Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts could play at shortstop if he returns to the Los Angeles lineup Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday.
“He looks extremely natural,” Roberts said of Betts in the infield. “The guy can play anywhere on a baseball field. So I think there was some reservations about him playing second base last year and he quickly put those to bed.”
Betts missed Tuesday night’s home game versus the New York Mets due to paternity leave but could return for the final game of the series on Wednesday afternoon.
Betts regularly fields balls in the infield and has been preparing to play shortstop. There has been a concerning lack of depth at the position since Gavin Lux underwent season-ending ACL surgery in Spring Training.
The Dodgers traded for Miguel Rojas late in the offseason, but his measly .129 batting average makes it difficult for Roberts to trust him as the everyday shortstop. Utilityman Chris Taylor suffered a side injury on Monday.
The 2018 American League MVP has played 35 games at second base in his nine-year career. and manned short for a bit in the minors. He played 14 minor league games at shortstop and also played two innings at the position in one game in the Arizona Fall League in 2013.
Betts was a fifth-round draft pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2011. He was originally picked as a second baseman out of John Overton High in Nashville.
This season, Betts is batting .266 with two home runs in 17 games this season. The Dodgers have started the season with a 8-9 record.
Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts. Photo courtsey of AP Photo/Jeff Chiu