Mookie Betts, Trea Turner & Freddie Freeman Preferred New Dodgers Lineup Order

Mookie Betts returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Sunday after missing a little more than two weeks with a fractured rib, and with his return brought a new batting order at the top.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts still kept Betts in the leadoff spot but with Trea Turner hitting second, and Freddie Freeman batting third. Freeman had been in the two-hole for each of the Dodgers’ previous 77 games while Turner has spent time hitting both first and third.

“I think the driver was looking at the players individually and how we can put it together,” Roberts explained of the change. “Mookie and Trea, their DNA is to get on base and score runs. When you’ve got Freddie behind them, Will Smith, Muncy and Justin, the DNA to be able to drive runs in.

“I think it sets up and adds a lot of length to our lineup. Obviously with Gavin towards the bottom, bleeding into the top, you essentially have three burners at a point in the game, which I really like as well.”

Although Turner was thriving in the leadoff spot with Betts out, the Dodgers’ superstar right fielder has long held the preference to hit first in the lineup. Roberts had conversations with all three players to make sure they were comfortable with the changes.

“I just think they’ve all earned that right to be a part of the conversation, and they feel great about it,” Roberts said. “To be quite honest, that’s kind of what their preference was. So for me to hear them and understand their thoughts behind it, it made sense.”

It is expected the Dodgers will move forward with this lineup for the foreseeable future, according to Roberts, but he also said he would be open to pivoting back to Turner batting third and Freeman batting second if he feels the need for change.

Part of the reason for the change was to try to create more offense with Max Muncy and Justin Turner struggling throughout the season. Will Smith has since moved up in the order and has consistently batted third or cleanup in recent days.

Because of the struggles at multiple spots of the lineup, Roberts was also considering some changes even before the injury to Betts forced him to reconsider the order.

“I think a little bit, but a lot of it has to do with performance,” Roberts said. “Guys in the middle just haven’t performed the way they’re going to for the rest of the season. So I just felt that seeing how it looks with those two guys at the top of the order could be fun.”

Trea Turner explains Austin Barnes ‘captain’ shirts

During their last homestand, several Dodgers players took to wearing a blue Austin Barnes shirsey that featured a ‘C’ on the front. Rumblings in the clubhouse suggested Trea Turner was the mastermind behind the latest t-shirt design to reach the team.

Barnes then confirmed as much during an interview with from the sixth annual Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala.

“Trea Turner is my captain,” he responded when asked about the Barnes t-shirts. “So he’ll answer those questions.”

During an interview this week with David Vassegh on AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio, Turner explained the Austin Barnes ‘captain’ t-shirt design was in response to his early-season production and served as good-natured ribbing.

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