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Dodgers notes: Mookie Betts honored, Jason Heyward’s swing

Mookie Betts was honored by the Brotherhood Crusade in a gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday night for his work on and off the field.

The Pioneer of African American Achievement Award was presented to Betts at the event. Brotherhood Crusade described Betts as “a philanthropist with keen a self-awareness, and the conscience of an activist passionately working for societal change while being a world-class athlete.”

It capped a busy week for Betts, who on Thursday announced that he and his wife Brianna are expecting their second child.


Esteban Rivera at FanGraphs dug into new Dodgers non-roster invitee Jason Heyward’s swing mechanics and hand placement, trying to see if there is anything Los Angeles might be able to unlock to get something like Heyward’s resurgence at the plate in the shortened 2020 season (131 wRC+).

David Laurila’s Sunday notes column at FanGraphs is always full of treasures, and this week includes a few Dodgers-adjacent tidbits. Laurila at the winter meetings talked to former Rays outfielder and current Giants coach Fernando Perez, who expects a bounceback year from Cody Bellinger, now with the Cubs:

“This is a person that had shoulder surgery, and the way that feels… it feels like you have new hardware. Your whole life you play a sport with these levers that you know very well, and then you have a surgery and one of these levers feels like an inch shorter and a bit tighter. It takes a while to learn how to use that lever again. That’s the best way that I would explain it.”

Laurila in his Sunday column also mentioned Aaron Bates getting promoted from assistant hitting coach to co-hitting coach with the Dodgers, and in doing so shared a 2019 interview Bates had with Laurila about hitting.

Jim Alexander at the Orange County Register is concerned with the Dodgers’ lack of activity so far this offseason and at the winter meetings. He asked, whether half-jokingly or not, if it’s time to concede the National League West to the Padres in 2023.