Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts has been dealing with a hip pointer for most of this season, and on Tuesday is out of the starting lineup for a third straight day. Manager Dave Roberts said this is the worst Betts’ hip has felt all year.
“It’s been there. We’ve managed it. But sometimes, something triggers it, and it’s inflamed,” Roberts said. “I don’t know what it was in particular, but it’s where we’re at right now.”
Perhaps any one moment can’t be pinpointed, but running in the spacious outfield of Coors Field exacerbated the hip. Betts in the series had seven hits in nine at-bats, including five extra-base hits before leaving Saturday’s game. Batting hasn’t affected or aggravated the hip as much as running.
On Monday, after Betts was originally in the starting lineup but scratched about an hour before the game, he pinch hit in the ninth inning, and struck out. If he is used at all on Tuesday, it will be in a similar role.
|RF||Yazstrzemski (L)||2B||Muncy (L)|
“He wants to be in there. Mookie understands the value of him being in a lineup, obviously with the importance of this series” Roberts said. “But when you can’t go out there and be yourself, run balls down in the outfield, score on a base hit from second base, we don’t want it to be more harm than good.”
Zach McKinstry starts in right field on Tuesday night in place of Betts, and shortstop Chris Taylor bats leadoff for a second straight night.
The Dodgers will try again with Betts on Wednesday, seeing how he feels before deciding whether he starts. In this category, he’s not alone.
Corey Seager played catch and did some light field drills on Tuesday, which was mostly a day off after going through a full range of baseball activities on Monday at Dodger Stadium, including batting. The hope remains that he could be activated on Wednesday, though Roberts wasn’t ready just yet to commit to that.
“I’m leaving it in the training staff’s hands. He wants to be active,” Roberts said of Seager. “I just want the green light on the build up, the hand, the soft tissue, feeling like when he gets out there, we can run him out there six or seven days in a row. The hitting guys telling me mechanically he’s sound, Corey giving me the green light, all that stuff.
“There’s a lot of moving parts. Ultimately, we’re not quite there yet.”
As for Tuesday’s game, Josiah Gray will make his major league debut and pitch the bulk of the innings, though he’s not starting. That falls on left-hander Darien Nuñez as the opener. San Francisco alternated left-handers and right-handers in its lineup such that four of the first seven batters are left-handed, should Nuñez pitch that long.
It’s not a given that Gray will directly follow Nuñez. It could depend on whether they want Gray to start at the beginning of an inning rather than enter in the middle of a frame.