Dodgers manager Dave Roberts knows exactly what he has in his superstar outfielder Mookie Betts: A spark plug with thunder in his bat, savvy baserunning and elite defense.
The former American League MVP is headed back to the Injury List for the second time since the All-Star break with a nagging hip injury though. This comes at a pivotal time where the Dodgers are trying to make a late push for a 9th straight division crown.
“We’re going to have some more experts chime in to try to figure this thing out,” Roberts said. “We’ll kind of keep digging in on this, and with some rest, hopefully he responds well. So that’s where we’re at.”
While the team is hopeful that the injury is not too severe going into the final stretch of the season, Roberts said there is no definitive answer for when his catalyst at the top of the order will return.
“We are absolutely hopeful that he’ll be back with us,” he said. “I just don’t want to put anybody in a corner on when his time to return is.”
Los Angeles currently sits 4 games behind the first place San Francisco Giants. The Dodger skipper is aware that while a fast recovery for Betts could play a factor in whether or not the team finishes atop the NL West this year, roster depth will pay huge dividends in the long run.
“It makes it a little bit more difficult, certainly, when you take a player like that [away], but we have a lot of talented players. At the end of the day, we’ve just got to focus on ourselves and play good baseball games and it’ll take care of itself.”
Betts is currently slashing .277/.378/.521 with 17 homers and 44 RBI’s in 2021.