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Dodgers: Mookie Betts to Leadoff, Trea Turner Batting Third, Roberts Explains Lineup Shakeup



The Dodgers’ offense has been one of the best in baseball from a broad perspective. They have the best run differential in the league, they’re fourth in runs per game, fourth in home runs per game, second in walks per game, etc. However, if you look closer, you would see that it has also struggled at times despite the talent available. 

Too many times this year the team has gone on hot streaks, only to then go cold for games afterward. So far during their series in St. Louis, the Dodgers haven’t seen much of that problem. Still, they lost on Wednesday night and dropped to two games back of the San Francisco Giants.

In what may be a way to help create a needed spark, Dave Roberts switched Mookie Betts and Trea Turner in the lineup.

“I just wanted to change it up a bit and give the lineup a different look. I think that they’re both interchangeable. Mookie see’s more pitches. They both have the same ability to get on base. I just wanted to change it up a little bit and see how it looks.”

Mookie will bat leadoff during today’s game while the speedy second baseman will drop down to third. Mookie had been the team’s primary leadoff hitter since his arrival from Boston, but with his absence much of this season, Trea Turner seized the job after being traded to Los Angeles. 

Was the move caused by lack of offensive production?

“I wouldn’t say needed. With where we’re at and how we’ve performed, kind of giving a different look. Again it’s the collective offensive unit that needs to get better. Whether I flip two guys, it’s just up and down the lineup we have to continue to take good at-bats and put some pints on the board.”

Mookie does tend to see a lot of pitches which could help wear down the opposing pitcher, and with Trea’s ability to consistently get on base, it still allows LA to jump out in front early if Mookie or Muncy were to get on. Hopefully, the moves pan out and the Dodgers can make up lost ground.

NEXT: MLB Analyst Feels Cody Bellinger’s Rough Season Due to Swing Tinkering

Written by Adam Salcido

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  1. Once again: no lineup consistency=no consistency in runs/offense.

    Trae and Mookie are interchangeable at leadoff. But, once one of them gets on base, you need Seager in the 2 spot. He’s a doubles machine. So, with their speed, we’re up 1-0.

    Third spot belongs to T Turner. That is where he is most productive. Quit screwing around with this spot. Has anyone else noticed that T Turner’s numbers have dropped off as of late? Well, DUH!

    Muncy is your power, so stays at cleanup. THEN, you start the process all over again; whichever doesn’t bat leadoff bats 5th. Back that up with Smith who is not only a contact power bat, but also an extras hitter. There’s another run.

    Then the other two outfielders in 7 and 8. Back up the speed that Betts and Trae provide with extras hitters, then put power in behind that. As it sits now, Roberts guarantees that if a team can get through our 1-3, they’ll have a much easier 4-9. This is Roberts out-smarting himself once again!

    • That’s exactly right! I’ve been yelling at Roberts through my TV screen for days now. Roberts is not a good manager for this team. The team’s talents get sidetracked by Robert’s interfering and goofy positioning of the batting order. Isn’t anybody, “hey Friedman!” taking notice.

  2. Today’s lineup reminds me of my 1967 Strat o Matic Minnesota Twins team….Tovar, Carew, Oliva and Killebrew got it done,…Bobby Allison was good, and then there were big holes in most of the lineup after that. 1-4 today better get it done, because 5-8 won’t.

  3. Tinkering with the Dodgers top of the line-up is not the problem since the first 4-5 position players are hitting well. It’s the ill-timed rotation of poor-hitting players and high-ERA relievers to accommodate resting some players and relievers. Take the 1-run loss last night; JT who hit 2homers Tuesday was rested and Pujols, Bellinger, Taylor & Smith went hitless; in the bottom of the 8th instead of Treinen, Roberts sent in Shane Greene with a 7.23 ERA who gave up a homer to O’Neill which ended up being the game winner for the Cards. Today, Roberts rested Seager, Taylor and Smith—for Belli, Souza & McKinney who are all hitting under .200. As of this post, the Dodgers tied the game 1-1 at the top of the 3rd, with 2 outs, loaded the bases—but Belli came up and popped out to end the inning. At this rate, Dodgers may never catch up with the Giants and end up playing the risky Wild Card game.

    • Spot on.

      Think about how many ‘given’ outs you get from 6,7,8 and 9 slots per game with these guys in the lineup. Basically you ‘give away’ about 4 innings of the game.

      So far, the above referenced slots are producing just as expected.

      I am at a total loss of ‘strategy’. Plus the fact that Roberts pulled in the infield in the 2nd inning, that speaks volumes.

      • In this Thursday game, it’s outrageous that Belli is hitting 5th—he’s 0-3 in the 6th and is a rally/momentum killer. Where is Beaty?

