Mookie Betts ‘considerably more comfortable’ at first kickoff in Dodgers lineup
After having his 2022 spring training debut delayed twice due to a stomach issue, Mookie Betts entered the Los Angeles Dodgers roster for five Cactus League games and again in the opening of the Freeway Series exhibition.
Betts was in his usual leading spot, which didn’t necessarily seem like a guarantee after the Dodgers signed Freddie Freeman.
Since joining the Dodgers, Betts has led 176 of 199 starts between the regular season and the playoffs. He struck first 104 times last season, and also struck second once and 12 times in the three hole.
Having previously confirmed that Betts will remain at the top of the Dodgers’ roster, manager Dave Roberts noted that’s simply where the five-time All-Star feels most comfortable, via MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez:
“I think if you look at Trea and Mookie – which I think are interchangeable as far as the first, second and third [spot in order]with Freddy [Freeman] obviously mixed in there – Mookie feels a lot more comfortable in the [leadoff spot].”
While Betts received most of his opportunities as the Dodgers leadoff hitter last season, he was demoted to No. 3 in the roster after the team acquired Trea Turner at the trade deadline.
Turner hit first for the Dodgers over the next month, but after the offense struggled to generate consistency, Roberts replaced him and Betts in the lineup.
Betts is coming off an injury-riddled season where he had lower back issues and a bone spur in his right hip that required cortisone injections and multiple stints on the 10-day injured list. He was limited to 122 games while playing in pain and hit .264/.367/.487 with 23 homers, a 131 wRC+ and 3.9 WAR.
Freeman and Turner follow Betts into Dodgers roster
Along with naming the Dodgers’ lead hitter from Betts, Roberts revealed that Freddie Freeman and Turner will round out the roster’s front three.
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