Dodgers’ Mookie Betts to Relinquish Second Base Role, What’s Next?

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Los Angeles boasts the most formidable roster in Major League Baseball as the 2024 season approaches, particularly on paper, with prominent figures such as Freddie Freeman, Shohei Ohtani, Will Smith, Teoscar Hernandez, and Mookie Betts, among others.

Dave Roberts places his confidence in Betts’ versatility, initially considering a move from right field to second base for the upcoming season. 

However, Mookie will now need to adjust to yet another position.

Roberts informed MLB.com’s Juan Toribio that Betts will assume the role of starting shortstop “permanently, for the time being,” with the intention of him taking the field for the Dodgers’ Opening Day matchup against the Padres in South Korea on March 20. 

This decision comes after Gavin Lux, originally slated as the starting shortstop, encountered difficulties during Spring Training.

Dodgers’ Bold Move: Mookie Betts Takes on Shortstop Role

Dodgers'-Mookie-Betts-to-Relinquish-Second-Base-Role,-What's-Next?
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 27, 2024: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the field during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch on February 27, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.

One of the most significant implications revolves around Betts transitioning to shortstop. Originally, the team had intended to permanently move him to second base, a substantial change considering his extensive outfield experience throughout his MLB career until last year. This adjustment to shortstop, arguably the most crucial defensive position in the infield, represents a considerable risk, yet it also reflects a strong vote of confidence from Roberts. 

At the very least, it suggests the Dodgers believe Betts will not pose as much of a defensive liability there as Lux might have.

The Dodgers initiated Betts’ transition to the infield last season, during which he started in the infield for 62 out of his 151 appearances. 

While he did make 16 appearances at shortstop, his experience at this position at the MLB level is limited to those instances.

 Betts did have some exposure to shortstop during his minor league career, totaling just 112 innings at the position during A-ball in 2011 and 2012.

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