Dodgers’ infield switch with Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux already looks like a disaster

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers
Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Here's one way to rationalize the Dodgers moving Mookie Betts to shortstop this weekend, despite hyping up his move to second base after spending the vast majority of his career in the outfield: Betts is a consummate athlete and teammate. He's consistently named one of the top five players in the game and is willing to do seemingly anything to see his team win a World Series again.

Betts so often excels at what he does — or, at the very least, always gives 110% toward the effort to excel — that moving him could've been based entirely on the fact that he's just a complete baseball player, perhaps more so than any other Dodger.

Okay, sure. But these things can be true, but can still fail to add up to a fantastic rationale, especially when veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas could've stepped in. If he'd been tapped, the Dodgers wouldn't have to worry about the hole between second and third, and could've tasked the rest of the lineup with picking him up.

But on Saturday, we got Betts at shortstop and Gavin Lux at second, after Lux proved that he wasn't ready to play short and the Dodgers' faith in him as their Opening Day guy diminished. Betts has only played 16 games at shortstop in his career (all last year), but he is him, so it should be fine, right?

Maybe not. In two starts as a shortstop this weekend since Dave Roberts announced a switch would be "permanent, for now," Betts has two errors to show for them. In his return to second, Lux is still bouncing easy throws to first base. Yikes.

Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux's position switch is not going to the Dodgers' plan

In Saturday's game, Betts was charged with fielding interference, which moved a runner to second after a single; on Sunday, another error moved up a runner who would eventually score. Lux, meanwhile, has been charged with having the yips after an especially awful throw to Freddie Freeman in a game against the Reds on Friday. The ball was bounced on the throw, even though he was already halfway between second and first. He went on to make a nice diving play against the Diamondbacks this weekend, but then quickly followed it up with yet another weak throw to Freeman.

The Dodgers' insistence on shifting to accommodate Lux is baffling (subscription required), especially when they're shifting one of their star players for the benefit of one who missed the entirety of last season. LA wants Lux to be good so desperately and are banking on the fact that Betts is already good in general, but neither spell more of a guarantee of success for the team.

The Dodgers pitching staff took hit after hit this weekend; it would be nice if all was right with the defense, at least. However, if this is the hill the Dodgers are willing to die on, we have every reason to worry about it.