Earlier this month, former Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner returned to Dodger Stadium. His return brought tons of new storylines, including the fact that he said the Dodgers never reached out to him in free agency.
One of the more fun storylines that came out of it, though, was Turner talking about new Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts. Well, sometimes shortstop.
Turner was asked about Betts’ semi-transition to short, and said he actually saw it coming.
“I kind of thought that would happen once I saw the Luxy news, which was very unfortunate,” Turner said about Betts playing shortstop for the Dodgers. “I thought that would be a possibility, just because he’s a freak. And he’s played second, so why not move him over and let him play short?”
On Betts’ first career MLB touch at shortstop, he made a dazzling double play. Turner said about that play: “It doesn’t surprise me.”
Turner was also asked if he thinks Betts could play a good shortstop at the MLB level. Good may have been an understatement.
“Oh, just as good as anybody, or just as good as he is at right field,” Turner said. “He’s talented. I always say he plays a different right field the way he cuts off baseballs, every throw is so accurate and on the money and arm strength is obviously there. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he was right up there.”
Betts is a six-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field, so for Turner to say he could play shortstop as well as he plays right field is quite high praise. But so far, it’s hard to argue with Turner.
Betts has looked so comfortable at shortstop thus far this season, making solid play after solid play. Betts playing shortstop isn’t even being talked about anymore, which just shows how smooth the transition has been.
Obviously, Mookie is still going to play a majority of the time in right field. But expect to see him moving over to shortstop every so often, as the Dodgers lineup is better against a right-handed pitcher when Betts is at short and the outfield is loaded with lefties.
And if Turner is right, Dodger fans should be very happy to see Betts at shortstop whenever he’s there.
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