Mookie Betts and Trea Turner give the Dodgers multiple starting position players in the All-Star Game for the first time in 42 years, and on Tuesday they will both bat in spots they haven’t hit this season. Betts is hitting second, Turner fifth for the National League, Braves manager Brian Snitker said on Monday at Dodger Stadium.
Betts has batted leadoff in all 72 starts for the Dodgers this season and in 90 percent of his starts since joining Los Angeles. He’s the ninth Dodger to bat second in an All-Star Game, including Max Muncy last season in Colorado. Betts batted second 11 times for the Dodgers in 2020.
Betts is playing centerfield, where he hasn’t played this season, though he did start 25 games there last year. Betts is flanked in the NL All-Star outfield by Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Braves in right and old friend Joc Pederson of the Giants in left.
Turner is the first Dodgers shortstop to start an All-Star Game since Bill Russell in 1980, the last time Dodger Stadium hosted the midsummer classic.
Turner will bat fifth, a spot he’s batted only three times in his career, all in 2018 for the Nationals. Turner is the ninth Dodger to bat fifth in an All-Star Game, and the first since Matt Kemp in 2018. The last infielder to bat fifth, before Turner, was first baseman Steve Garvey, in both 1975 and 1978.
This is the sixth All-Star nod for Betts, and his fourth time starting. His previous three midsummer classic starts came with the Red Sox, batting seventh for the American League in 2016, ninth in 2017, then leadoff in 2018, the season in which he won American League MVP.
2022 All-Star Game starting lineups
|Ronald Acuña Jr.
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Betts is 1-for-7 with a run scored in All-Star play, though he hasn’t batted in a game since 2019. He played the final two innings in right field that year, and in 2021 though he was named to the All-Star team, elected by the players, Betts opted to rest his nagging injuries.
He spent two stints in 2021 on the inured list with a hip pointer in the second half. This year, Betts has been mostly healthy, save for missing 15 games after a freak collision with Cody Bellinger in the outfield that fractured a rib.
This is the second All-Star Game for Turner, and first start. He was 0-for-2 in last year’s All-Star Game, playing the final three innings at shortstop. Seventeen days later, the Nationals traded Turner and Max Scherzer to the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers on the mound, his first career All-Star start. Shane McLanahan starts for the American League, which made for a wonderfully honest press conference assessment from Astros manager Dusty Baker, managing the AL All-Stars.
“To tell you the truth, I’ve never seen him pitch,” Baker said. “But everyone I’ve talked to, they say he’s nasty.”