PHOENIX (AP) — Mookie Betts will be making his first start at second base since 2014 on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 27-year-old Betts, who signed a $365 million, 12-year deal with the Dodgers that starts next year, has been one of the best players in the big leagues this season, batting .307 with 14 homers, 33 RBIs and six stolen bases. Now he’s showing off his defensive versatility after making his previous 37 starts of the season in right field.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says the team’s 32-12 record, which is the best in baseball, allows for some roster experimentation and Betts is excited about the opportunity.
“He takes grounders every day,” Roberts said. “He came to me a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about potential scenarios and how we move players around the diamond. If there ever was an opportunity in the postseason where things get crazy, he might find himself in the infield.”
Betts isn’t a total stranger to the infield, having played second base some in the minors and starting 14 games at the position during his rookie season with the Red Sox. He also played a six-inning stretch at second base in 2018.
Still, the move is mildly surprising considering the Dodgers have plenty of other options at second base, including Kiké Hernández, Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor. Hernández was in the lineup in right field while Taylor was in center on Thursday.
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