LOS ANGELES -- Mookie Betts, whose wife was expecting the couple's second child, was placed on the paternity list Tuesday but is expected to be back in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the New York Mets.
When he does, he could return as a part-time, fill-in shortstop.
"We'll see," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said with a smirk prior to Tuesday's game. "We'll see."
Chris Taylor suffered an injury to his left side Monday, and Gavin Lux has been lost for the year to a torn ACL, leaving Miguel Rojas, who's slashing .129/.182/.161 through his first 10 games, as the only shortstop on the roster. Taylor went through some agility work Tuesday and has not been placed on the injured list; the lack of a roster spot has prompted the idea of Betts spending some time at shortstop, a position he hasn't played since his minor league season of 2012.
Roberts said Betts nonetheless takes ground balls at the position on a daily basis and has been "clamoring for quite some time" to draw a start there. Roberts doesn't believe there would be any specific health risks involved with temporarily starting Betts at shortstop. Betts came up as a second baseman and has impressed defensively while drawing 15 starts at the position since joining the Dodgers in 2020. Shortstop, of course, is a different animal, but Roberts said Betts "looks extremely natural there."
As for what it might say about how shorthanded the Dodgers are at such a critical position?
"I think that's just a byproduct of what happened yesterday with CT," Roberts said. "I think when you're talking about a third string at any position, there's some things that have to happen that you just kind of have to get through. Hopefully CT's thing is minimal and we don't have that conversation, but I just don't know. But to have Mookie as your third string at anything -- I think teams can be doing a lot worse."