Dave Roberts Backs Mookie Betts for Shortstop Success

Dodgers face pivotal decision amid spring training struggles.

by Nouman Rasool
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Dave Roberts Backs Mookie Betts for Shortstop Success
© Rob Carr/Getty Images

The transition of Mookie Betts to shortstop during this spring training has encountered obstacles, yet Dodgers' skipper Dave Roberts remains steadfast in his support of the outfielder's potential success in the new role. Despite Betts' struggles in adapting to shortstop duties thus far in spring training, Roberts expressed confidence in the team's decision to "bet on him." Acknowledging the inherent challenges in the adjustment, Roberts emphasized the ongoing nature of Betts' development, stating, "It’s a work in progress.

We knew what we were getting into. This is a guy that really hasn’t played a whole lot of shortstop, but he’s putting his work in and we’re gonna bet on him." Betts, renowned for his prowess in the outfield, ventured into shortstop territory last season, making 16 appearances at the position.

With Gavin Lux facing defensive challenges at shortstop, the Dodgers are exploring the possibility of Betts assuming the role permanently.

Dodgers' Risky Bet

Despite Betts' remarkable second-place finish in the National League MVP voting last season, the decision to alter his position mere days before the season opener presents a bold and potentially risky move for the Dodgers.While alternatives such as trading for a dependable shortstop or considering Miguel Rojas were available, the Dodgers opted to leverage Betts' versatility, a decision laden with uncertainty and anticipation.

Betts' journey to master the demands of shortstop promises to be a gradual one, with initial struggles to be expected as he acclimates to the intricacies of the position. The timing of the Dodgers' decision, however, raises questions, with the transition occurring deep into spring training.

An earlier adjustment could have afforded Betts more opportunities to refine his skills in the new role. Nevertheless, Betts' track record of adaptability and excellence instills optimism in the Dodgers' camp, as they remain committed to nurturing his potential as a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop.

As the season approaches, all eyes will be on Betts as he navigates this pivotal transition, with the Dodgers' faith in his abilities serving as a testament to their unwavering confidence in his capabilities on the diamond.

Mookie Betts Dodgers
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