Freddie Freeman Comfortable With Any Dodgers Lineup Order

The Los Angeles Dodgers are off to a hot start as a team in the early stages of Spring Training, seeing both their offense and pitching having solid success.

For three Cactus League games thus far, the Dodgers lineup has featured a top three of Mookie Betts as the leadoff hitter, followed by Shohei Ohtani batting second and Freddie Freeman in the three-hole. There was speculation with how the trio would shake out, without much of a wrong answer given their superstar skillsets.

Freeman discussed how dropping to the three spot won’t be a negative on his approach, citing the depth in the Dodgers lineup.

“I’ve hit both, so it doesn’t really bother me where I hit,” Freeman said. “I think you can ask all of us, one through three, four, five, it doesn’t matter. It’s just trying to get the best out of everyone else in the lineup and where we’re at.

“I think collectively, we have nine guys that could hit one, two or three on our team. But I think we’re kind of set on something right now, so we’ll see how it goes.”

In Freeman’s career, he’s logged 4,318 at-bats from the third spot, totaling a .906 on-base plus slugging percentage with 202 home runs, 701 RBI and 598 walks.

Ohtani’s run producing ability makes him an obvious choice to be sandwiched between Betts and Freeman, who remain elite hitters with terrific strike zone awareness.

Freeman’s unique blend of power and bat-to-ball skills will lengthen the Dodgers lineup, while creating more opportunity for whomever Roberts’ puts in the four hole.

Freddie Freeman was part of Dodgers lineup conversations

Roberts having to solidify the top three in the lineup could have been a difficult position to navigate but Freeman, Betts and Ohtani made his decision seamless.

“I think it’s easy in the sense of all the players have bought in,” Roberts explained. “Understanding that what’s best for the team, and everyone is going to get their chance to produce and help us win baseball games. With those players, certainly easy conversations to have.”

The front office being analytically driven provides Roberts with as much data as needed to make informed decisions, to which he looks at multiple factors.

“I don’t go too much into the data,” Roberts said. “I think you’re looking at lineup construction and how best to put them in a position to thrive, and protection has something to do it, and a little bit of the handedness; maybe not in those players’ cases.

“That’s all part of the math. Obviously, you hit higher, you get more at-bats. But how much of it makes a difference as far as lineup position? That’s always up for debate. But again, they’re all in for whatever I feel best.”

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