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Second base is an open competition for the Dodgers

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Chris Taylor starts at second base Monday for the Dodgers, after Kiké Hernandez started there Sunday.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight exhibition game, Dodgers rookie Gavin Lux isn’t in the starting lineup. Chris Taylor starts at second base in Monday night’s game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium, after Kiké Hernandez started at second base on Sunday against Arizona.

Lux didn’t start Sunday’s exhibition opener, but did play the final three innings at second base. He struck out in both at-bats.

“I think it’s open. It’s going to be shared time,” manager Dave Roberts said on a conference call Monday. “At second base we have a lot of good options.”

Those options include Hernandez, Taylor, and Lux, in addition to Max Muncy, who started 62 games at the position in 2019. Though Muncy figures to see most of his time at first base this season, the Dodgers versatility allows them to shift the bulk of their roster around the diamond as needed.

As for Lux, it’s not like he was guaranteed to win the starting second base job anyway, even though he is one of the preseason favorites to win National League Rookie of the Year.

Lux reported to camp on July 10, after missing the first week of workouts at Dodger Stadium. The reason for his absence was not disclosed by the team. Lux told reporters in a conference call last week that the reason for his absence was personal information that he didn’t want to share.

“I’m here, ready to go, and just focused on moving forward,” Lux said then. “I’m ready to get playing.”

Roberts said Monday that Lux was working on his swing, and that he’s been getting more at-bats in simulated matchups against Dodgers pitchers. Whether that simulated action continues into the season remains to be seen.

Lux accrued 29 days of major league service time last season. He’d need 143 more days to reach a full year of service time if this were a normal season. In a 60-game season, with service time pro-rated, Lux would need to be optioned for about two weeks to prevent him reaching a year of service time by the end of 2020. The collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of 2021, but under the current rules such a gambit could delay free agency for Lux another year down the road.

But for now, whether Lux is in the majors or at the alternate training site, the Dodgers will have options at second base.

“For us going forward, workload and matchups certainly matter. That’s how I look at it,” Roberts said.