    • Betts is not hitting well, especially in the third position. He has not shown he can come through a lot in the clutch. He is more effective when he is batting lead off. His skill set is more suited there. And Muncy has fallen off batting in the second position. Muncy’s strength is more suited in the clean up position as a power hitter. Justin Turner has shown himself capable of occupying the third position in the batting order, and Roberts moves him down. It doesn’t make sense. Roberts is looking at the wrong criteria for deciding the batting order, and he’s putting his team at risk of ending up as a wild card instead of division champs. The Dodgers have the personnel, but I’m not sure they have a manager who understands how to use them properly.

    • DR’s motto is if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway. Mookie is not 100% sound due to the hip injury. T. Turner is fast, athletic, physically sound, and and much more suited to getting on base and advancing on the bases right now. This is a bonehead move by DR.

    • Now he’s burned up bickford….His ball has no life to it anylonger. 2-1 St Louis…… Amazing Dodgers are still in this game…..Bellinger just swung at a ball a foot in front of home plate to strike out…0-3, 0 for his last 24………………………….Painful………………………..

  4. Beats writers who cover Dodgers also asleep at the switch Why don’t they press Roberts hard as to why Beaty continues to be demoted when certain hitters on team do even produce competitive at bats let alone hits

    • Lldodger, That’s all we ask…..If anyone hasn’t looked up Beaty’s numbers at OKC….357 Batting Avg— 471 On base —–464 Slugging——– 935 OPS……… Btw, Beaty has the Best numbers at OKC…….. There is absolutely 000000000000000000000000000000000000 reasoning….. Today’s game and many others like it are being lost because of this travesty…. Media==Spineless except Doug Mckain who finally put this up there….

    • You should have heard Plunkett on post game and High Heat yesterday. He’s about the only one who is asking hard questions though.

  5. I officially hate Roberts. He is ruining this team by his stupid decisions. Looks like we won’t make the postseason.

    • I have hated Roberts since he started his buddy Darvish on the mound in game 7 of the 2017 world series.

      Alex Wood had previously shut down the Astros in his only start in the series.

      Darvish had been previously clobbered in his other start, and guess what, he got clobbered again.

      Roberts is a dummy, but I blame Friedman for allowing this to happen.

  6. I do not care what one does for a living. Most of us want consistency in our professional, as well as personal, life. This “shaking up” the lineup is doing absolutely nothing for players and is makes no logical sense. I, too, am very frustrated seeing the lineup chaos that Roberts must believe benefits our team. He seems willing to make changes where changes are not necessary, and he steers clear of the Elephants that aren’t just in the room, they are chillin’ on the table. Can someone explain why Trea was not leading off today? Can someone please explain why Cody (guaranteed pop up or strike out when the bases are loaded) is still in the lineup? Can someone explain why our hottest bats usually sit out when we need them most? Where is the strategy? In regards to the Dodgers, I have always been optimistic but even I am starting to doubt that this season will end well for us. Come on Dodgers!

  7. All I can do right now is SMH, sigh, and wonder just what wonderful lineup surprises await us tomorrow against the Padres.

  8. Unable to ever catch the Giants and they still continue to throw away games. A bullpen game and then today’s game where idiot had four .100 hitters in the lineup. Nobodies baffled that they lost 2 in a row

  9. Well as I post now, game over Dodgers lost with only 1 run on 4 hits. I hope Roberts is satisfied with his ,’shake up of today’s lineup. But I am relieved that this game is over.

  10. Today was the most unexciting game of the yr. and a waste of 3 hrs. of my day. I can’t believe AF approved today’s Roberts idea of “shaking up” the lineup of “Murderers Row” of, CB, SS, BM, AB ! The owners sure can’t be satisfied of paying stars big money to sit and lose important games in the middle of a division race. Questions have to be answered or else things need to be changed. Why aren’t the postgame reporters asking tougher questions like the “Why’s” and “What the” to Roberts instead of generic questions? NFL coaches get grilled much harder postgame and healthy NBA regulars don’t take games off during a must win stretch…..and their bodies take much more abuse physically and mentally on every game. I can’t believe they are throwing away games w/ anemic lineups that cannot @ least barrel the balls. Too many KO’s and pop outs.

  11. Surprise surprise surprise—Bellinger went 0 for 4 and failed to as much advance a single runner. Unbelievable. And what really was awful about this lineup was Roberts blatantly putting Bellinger in the 5th spot. No other manager in the history of MLB can be this irresponsible to his team.

    • Bellinger and Mckinney together are 1 for the last 48, brilliant move by the useless skipper for a team that is not hitting throw in Souza, Barnes and the pitcher and the last 5 in the lineup represent a total waste of at bats.

  12. I wonder if Beaty kicked DR’s dog or something? Maybe DR heard Beaty tell an off colored joke about Asians? Somebody step in and get Beaty out of Docs doghouse for heavens sake!

    • It sucks we have to try and find reasoning as to why Olaf…..If Roberts picks you as a pet then you play No Matter what……If he chooses you as a punching bag then you sit and Rot. How many High School Coaches and Little League coaches have you seen do this? Plenty……………

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