Mookie Betts Aug 28, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) circles the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

When Mookie Betts returns from paternity leave, the Dodgers are inclined to try something they never have before. Betts has never played a major league game at shortstop, but that could change when Los Angeles officially activates him. That was reportedly the expectation for Wednesday’s afternoon game against the Mets, but when the lineup card was released, Luke Williams was listed as the team’s starting shortstop.

Betts, who has played right field and second base for the Dodgers, last played a professional game at the shortstop position over a decade ago. According to Sarah Langs, you’d have to go back to 2012, when Betts started 13 professional games at SS for Low-A Lowell, which has since been dropped as a Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate.

The Dodgers shortstop conundrum started when Gavin Lux tore his ACL in spring training. The Dodgers brought in veteran Miguel Rojas, but he isn’t hitting and just injured his hamstring. At the same time, utility player Chris Taylor is dealing with a side issue. To get Jason Heyward and Miguel Vargas in the lineup, Los Angeles could turn to Betts whenever he is activated from the paternity list.

Betts has reportedly been taking reps at shortstop every day, and while it doesn’t seem like he’ll be the team’s starter at that position moving forward, it indeed points to how thin the Dodgers’ middle infield depth is at the moment. 

The MLB world reacted to the bold plan for Mookie Betts on social media:

[Juan Toribio]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.