Mookie Betts has very quickly become one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball. Last year, Betts hit seven leadoff home runs for the Dodgers. He currently sits tied for No. 12 on the all-time list with 35 leadoff dingers — and he’s tied with a pretty good home run hitter named Barry Bonds.
Earlier in spring training, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts floated the idea of Betts potentially moving down in the lineup (for some reason). However, that idea was quickly put to rest by the manager this week (per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register).
“I think it’s fair to look and see are there different ways to make your lineup more productive,” Roberts said. “But it still goes back to – what’s the other option? Right now, I just don’t see it happening.”
To be fair, Roberts did say one of his other solutions would have been having Gavin Lux up in the leadoff spot against righties, but obviously, with him out for the year, that can’t happen anymore.
If the Dodgers had a really strong lefty bat, I could see the potential of having a different leadoff hitter on some days when a righty is on the mound. However, outside of Freddie Freeman — who belongs in the No. 2 or No. 3 hole — there isn’t really a solid option for that leadoff spot. You could make a case for someone like James Outman, and Jason Heyward has hit out of the leadoff spot a lot this spring, but I don’t see either of those players being anywhere near the top of the lineup come Opening Day.
Betts is going to be the leadoff hitter, and he’ll be there for most of the season. This is one of those things where if it isn’t broke, there’s no need to fix it.
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