Mookie Betts on D&C: ‘I wasn’t really expecting to get a call this year’
|07.01.14 at 10:58 am ET|
Betts has played in two big league games since making his Red Sox debut Sunday night against the Yankees. He has a hit, scored a run and walked in six big league at-bats. He said he hasn’t noticed any major differences compared to the minor leagues so far.
“The only differences, you have better stadiums, better lighting and obviously you have a little better pitching,” Betts said. “But it’s pretty much all the same as far as the game. It’s still 90 feet, still have to throw across the plate. I thought it was going to be this big, huge difference and it’s really not.”
Betts got the call-up after just 23 games with Triple-A Pawtucket. After starting the year in Double-A Portland, Betts said he wasn’t even expecting to make it to the majors this season.
“I didn’t really have a target date. I wasn’t really expecting to get a call this year, so it was a huge surprise for me,” he said. “I didn’t really have a target date. I was more concerned with going to big league camp next year and trying to turn some heads at that point.”
Normally a second baseman, Betts was forced to play the outfield in order to have a spot in the Sox’ lineup with Dustin Pedroia occupying second.
“Center field has also been a place I’ve kind of enjoyed playing,” Betts said. “That or second base, but second base is obviously blocked, so center field is fine.”
Betts and the Red Sox had the misfortune of going up against Jake Arrieta on Monday night. The Cubs starter nearly no-hit the Sox before Stephen Drew got a base hit in the eighth inning.
“He’s hitting spots. There’s not much you can do at that point. I think he was throwing three or four pitches for strikes yesterday,” Betts said of Arrieta. “There’s not much we can do besides wait for him to make mistakes, and he didn’t. Props to him for pitching that well. He’s been great all year.”
Betts was hitting .355 in Portland and .322 in Pawtucket before reaching the majors. But when asked if he has ever slumped in his career, he said, “Absolutely. It’s just a matter of how quickly you get out of the struggles. … Even when I’m going well I always get extra swings in and just try and keep myself consistent. I think that’s kind of how I get out of slumps.”
Betts has taken noticeably large leads when he’s reached base so far, something he said he never realized.
“When I first got to Triple-A they told me my lead was that big,” he said. “I didn’t really realize it. I didn’t think it was that big. They told me I probably have to take a half-step back.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Betts Has Real Chance of Crashing AL MVP Party
- MLB Betting Preview: Red Sox vs. Orioles Odds, Analysis
- David Ortiz Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star's Foot
- Can Benintendi Be Pennant Race Difference-Maker?
- Updates on Red Sox Star Hanley Ramirez's Injury
- Andrew Benintendi Recalled from Double-a
- Fernando Abad to Red Sox
- Return to past hitting mechanics fueling Bobby Dalbec's success
- Cup of Coffee: Marrero and LaMarre lead the way for PawSox
- Weekly Notes: Moncada, Devers, Tavarez nab postseason awards
- Cup of Coffee: Salem walks off, Downs homers
- Cup of Coffee: Groome impresses while Johnson falters
- Cup of Coffee: Dubon collects five hits, Chatham belts two homers
- Cup of Coffee: Dubon comes up clutch, Dalbec stays hot for Lowell
- Scouting Scratch: Mike Shawaryn and Shaun Anderson
- Cup of Coffee: LaMarre powers Pawtucket, Kopech whiffs 10
- After draft slide, Shawaryn regaining peak form in Lowell