Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Open To Moving Out Of Leadoff Spot

Mookie Betts has been out with a fractured left hand since the middle of June, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup has been a mixed bag over that stretch.

Going 9-6 since Betts went down, they’ve also shown some big time improvements aside from just the record. Shohei Ohtani sliding into the leadoff spot has opened up the offense in some areas, mainly instant offense with his combination of pure power and speed.

Even with Betts being a mainstay in the leadoff role since joining the team, he’s open to sliding down in the lineup if it’ll better serve the club.

“Shohei belongs wherever the hell he wants to go,” Betts said. “Wherever he wants to go, he can be there. Once he decides what he wants to do, I’ll get in where I fit in.”

Seeing as the 31-year-old is still out for a bit longer while he continues his recovery, Betts maintains that he isn’t thinking about his role upon returning.

“Nah, I don’t care. The boys are playing good,” Betts said. “So right now, I belong where I am, somewhere sitting down. So as long as they win, we win, I don’t care when I come back, I can do anything but catch.”

As long as Ohtani continues to play well, it allows the Dodgers to fiddle with the idea of how, or if mixing up the order would be worthwhile. For now, the luxury of a division lead is in their favor.

“I think I’m going to use as much time as possible, because I think you have to appreciate the people that it could affect, as far as when the move is made or isn’t made,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

“Leading up to that happening, there’s no sense in me talking about it to potentially get into the psyche of any player. So my ask is for these guys just to play and help us win tonight. But it is on my mind, but it’s not front of mind, let’s say.”

Mookie Betts or Shohei Ohtani leading off?

Since moving to the leadoff spot, Ohtani is batting .328/.447/.787 in 61 at-bats when penciled in at the top.

That increase in production could be attributed to a number of random factors, or perhaps a change in philosophy from Ohtani. With Betts, his specialty as a hitter has evolved into being both a patient, gap-to-gap bat.

A moniker with the Dodgers’ offense for several years is, as Betts goes, so does the team. But with Betts’ ability to be a hitter for whatever the moment calls for, the lineup will be better off when set against different handed matchups.

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