Why Having Mookie Betts Play Second Base Is Smart In An Emergency

Photo Credit: Los Dodgers

Dodgers fans got to witness Mookie Betts play second base on Thursday, his first time in 2 years. This move may have had fans scratching their heads on this move; however, in the craziness that is 2020, it may make sense.

What many fans may not know or have forgotten is that Mookie Betts was drafted as a second baseman before he became the Red Sox right fielder that everyone has learned to love. While he did look a little shaky in the infield that night, having missed three opportunities to record an out at the position, he was able to convert the next two, which is something that will look more common with more practice. In an article by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dave Roberts was asked about starting Betts at second base in which he stated, “He takes grounders every day in the infield, and he came to me a couple weeks ago, and we were talking about potential scenarios and how we move players around the diamond, and if there ever was an opportunity in the postseason, when things sort of get crazy, he might find himself in the infield.” Given where the Dodgers sit in terms of seeding for the postseason, it makes sense for them to start experimenting with certain players for when they eventually begin the postseason.

His best season stats at second base were in 2013 in the minors, where he played 126 games and had a fielding percentage of .971, which shows that he’s had a ton of experience. He also played the position full time until the 2014 season, where he would eventually shape into the all-star outfielder. Having a player of that caliber wanting to help the team in any way shows he will do anything to help the team win. Dave Roberts has already confirmed that Betts will see more time at the position in the future. However, it will be up to him and Betts when that will be. The more reps that he gets, the better he will eventually be, which while it isn’t a full conversion to that position, it will certainly not be a bad thing to have an extra second baseman.

With more teams entering the playoff picture this season due to the truncated schedule, this means the competition will be even more, which is something the Dodgers seem to be expecting with this position change. Fans (??) could even make the position switch late in the game if need be due to some injury of another player or if the team uses a pinch hitter that doesn’t field second base, should it be necessary. It’s worth knowing that Justin Turner won’t be playing this weekend as his target to return is next week. Injuries such as these are good examples of how vital Betts could be at second base and give other players that can play third a chance at that position. This adds to what already is known about Mookie Betts. He’s a great player and a great teammate.

Jacob Cisneros is a writer for Dodgers-LowDown. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @_JacobCisneros.