Dave Roberts Outlines Plan For Trea Turner, Max Muncy & Mookie Betts In Dodgers Lineup
Max Muncy
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup consists of five 2021 All-Stars, two former MVPs, the reigning World Series MVP, plus Will Smith and AJ Pollock, with only eight spots for the nine players, so manager Dave Roberts will have a lot of tough decisions to make each day.

Although most of the players are interchangeable in the lineup, Roberts said he expects Trea Turner to remain in the leadoff spot, with Max Muncy behind him and Mookie Betts in the three-hole for most games in order to keep some consistency.

“I think there’s really no way to put it together that doesn’t look right. I think for me, both guys felt being in a certain part of the order with consistency was important to them,” Roberts explained.

“Trea’s hit a lot at the top of the order, and to be able to utilize his speed at the top to create havoc on the bases, stress, I feel really good about that. To supplant Muncy in the two behind him, get on base, drive runs in, I feel really good about that.

“And then Mookie in there, versus right or left, in the three, to get on base and drive runs in, I feel good. That was kind of the impetus. For the most part that’s where you’ll see those three guys.”

The order of the top three does push Justin Turner down to the four or five spot, despite him being a mainstay in the first third of the Dodgers’ lineup.

“It’s the middle of the order, and Justin can hit anywhere. He’s shown that,” Roberts noted. “Whether he’s in the four or five, he’s going to get on base and drive runs in. I think with all of our guys, nothing with how they take at-bats should change.”

Although a lot of players who would hit in the top four on most teams will be hitting in the bottom four spots for the Dodgers, players have been understanding and accepting of their roles.

“It’s a very talented lineup. Like I said, it’s splitting hairs. Justin could be in the two, three, four. And all of those guys are certainly interchangeable, which speaks to their talent,” Roberts said.

“You can throw Corey in there as well, and Pollock and Taylor, Will Smith. It really doesn’t matter. They can all do it, so for us, someone’s got to hit somewhere, and it just poses the most problems for opposing teams when you’re looking at the right and left, and also the length and talent in the lineup.”

While it might become a challenge to manage the players and get them all the playing time they deserved, Roberts reiterated it’s a welcomed challenge.

“I think it just speaks to the talent and also it’s stressful one through eight,” he said. “It really is. Each guy is going to have multiple opportunities to impact the game throughout the night.”

Trea Turner just trying to fit in

While Trea Turner is one of the best shortstops in baseball, he is going to play second base for the Dodgers on most nights, which doesn’t appear to be any sort of issue.

“I think it’s going to be mostly second, and that’s good. I just like playing every day,” Turner said. “I like competing and just want to learn my role, learn my job, and contribute as much as I can and like I said, just fit in.”

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