The Dodgers’ upcoming series against the Padres is targeted for the returns of Mookie Betts, Julio Urías, and Joe Kelly at various points in the series at Petco Park in San Diego.
Betts has ramped up his baseball activity the last few days at Dodger Stadium, as he recovers from a bone spur in his right hip that has sidelined him on two injured list stints since the All-Star break. On Sunday, Betts sprinted around the bases, took batting practice, took grounders in the infield, fielded balls in right field, and played long toss.
Betts will play a simulated game on Monday at Dodger Stadium, then another on Tuesday. Dave Roberts said Betts will be off on Wednesday, and the plan is to activate him for Thursday’s series finale against the Padres.
“With a player that’s going through some things, you can tell by their disposition, demeanor,” Roberts said. “He just in such a good place emotionally right now, which speaks to how well his body feels.”
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Through Wednesday, Betts will have missed 28 of the Dodgers’ 36 games since the All-Star break. But in the eight games he has played, including seven starts, Betts is 15 for 31 with four home runs and four doubles, hitting .484/.500/1.000.
Betts will return to the outfield, though might see the occasional game in the infield. Roberts said he was open to the idea, but that “we’ve got the infield covered.”
After two injured list stints, and a cortisone shot last week that relieved much of the pain Betts was experiencing in his hip, the challenge over the next two months will be keeping Betts on the field as much as possible.
“I’ll be very mindful of giving him off days at certain points,” Roberts said. “But he’s in great shape and feels good. I see no reason why he’s not going to finish the season.”
The first day Julio Urías can be activated off the injured list is Tuesday, and that’s a day currently marked as TBA in the Dodgers’ game notes. “It’s trending that way,” Roberts said of Urías starting the series opener in San Diego.
Walker Buehler is slated to start Wednesday against the Padres, and Max Scherzer on Thursday.
Joe Kelly walked two of his three batters faced on Friday for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, and struck out the other. He’s slated to pitch another inning in relief for the Quakes on Sunday night, Roberts said, and will be activated at some point during the Padres series.
Kelly has been on the injured list since August 10, with no injury designation. The Dodgers will need to make a move to create space on the 40-man roster once Kelly is activated, and they might have a pair of potential candidates in Scott Alexander and Garrett Cleavinger. Both are currently on the injured list — Alexander since July 20 with left shoulder inflammation, and Cleavinger since August 8 with a right oblique strain.
Roberts said both Alexander and Cleavinger, currently rehabbing in Arizona, “are a ways away.”
That could make one of them, especially Alexander, a candidate to be transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Javier Báez was activated off the injured list before the series finale, and will start at shortstop and bat third for New York on Sunday.