Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is headed for the 10-day injured list on Sunday with a cracked rib, manager Dave Roberts told reporters after Saturday’s game against the Guardians. Betts was scratched from the starting lineup on both Friday and Saturday and did not play in either game.
Dave Roberts said Mookie Betts has a cracked rib. He will go on the injured list. His return is TBD.— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) June 19, 2022
Betts injured his ribs in an outfield collision with Cody Bellinger in the first inning on Wednesday, and continued to feel soreness through the weekend. The Dodgers on Friday said X-rays on Betts’ ribs were negative.
All injuries are different, but Bellinger might at least provide a guidepost for how long Betts might be out. It was Bellinger on the receiving end of an outfield collision last September, with Gavin Lux, in just his fifth professional game in the outfield, running into him. Bellinger actually played three more games after his injury last year before landing on the injured list.
Bellinger missed eight games while sidelined for his 10 days, but his first two games back were played in reserve. His first start off the injured list came 13 days after his previous start.
The Dodgers can backdate Betts’ injured list stint up to three days, so as far back as Thursday should they so choose. That would mean the earliest Betts could be activated is next Sunday, June 26. For now, Betts’ return date is to be determined.
Dave Roberts said the Dodgers will likely recall Zach McKinstry tomorrow with Mookie Betts going on the IL.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 19, 2022
The timing of Betts getting hurt is especially interesting given the timing. Even if the Dodgers recall Zach McKinstry as expected on Sunday, they will still need to call up another position player on Tuesday, after roster limits are reduced from 14 pitchers to 13 pitchers on Monday, which is an off day for the Dodgers.
The only other healthy position players on the 40-man roster are shortstop Jacob Amaya, who homered twice in four games since getting promoted to Triple-A, outfielder James Outman, hitting .292/.396/.538 in Double-A, plus Eddys Leonard and Jorbit Vivas, who are both in High-A.
If the Dodgers want to use the veteran route in calling up someone from Oklahoma City, like they did with Kevin Pillar and Eddy Alvarez already this season, options include Jake Lamb (who homered twice on Saturday), Jason Martin, and Stefen Romero, among others.
It’s going to take a lot to pick up the slack of missing Betts, who even though he wasn’t really hitting in June, is still hitting .273/.349/.535 with 17 home runs and a 148 wRC+ this season. For an offense already missing Edwin Ríos, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, the Dodgers’ depth is getting stretched thin, at a time when they’ve scored just three and a half runs in the last 19 games.
They’ll need more games like Saturday, with everyone up and down the lineup contributing. Now it’s just about figuring out which names those will be.