Dave Roberts' comments on Mookie Betts prompt criticism from former Dodgers reporter

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

When the Dodgers moved Mookie Betts to shortstop during spring training, their justification at the time felt like a shrug of the shoulders and a very simple 'Well, he's Mookie Betts. He can do anything.' It wasn't a very sound argument then, as Betts hadn't played shortstop since college and was settling into the transition to second, but the Dodgers stuck to their guns and kept him there because they weren't willing to give up on Gavin Lux (for some reason).

Betts took the challenge in his stride at first, but over 60 games into the season, it seems like it's been getting to him. He had his first off day of the season in late May, the day after a throwing error prompted some self-deprecation and admittance to dissatisfaction with his defensive performance.

With the trade deadline on the near horizon, the Dodgers could look for a replacement, or at least trade Lux for prospects, move Betts back to second, and allow Miguel Rojas and Kiké Hernández to platoon at short, but Dave Roberts' newest comments on the situation don't make it seem like that will happen. He said he believes Betts is "three grades better" now than he was in spring training, which is simply, factually untrue.

On Dodgers Territory, Alanna Rizzo put out a call to the Dodgers to put Betts back in the outfield, where he's won six Gold Gloves, and "admit that [they] made a mistake."

Alanna Rizzo calls out Mookie Betts' performance at shortstop as Dodgers dig their heels in

Betts' defensive numbers at shortstop started low and have remained low throughout the first third of the season. He has a -4 OAA and has made seven errors on the season, already a career high through 60 games, with a 14th percentile fielding run value overall. He's certainly not an 'A' shortstop, probably not even a 'B,' so Roberts' comments on his progress are a little mystifying. Meanwhile, Rojas is still performing at an elite level at short and is swinging the bat better than he has in years.

Sure, Mookie Betts is Mookie Betts and Mookie Betts is awesome, but the Dodgers can't keep coasting on that explanation without any tangible strides in his performance. If they're not exploring shortstop options as the trade deadline gets closer on July 30, they're making a huge mistake. No one would blame them for moving Betts back to second or even the outfield and considering the experiment done, so it's getting harder to understand what, aside from pride, is holding them back.