Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Insider Sounds Off on Mookie Betts Amid Season-Long Struggles

It’s no secret that Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts is struggling. The LA leadoff man hasn’t found his footing yet in the 2021 season. Through play on Sunday, Betts is slashing .258/.372/.438 and has the second-highest strikeout rate of his career (15.2%). 

As the season enters its third month, more questions seem to be following the outfielder. And now, more criticism. 

Dodgers reporter and “Dodger Talk” host David Vassegh believes Betts is a big reason for the team’s recent offensive inconsistencies. In fact, the real DV didn’t pull any punches after the Dodgers 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

“This offense is never going to reach its potential until Mookie Betts starts playing like Mookie Betts. In this series against the Braves, he’s just 2 for 12. 2 for 12 from your leadoff hitter and supposedly one of the best players in the game today. He has not played like that at all, all season long.”

Why Mookie Betts is Struggling This Season, How He Can Break Out, Is it Time to Worry?

Betts Injuries Shouldn’t Be An Excuse

It’s no secret that Mookie has battled back and shoulder injuries in 2021. Not to mention, he was hit by a 95 MPH fastball on his right forearm against the Mariners on April 19th. Although the x-rays came back negative, he hit .167 in the next series.

Vassegh provided a very strong opinion about allowing the injuries to be the excuse for the outfielder’s subpar performance.

“I’m sorry, I know everyone wants to say, ‘oh, he might not be himself because of the back or the shoulder’. It’s been going on for too long now. It’s June sixth right now. If you’re hurt, go on the injured list because sometimes if you’re hurt, you’re hurting the team more by being out on the field. That for me, is not an excuse anymore that holds water.”

Final Thoughts

Injuries or not, Betts has still been a force on defense in right field. If he and the Dodgers decide a trip to the injured list is merited, the Dodgers would lose the fifth-best right fielder by defensive runs saved (DRS) this season (3).

Betts made himself an MVP by putting in the work, each, and very single day.

This is a long season, and luckily for the Dodgers and Vassegh, the best is yet to come for Mookie Betts.

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Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.


  1. Vassegh is 100% correct. Without Seager (and largely Bellinger), it’s important that Betts, Turner, and Muncy produce. Muncy has, Turner mostly, but Betts very little. Thank the stars for Taylor who’s carried his load and much more.
    Fans get on Lux and the replacement players but somehow Betts has avoided the wrath. He’s a top player and needs to produce like one.

    1. Same could be said of Kershaw, Urias, the host of rookie infielders\outfielders combo, the bull pen etc. etc. etc.
      Need I say anymore Mr. Vassegh!!!!!

    2. Bum4ever, I concur here. But bottom line is that Dodgers as a whole are NOT as good as last year’s team. And having 1 less hitter in the lineup and seeing the pitchers bat is one big reason. Also, the injuries have hurt this team this year as well.

  2. Same situation with the Yanks Dodgers. Both lead off hitters are stinking up the place!

  3. If he’s injured take the 10 day IL. Rest that injury, rehab it, and get a reboot for the long haul ahead. With that contract and expectations, I think he’s trying to play through it knowing the team needs him, but he has to suck in his pride because there’s more negativity been voiced. If it’s his back or shoulder, that CAN be concerning to the overall type of game he plays. His swing looks different…missing strikes which he once had the highest hard contact rate; his run speed seems to have slowed down…caught stealing and less closing speed on fly balls. He should be concentrating on more intense focus instead of fraternizing so much w/ the opponents. If he’s just hurt make the adjustments, everybody is playing hurt; but if he’s injured take the IL and rehab.

  4. I absolutely hated to lose Verdugo. Said even when Belli was mashing a couple of years ago Dugie was the best hitter on the team. In addition, an infectious attitude the Dodgers are missing now since Keke and Joc got gone. Verdugo will hit .290-.310 for the next ten years. Assuming Mookie will wake up, but would still love to have Alex back. Friedman should have figured out another way to complete that trade. Boston was desperate to get something in exchange before they wound up with nothing

  5. I’m glad the Sox didn’t sign Betts to that ridiculous contract and hand cuff themselves for years to come.
    Verdugo is actually playing better than Betts this year offensely.
    I was always saying when Betts was in Boston that he’s no where worth Trout type money. Guys that are Betts size don’t age well and once his bat speed slows down they’re a different player altogether.

  6. That strikeout rate of 15.7 percent to Betts is a little high but I have not reviewed all of baseball yet. I will see for myself Remember I have seen Mookie Betts get hit at least 5 time and this is the reason for sure why he is striking out. Call it bat shy, protective swings whatever. He is still hitting the ball real good.

  7. Be patient. I believe that Mookie will do whatever it takes to get out of this rut, he is, after all, relentless, and once he figures it out, his performance will be exceptional. — I do agree that what is missing is the kind of clubhouse élan Kiké, Alex, and Joc brought. Where will that come from? No idea. (Pujols is a cool start.)

    Also, I think we should be happy for that triad of former Dodgers who are all making their way as more-or-less full-time players on other contenders, and imagine their deepening dissatisfaction if they were still on the team.

    — An observation from a sleep-deprived fan in Berlin who almost never misses a game…

    1. Betts is just like the rest of team—needs eye exam. None appears to be able to lay any wood on the ball.

  8. This kind of stretch isn’t really that unusual for Betts. As he gets older this will probably be even more common. He is basically a .290 hitter with .365 OBP, but this includes his monster years. He has always been inconsistent, he is nowhere close to Mike Trout. Betts’ max homer years will be about 30, but 20 wouldn’t be unusual. At his size, don’t know if 30 will happen much in his 30s. Speed already seems to be declining. He wanted a massive contract and the Sox were smart to move away. It was always a calculated move. No one expected Betts to stay in Boston because of his contract demands. The most worrisome thing now though would be how he will respond without a contract to play for. He always seemed most excited thinking about getting a huge deal. Now he has his last contract, does he feel he has anything to play for? That would be a nightmare scenario. Carl Crawford 2.0.

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