How Dodgers Platoons Impact Mookie Betts & Gavin Lux

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The top three hitters in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup are locked in for nearly all their games with Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman.

Will Smith will start in the cleanup spot more often than not, but as a catcher, he’s more limited in how often he can play, and Teoscar Hernández should be in the lineup almost every day as well. However, after that, the Dodgers are likely going to mix and match with the rest of their position players.

Jason Heyward is locked into a set platoon in right field, and it appears Chris Taylor is going to draw the starts against lefties while playing in left field as Hernández moves over to right field.

As for Max Muncy, James Outman and Gavin Lux, they are going to rotate getting off days against left-handed pitching, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, primarily with Kiké Hernández and Miguel Rojas getting starts in their place.

Roberts said it’s not a full platoon situation for any of them, but instead a way to keep some of their bench players involved.

When Lux gets a day off, that’s primarily going to involve getting Rojas into the lineup at shortstop with Betts sliding over to second base, but Hernández is also an option to see time up the middle. The Dodgers don’t plan to utilize Rojas at other positions at this time.

“If I do have Mookie play second base on Sunday, then the next left-hander, he’ll be in at short and Gavin or some other guys — maybe Outman and Muncy will play — and Kiké will be over at second, or something like that. But it certainly is not a platoon situation.

“I want Mookie to get as many reps as possible at short, while also keeping Miguel Rojas involved too.”

In the offseason, Betts said he didn’t expect to move off second base, but when Lux struggled at shortstop throughout Spring Training, the team decided to make the switch. Despite sliding to the other side of the infield, he still won’t see much time in the outfield.

“As I’ve learned, there’s things that can’t be set in stone because they seem to always sort of change,” Roberts said. “At that point in time, with what we knew, Gavin was gong to play shortstop. (Now) that’s just not the case, so that it entails is a conversation, openness and understanding, which Mookie has and shown to be flexible.

“So that’s kind of where we’re at right now. There will be times he does kick over to second base to get (Miguel) Rojas in there.”

Dave Roberts praises Mookie Betts as Dodgers shortstop

With Betts making the move to shortstop, he has not seen a dip in his offensive numbers. In fact, he’s having a historic start to his season, and that earned praise from his manager.

“It’s really impressive,” Roberts said. “And I just really respect the way that he went out there publicly and said that playing a different position isn’t going to affect the offensive performance and was never going to use the change of position as an excuse.

“And it showed to be true that he’s off to a tremendous start, seeing the baseball well, and each day getting better on the left side of the diamond. And today, being able to slide him over second base and get Miggy Ro in there, it’s just really positive.”

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