In recent seasons, when it comes to the Los Angeles Dodgers, fans and media can count on two things… one, the Dodgers are always in contention for the World Series crown (not to mention dominating the NL West) and two… Mookie Betts placing himself in the MVP conversation with his immaculate play. 

 

Our own Justin Petrille recently discussed this in his “What’s Poppin” segment.

 

On the surface, the professional…”next man up” sacrifice that Mookie Betts brings to the Dodgers franchise is admirable. It’s something our MLBbro has done his entire career dating back to his days in Boston when he gave up his position at second base to go to the outfield for Dustin Pedroia. After the Dodgers penciled him in at second base for eleven games over the last two seasons, Betts is now the primary shortstop. However, the circumstances around this move need to be looked at closely… 

 

The Dodgers’ original idea was to have Mookie at second base this season but this chain of events altered those plans…

 

  • The team allowed Trea Turner to leave in the offseason and for financial reasons (also read: get under the luxury tax threshold!) did not replace him with a credible name…


  • The Dodgers wanted to develop Gavin Lux at the position, but struggles and injuries (torn ACL) stopped things and Lux was not ready for the start of the season…


  • The platoon combination of Miguel Rojas and Chris Taylor had a horrible offensive start to the season with a combined hitting slash of .125/.200/.306 over the first three weeks of the season… 


  • Miguel Rojas injured his hamstring and the rest is now current events…

 

Mookie Betts already has the reputation of being one of the best offensive weapons in baseball’s modern era. But his progress at the shortstop position has been a mixed bag at times. 

 

His seven errors as of this writing has Betts tied for fourth among all shortstops…

 

HOWEVER!

 

Our MLBbro ranks second in Defensive Runs Saved in all of baseball. This puts him ahead of last year’s Gold Glove award winners, Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees and Dansby Swanson from the Chicago Cubs.

 

This month, Mookie discussed his up and down season at his new position. Despite most of Dodgers World knowing that he has done well under the circumstances, our MLBbro is not satisfied…

 

“I think it’s been not very good.”…“It’s a work in progress. It’s my first time doing it in a long time. You have to start somewhere and at least with me feeling like I’m on the lower end, there’s nowhere to go but up from here.”

 

“But it’s good. I enjoy it,”…“Sometimes it’s good to get hit in the mouth a lot. But it is what it is. Take it on the chin and keep it moving.” 

 

Even though our MLBbro is putting up a brave front and showing yet another example of being a professional superstar, the Dodgers are on the clock to fix this situation and make a championship run. Betts is playing what is considered to be the most physically-taxing position on the diamond besides catcher — a situation even third base coach Dino Ebel worries about at times.

The trade deadline is in the future so the Dodgers could be looking for options, but for now the team and Mookie are okay with moving him around the middle of the diamond while holding the outfield option. How it affects the superstar’s health for the postseason remains to be seen. 

 

But sometimes offense is a team’s best defense. Through 57 games, Betts is batting .332 with eight homers, 31 RBI, nine stolen bases with a .953 OPS. 

 

 

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