Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Doesn’t Agree with Roberts’ Assessment of Offensive Splits

Things have been a little unique for Dodgers star Mookie Betts this season.

When Betts made his MLB debut for the Boston Red Sox in 2014, he played second base at the time and he was regarded as a versatile defender. After that debut, Betts found himself patrolling right field at Fenway Park, a position he played exclusively for years both in Boston and since he was traded to LA.

Well, it’s been a return to his roots in 2023 as Betts has played both second base and shortstop this year in addition to his usual right field duties.

Betts has played extremely well when he’s been in the infield both with his glove and bat, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has noticed a spark at the plate when he’s been playing on the dirt.

“I do think that we’re starting to see a good trend or sample,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Mookie likes being on the dirt. It keeps him fresh, it keeps him involved, it keeps him more dynamic, I think, and that certainly could unlock some things. You’ve got to take note and see what’s happening there.”

Via SportsNet LA

The skipper has a point, as Betts is hitting .331 this year in the 34 total games he’s played at an infield spot. That’s in comparison to a .243 mark in the 61 games when he’s been patrolling right field. That also coincides with the recent torrid stretch that Betts is on heading into the All-Star break, as he’s hitting .365 with nine home runs and 19 RBI over his last 15 games.

As for the veteran himself though, he doesn’t agree, as he said this after going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI in LA’s win Friday over the Angels — a game where Betts started at second base before moving to right.

“I won an MVP in right field. So, that’s my argument to that. It doesn’t really matter where I play, the box is the box and defense is defense, they’re two separate things and I keep them that way.”

I can see Betts’ point here as a player would try to separate his offensive output from his defense, but the numbers are starting to bear out that he’s performed better at the plate when he’s in the infield.

Is there a true correlation? That’s hard to say with certainty, but Betts definitely doesn’t believe so.

Do you think that Betts is hitting better because he’s been in the infield? Should this infield experiment turn into more of a full-time job for him?

You can sound off on that in the comments!

Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!

Matt Wagner

Matt Wagner was born and raised in southern California, and he lived there before moving to Colorado and getting his B.A. in Communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2022. He relocated back to southern California in 2023 and is looking forward to covering the Dodgers again here at Dodgers Nation. Some of his past work is in Bleacher Report, Dodgers Tailgate, and, most recently, Colorado Buffaloes Wire. Aside from writing, you can probably catch him petting the nearest dog or eating some good Mexican food.

One Comment

  1. I agree with Robert’s, especially having been used similarly in my Div. 1 College baseball career. I played catcher, second base and right field in my collegiate career, and although I didn’t track my performance splits at each position, I did recognize that my focus was more intense while playing defense behind the plate or on the infield as compared to the outfield. It gives you an opportunity to see how your own pitchers attack certain hitters, that may have a similar approach as you do at the plate. This can give some idea of how you may be pitched when you are at the plate. You also get to see and have to be aware of the other team’s, signals, and offensive plays, and how you and the other infielders position yourselves and counter with your own defensive plays. I truly believes it heightens the players focus, being on the infield, and it carries over when that player goes into the batter’s box. Playing in the outfield, I believe some of the more intricate games within the game are overlooked and minimized by those in the outfield.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button