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Dodgers news: Gavin Lux, Walker Buehler, Max Muncy

How are the Dodgers looking ahead of spring training, and what’s the real impact of having Clayton Kershaw back?

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s the day: Spring training is officially here. So are a few questions for the Dodgers, as outlined by Bill Plunkett at the OC Register.

First, is Gavin Lux ready to finally take over at shortstop? Lux confidently said that he’d be ready to start the season in South Korea, and given that there haven’t been any indications to the contrary, it’s likely safe to say that we’ll see a lot of Lux at short this year after all.

We’ve also been keeping our eyes on Walker Buehler’s and Shohei Ohtani’s injuries. Buehler has been throwing bullpen sessions at Dodger Stadium, but it’s unclear when he’ll actually return to the rotation. As for Ohtani, we know he’s not going to pitch for another year. But what about hitting? Ohtani has been batting off a tee or soft tosses so far, but he’s expecting to be in the Dodgers’ opening series lineup at DH.

Now on to the fun stuff: What will the top of the lineup look like? With Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Shohei Ohtani in the 1-2-3 spots, manager Dave Roberts has plenty of options. The likely configuration will be Betts-Freeman-Ohtani, Roberts said at DodgersFest.

And finally, what’s going on with the bullpen? The Dodgers already have a strong collection of relievers, but Blake Treinen, Daniel Hudson, and J.P. Feyereisen will all be at spring training, too, indicating a possible return from their injuries.

Dodgers Links

Max Muncy appeared on the Foul Territory show to talk about the huge impact Clayton Kershaw has both on the field and in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. “When you have a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer that’s setting that example, that’s always spoken volumes to me,” he said.

Japanese outlet Nikkan Sports reported that both Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani began their spring training early this year. The pair reported to Camelback Ranch shortly after DodgersFest for some individual training before the rest of the team arrives.

Zachary D. Rymer at Bleacher Report takes a hard look at the 2024 Dodgers, making some bold predictions on just how far the team will go in a season that Mookie Betts has characterized as “World Series or nothing.”