Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Made Change To Improve Mental Health

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Mookie Betts was among the Los Angeles Dodgers who got off to a slow start this season, but he has turned it around in recent weeks. The 2018 American League MVP enters play Monday with an 11-game on-base streak and has homered in back-to-back contests.

Since the start of May, Betts is batting .313/.371/.663 with 14 extra-base hits and 18 RBI in 19 games. For the season, he is hitting .273/.362/.526 with an MLB-best 40 runs scored despite a struggle-filled April.

Betts credited his offensive turnaround to placing more of an emphasis on his mental health, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I think just the mental side of it has been the biggest difference. Just being more positive,” Betts said. “Looking for the next opportunity instead of dwelling on the last one. And just trying to enjoy each and every day. That’s pretty much it.”

“I listen to books, mental books and all those type of things,” he said. “I know it sounds kind of corny, but it actually really does work. Instead of listening to music, I listen to books and those type of things and I never would’ve thought I would say that. But here we are. Just mental health books. Not anything to make you ready to run through a wall. But just perspective. Putting things into perspective. It helps a lot.”

Coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season, a now-healthy Betts appears to be having more fun this season, and it has reflected on his recent production at the plate.

The 29-year-old has especially enjoyed batting in front of Freddie Freeman in the Dodgers lineup. “It’s just fun having Freddie around in general,” Betts said of playing with Freeman.

“He’s a professional, goes about his day professionally obviously, and just having him behind me is huge. “I want to score a lot of runs, and if I was going to have somebody behind me to help me score runs, it would be him.”

Betts recovered from stinger in left shoulder

The Dodgers have dealt with a rash of injuries of late, and in Saturday’s matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies, it looked as if Betts would join the growing list.

Betts hit a two-run double in the fifth inning and slipped as he began to round second base. His left arm appeared to absorb must of the impact with the ground, and Betts immediately hunched over in pain.

Betts remained in the game and believes the shoulder pain was caused by a stinger before quickly dissipating. He certainly didn’t appear to show any lingering effects as he pulled a single into left field his next time up at the plate.

Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, Betts caught a sinking line drive and threw a strike to home plate for key a double play.

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