After what has felt like a year of misfortune for the Dodgers in terms of injuries, all of the stars appear to be aligning at an ideal time for the ballclub as it approaches the final stretch of the season.
Having their roster at full strength is becoming much more palpable for the reigning world champions with the return of superstar outfielder Mookie Betts on the horizon.
When asked what his excitement level was to finally have his entire unit together for one of the first times this season, Dodger skipper Dave Roberts jokingly revealed that he will remain modest with his expectations given the bad luck the team has endured all year long.
“My anticipation is tempered because of what we’ve gone through this year,” Roberts said with a light grin. “But all kidding aside, I am (excited). I’m just excited to get Mookie (Betts) back and I’m expecting it to go well.”
There’s no denying that it is, in fact, great news to the Dodgers organization and their fans, especially for a team that has seen seven players shut down for the duration of the season, four currently on the 60-day Injured List and an additional 19 who have landed on the IL in some capacity this year.
Despite the reason to believe the addition of Betts is almost too good to be true, no, this is not a drill.
The Dodgers are going into next week with the former AL MVP back from injury to play with the likes of Max Muncy, Will Smith, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger, along with newer teammate Trea Turner. This is not including the return of left-handed pitcher Julio Urias, who is expected to start the series opener against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
“We haven’t announced, but it’s trending that way,” Roberts said when asked if Urias is on track to start on Tuesday.
What’s even more frightening about this team is the depth that they possess which is a dimension that Roberts credited in Sunday’s press conference.
“We have a lot of good players but a lot of credit goes to the guys that continue to pick each other up,” Roberts said. “We wouldn’t be here without those guys, guys that were non-roster guys or were role players, whatever it might be.
The Blue Crew has won 13 of their last 15 games as a result of the aforementioned depth and versatility but the return of one of their core pieces is exactly what the team needs to replicate the magical run from last year.