Mookie Betts was called up on Saturday, but did not see any game action until Sunday night in his first major league start. He played in right and had several balls hit his way throughout the contest at the new Yankee Stadium; one of which he misplayed for an Ichiro Suzuki triple. The prospect finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
The 21-year-old played at second base all of last season in the minors, but was moved to the outfield in order to deepen the depth at that position with Dustin Pedroia signing a long-term deal last season. Betts has done a great job adjusting to the position and has shown he can still hit and, with 164 walks to just 120 strikeouts while hitting over .300, has even shown a great eye throughout his minor league career.
With no timetable for Shane Victorino to return and the Red Sox outfield starting to produce (mainly Daniel Nava and Brock Holt), what should the playing time of Betts be?
Holt has to be in the lineup every day because he is the only hitter who has consistently produced in the lead-off spot. Daniel Nava has struggled against right-handed pitching and should be on the bench against right-handers for the time being. Betts should see a majority of these starts with Jonny Gomes playing well against left-handed pitchers.
With at least four starters throwing from the right side this week, the prospect should be started for a majority of this current home stand.
Going forward, the Red Sox will need to see how he adjusts to playing at the major league level to determine how much playing time he should get. For now I would play him as much as possible to get his feet wet against the tougher competition that the majors provides.