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.”
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.