After early tinkering with the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup order, the combination of Mookie Betts in the leadoff spot followed by Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith has proven to be wildly successful.
Beyond the quartet’s talent is their ability to essentially play every day. Betts missed time due to a right rib fracture and also has received occasional rest throughout the season.
But Turner was in the Dodgers lineup every game until Sept. 2, and Freeman’s first time sitting came the day after clinching the National League West despite efforts to backtrack on an agreement with manager Dave Roberts.
Of course, there has been another option for Roberts to provide Betts, Turner and Freeman with some rest if he penciled any of them into the lineup as the Dodgers’ designated hitter. However, Roberts recently revealed the three players are against that role, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“Each one of those guys is very adamant they do not want to DH,” Roberts said.
Betts, Freeman and Turner are three of the most important players in the Dodgers lineup, so it isn’t surprising Roberts would adhere to their preferences despite the team having an overarching goal of wanting to keep players fresh for what is expected to be a deep postseason run.
Roberts did sit Betts in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, although he appeared as a pinch-hitter. Turner and Freeman started both games, but the All-Star shortstop was removed from the afternoon matchup after being hit by an errant throw.
Betters, Turner and Freeman take pride being in Dodgers lineup
At various points throughout the season, Betts, Turner and Freeman have each individually expressed not only a desire to start every game but feeling a sense of responsibility to do so.
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