The Dodgers are taking a risk with Mookie Betts that the Red Sox never wanted to take.
They’re giving him a chance to play some second base.
The former American League MVP started at second base on Thursday night for the first time since 2014.
“He came to me a couple weeks ago,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters in Los Angeles, “and we were just talking about potential scenarios and how we move players around the diamond and if there ever was an opportunity in the postseason where things get crazy that he might find himself in the infield.
“For me, nothing is off the table, especially when a player like Mookie is open to it.”
On several occasions the Red Sox explored using Betts at second base, the position he played often in the minors, but were too nervous about the injury risk. With players sliding into second to break up double plays, the chance of collision was high enough to keep both former Sox managers John Farrell and Alex Cora from giving Betts a start in the infield.
He was also a tremendous outfielder, both in center and in right, which made the decision quite easy.
But the Dodgers are loaded in the outfield and are willing to take the risk. They started Kike Hernandez in right field on Thursday, letting Chris Taylor play center and A.J. Pollock handle left.
When the postseason begins in a few weeks, it’ll be interesting to see if Betts is still playing second or if the team puts him back in right, where he’s won four consecutive Gold Glove Awards.