is anyone's guess; it would, theoretically, give him a chance to work out the kinks with his throwing without being under a red-hot spotlight. Likewise, it would open up a roster spot if an attractive outside option surfaces.

For now, though, you have to assume that the Dodgers are hoping against hope that Lux can smooth out his issues before the calendar forces them to make a decision on their starting shortstop.