Red Sox could use Mookie Betts at second base in World Series
By Jason Ward
The Red Sox won’t have the luxury of a DH on the road in the World Series, so could we see likely-MVP Mookie Betts play some games at second base?
One of the disadvantages American League teams have when playing in the World Series is they lose the designated hitter position as the away team. This is even more significant when the AL team has an everyday DH like J.D. Martinez often is. The Boston Red Sox pay him a lot of money and he put together an MVP-like season, so they obviously can’t just bench him for two or three games.
Sitting Jackie Bradley Jr. and moving Mookie Betts or Andrew Benintendi over to center field is an option, but JBJ just won ALCS MVP after putting up 9 RBIs against the Houston Astros and his defense in center field is one of the best in the league. So how can Alex Cora keep JBJ out there and still get J.D. in the lineup?
Put Betts at second base.
Mookie came up to the big leagues as a second baseman, he takes grounders there before almost every game, and he played there once this season. That’ll allow J.D. to play right field and keep JBJ’s defense in center. Plus, Mookie’s offense is much better than Ian Kinsler or Brock Holt of course.
Cora has been asked by the media about this idea and has said the Red Sox will consider the move:
I’m not saying the Red Sox should start Mookie at second for all of the games they’re away or keep him there for all 9 innings, however. They could potentially have Betts start at second, then move him to center and bring Kinsler on for defense. Or if the Red Sox are facing a left-handed starter, put JBJ on the bench and keep Mookie in the outfield since Jackie had a .185 AVG against LHPs in the regular season.
The only question is, how good is Mookie Betts’ defense at second base? Well, he certainly has the range and the arm, he definitely has good hands and baseball IQ, plus he has experience there… However, he had a .972 fielding percentage at second in his career in the minors.
Plus one of the best defensive second basemen ever, Dustin Pedroia, doesn’t really think Betts is that good:
Mookie Betts doesn’t have to play at second base at all, but it’s definitely a good option to have in a series where every team has to be at their best and be creative. Plus, I’m sure Mookie would love it.