Dodgers: Dave Roberts Talks Mookie Betts Struggles at the Plate

In a season of many struggles early, it’s perhaps more pronounced when you’re the table setter for a team. And for Mookie Betts and the Dodgers, there have been a lot of struggles. One season after helping lead the team to a World Series title with an explosive bat and incredible defense, the 2021 version of Mookie has gone through his fair share of rough patches.

As has the whole team, but this article is about Mookie…

So what’s Dave Roberts seeing out of his leadoff man? A bit of indecision.

I just think that right now, Mookie is in between. He’s taking more balls in the strike zone than he normally does and he’s chasing more than he does. Anytime a guy does that, you can tell that they might be thinking a little bit too much in between.

The easy thing to point at is that back issue suffered in the first week of the season. He opened the season with 8 hits in 23 at-bats (.347) with a home run and a pair of double. Then he missed a few games with what was called lower back stiffness. In 20 games since, he’s hit just .220 and has looked a little lost at the plate at times. Or in between, as Dave Roberts called it.

For me, it’s just ‘Let the game come to you.’ When they throw it in the strike zone, get your A swing off. If they don’t, take it, knowing that we have other guys who still need to do their jobs.

Doc capped it off in vintage Doc fashion with a positive outlook for his All-Star leadoff man.

Mookie’s going to be fine. It’s just one of those funks that he’s in. But he still goes out there and competes every single at-bat. That’s why I love the player.

Mookie and the Dodgers visit the Anaheim Angels in Orange County for 3 games starting tonight. Julio Urias (4-0, 2.87) faces Griffin Canning (2-2, 6.20) at Angel Stadium with first pitch set for 6:38 PM PT.

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Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.


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  1. The lineip as always been so good at going deep into counts, not chasing bad pitches, waiting for a good pitch to hit running up the pitch count and then beating the bullpen. Now they seem to be swinging at bubbles!

  2. Roberts has been a disappointment. His choices out of the pen and his forcing automatic outs into the lineup have hurt the team. What is the reason to have White and Cleavenger used in high leverage situations after Vesia blows leads as he’s in over his head. Where is the quality in this pen? If the starters can’t go more than 90 pitches, is Treinen the only reliable option? Earn your money Roberts and stop being a psychological guru with guys that are lost. We have the highest payroll in baseball.

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