After postponing an injured list decision on Mookie Betts and his right hip inflammation for the better part of a week, the Dodgers’ bet that he would be ready for the series against the Giants turned out to be a losing hand.
Betts was placed on the 10-day injured list before Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies, eight days after he last started a game. He was in the training room earlier Sunday when manager Dave Roberts met with reporters.
“I think today we’ll make the decision if we’re going to IL him, or continue to kick it down the road,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers initially tried to avoid an injured list stint for Betts, who left the game on July 17 in Denver after his fourth extra-base hit of the game. He’s been dealing with hip irritation all season, but it was exacerbated, Roberts said, by running in the spacious outfield at Coors Field.
Betts was penciled into last Monday’s lineup against the Giants but was a late scratch. He struck out as a pinch hitter that night but hasn’t played since, the inflammation in his hip persisting longer than expected.
The plan was to wait for Betts to heal, and keep him on the active roster so he might be ready for the series against the Giants starting Tuesday in San Francisco, a series he will now miss. Betts’ injured list stint was backdated the maximum three days to Thursday, so the earliest he can return is August 1, next Sunday when the Dodgers are in Phoenix.
“We feel good about standing pat and waiting it out,” Roberts said Friday. “It hasn’t been ideal [playing with a short bench] With Mookie, we didn’t know where we were at a few days ago. Certainly we know where we’re at right now.”
Where the Dodgers are at Sunday is still with a short bench, since to take Betts’ spot on the active roster is pitcher Jimmy Nelson, returning from his own injured list stint after missing 14 games with a left lumbar strain.
While the bench remains limited, the Dodgers bullpen got a huge boost, adding back the best pitcher on the staff all season. Nelson has a 2.00 ERA and 1.79 FIP in 25 games, with 41 strikeouts (a 38.7-percent strikeout rate) and 13 walks in 27 innings. Nelson has allowed one run in his last 14 appearances.