Mookie Betts Developing Confidence To Be Starting Dodgers Shortstop

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The Los Angeles Dodgers flipped Mookie Betts to shortstop amidst some issues surrounding Gavin Lux and his defensive play, in a move that could last into the foreseeable future.

Betts was originally tabbed as the Dodgers’ everyday second baseman, but Lux’s throwing miscues forced the hand of the front office. Although Betts has limited experience at shortstop, he broke into Major League Baseball as an infielder with the Boston Red Sox.

Heading into the 2024 season, the 31-year-old has only played 16 games at shortstop, and so Betts has made a concerted effort to prepare himself.

“Morning, during practice and after practice,” Betts said of the ongoing work. “Every day. I’ve got to get ready for it. It’s something I’ve never learned, but I enjoy learning. I enjoy learning and seeing the process, so we’ll see how it goes during the season.”

The uber-talented Dodgers All-Star has won six Gold Glove Awards in right field, highlighting his engrained ability on defense. But more so than sheer talent and athletic prowess, Betts is relying on self confidence in making the shift to shortstop.

“I think the most important thing I’ve learned is I can do it. I can do it,” he said. “I really believe I can do it. I trust I can do it and the coaches believe in me. We’re putting in all the work. Just that positive mindset will take me a long way.”

Last year, Betts took the new look from the infield as a challenge, expanding on another valuable facet to his game.

Finishing second in National League MVP voting, Betts’ offensive production at shortstop would be among the best in baseball.

How long will Mookie Betts be Dodgers shortstop?

When explaining their initial decision to have Betts play second base, the Dodgers touted the move as one aimed to preserve his long-term health. That doesn’t mesh with playing shortstop, and it stands to reason the team may look for a more permanent solution at the position.

One possible option the Dodgers continue to be linked to is a Willy Adames trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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