Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Most Comfortable Knowing ‘Every Day I’m Going To Be In The Lineup’ In Leadoff Spot
Mookie Betts, 2020 Spring Training
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers got their first look at Mookie Betts in the lineup on Sunday, as he started in right field and batted leadoff against the Chicago Cubs. He received a loud ovation from the Camelback Ranch crowd during pregame introductions and went 0-for-2 with an RBI.

“We had the introductions today, and I said expect this kind of deal about 12 more times this year. It’s good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Just seeing him at the top of the order, seeing him in our lineup, it just makes everybody around him better.

“He took some good at-bats, drove in a run, and you felt the energy from the fans too.”

Betts is expected to be in the lineup again Monday, presumably back in right field and penciled atop the order. It’s where Roberts indicated Betts will be for much of the season. And if the 2018 American League MVP has any say, that will be cemented for all of 2020.

“It’s kind of been my whole career, so I don’t foresee hitting somewhere else,” Betts said of batting leadoff. “I like to just hit in one spot the whole time. I don’t like moving around a whole lot. Different routines and those type of things, so I’d rather just hit in one spot.

“But if there’s a need (elsewhere), I’m always ready.”

Betts has appeared in a career 563 games (562 starts) in the leadoff spot, including 102 of 150 games played last season. Regardless of where he bats in the Dodgers’ lineup, there will be pressure to help lead the team to their first World Series since 1988.

“I kind of channel it into working hard and making sure I’m taking care of business,” he said of facing lofty expectations. “Pressure is pressure at this point. I don’t mind it. I have ways to deal with it.”

The soft-spoken All-Star has regularly attempted to downplay his importance to the Dodgers’ success, and he was pleased to get a debut out of the way. “I’m just kind of taking everything in stride,” Betts said.

“Not necessarily anxious. Focusing on one day at a time, just taking it all in while I’m here. When Dodger Stadium comes, I’m sure I’ll be excited and anxious then. Right now I’m just getting my work in.”

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