SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Mookie Betts will be the team’s leadoff hitter when the regular season starts, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Thursday morning.
The club was also considering using Trea Turner in that spot.
“I think if you look at Trea and Mookie -- which I think that they're interchangeable as far as first, second and third [spot in order], with Freddie [Freeman] obviously mixed in there -- Mookie feels considerably more comfortable in the [leadoff spot].”
Last season, Betts hit in the leadoff spot 104 times. He also hit second in the order once and in the third spot 12 times. For his career, he’s had 3,338 plate appearances at the top of the lineup over a span of 709 games. As for Turner, he hit first in the batting order in 72 games in 2021 and 449 times in his career.
Betts, who had eight at-bats on the back fields on Thursday, is slated to make his Cactus League debut on Friday against the Padres at Camelback Ranch. He will likely not play on Saturday and then return to action on Sunday against the White Sox, also at Camelback Ranch.
The club is easing Betts back into action, but he is completely healthy.
“With Mookie and some other veteran players, the ‘go’ button happened quick,” Roberts said. “Guys are used to a certain buildup to get to a certain point, and it was abbreviated. So in talking to Mookie and the guys in performance, the main thing is getting at-bats and also the buildup for his body. ... He knows what it takes to get him ready.”
Gonsolin, who was plagued by a right shoulder injury last season, is competing against Andrew Heaney and a host of others for one of the final spots in the rotation behind Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías. David Price is also a candidate for a starting job.
“Last year was an up-and-down season, and I feel so much better this year,” Gonsolin said. “I’m ready to go and get the workload up and continuing building up. I’m continuing my offseason goals of continuing to strengthen and stabilize and all of that good stuff to make sure [my shoulder is] moving good. I think it’s going to be an ongoing thing for the rest of my career.”