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Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Defends Idea of Playing Mookie Betts at Shortstop

We’re not even 20 games into the season and we’re down to the fourth (?), fifth (?) string option at shortstop? Heading into spring training, it was set to be Gavin Lux with a Miguel Rojas backup. Then Gavin tore his ACL and is out for the year. Next, it was Rojas with a Chris Taylor backup, but Miggy has dealt with nagging soft tissue injuries and Taylor might miss the next handful of games with a strain in his left side.

With their backs against the wall, the Dodgers called up infielder Luke Williams from Triple-A on Tuesday afternoon. He’s played a lot of shortstop at AAA Oklahoma City so far this season… but he’s also a career .240 hitter at the big league level.

Williams is an option, but he might not be the next guy to play shortstop this season. That is lining up to be All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s game, manager Dave Roberts said he expected Betts “to be in the infield tomorrow somewhere,” holding back a little smile. He was eventually asked to follow up on that statement. In the infield somewhere? Not second base?

“Yeah, there’s an opportunity… we’ll see… there’s a chance I might slide him over to short. It’s a possibility, we’ll see. … he’s been clamoring for quite some time, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Via SportsNet LA

Roberts pointed out that Mookie works out at shortstop every day and added that he would have played shortstop on Monday night if the Dodgers we able to tie it up in the 9th inning with Taylor out of the game and after pinch hitting for Rojas.

“The guy can play anywhere on a baseball field. I think were some reservations about him playing second base last year and he quickly put those to bed.”

To find the last time Mookie played shortstop as a professional, you’d have to go all the way back to A-Ball in 2012 when he was 19. But his play at second base has looked seamless enough to believe he could at least fill in admirably at shortstop if not be a plus defender at the position.

With the 12:10 PM start, we won’t have to wait long to see if Mookie Betts is starting at short on Wednesday

Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor and manager of, and a host and analyst on DN's Blue Heaven podcast live stream. Since joining Dodgers Nation, Clint has helped grow the site into a top-50 baseball website in the world. He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future. He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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