Mookie Betts has won five Gold Glove Awards in right field. He’s one of the best players we’ve seen at the position over the last decade. However, that wasn’t his original position when coming up through the minors.
Believe it or not, it was second base. During his minor-league career, Betts played 230 games at the position. On Sunday, Betts started at second base for the third time in his Dodgers career. If you were a new fan watching the game, you’d think it was his natural position in the big leagues.
In the first inning, Betts made an incredible over the shoulder catch.
“I’ve been playing outfield, so getting the ball was nothing new,” Betts told the media following the game. “I told Seager I got it and I just went to catch it. Wasn’t anything I wasn’t used to.”
Betts said he had a lot of fun playing second base on Sunday. He said it was a good way of easing himself back into play after missing two weeks with a hip injury.
Manager Dave Roberts had Betts at second base instead of right field to avoid any potential risk of injury, due to Chase Field being artificial turf. When asked if we could potentially see Betts at second base in the future, Roberts said ‘we’ll see’.
“It’s more of giving us options as far as how we want to deploy him,” he said. “He’s our right fielder. I’m going to have a conversation with Trea Turner when he gets here. We’re going to talk about a lot of parts and pieces we do have.”
It wouldn’t make sense to put arguably the best defensive right fielder in baseball at any other position. However, if Betts is able to play above average defense at second base, it certainly would give Roberts more options to work with as he tries to figure out lineups moving forward.
When fully healthy, the Dodgers will have to find ways to get guys into the lineup. By having Betts comfortable at second base, it potentially opens up more options for the lineup.
Don’t worry, Betts will be right back in right field on Tuesday.
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