The Dodgers activated Mookie Betts before Thursday’s series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, after the outfielder spent two games on the paternity list. Evan Phillips, the team’s best reliever, landed on the paternity list in a series of moves.
Utility infielder Yonny Hernández was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and Andre Jackson is back from OKC to rejoin the Dodgers bullpen for now. The Dodgers have made at least one roster move for five straight days.
About 90 minutes before the scheduled start time, manager Dave Roberts told reporters on site at Wrigley Field that Betts was en route to Chicago, and that if he got to the ballpark before the game the outfielder would be activated.
Dave Roberts gives an update on injured players and Mookie Bett’s timetable for return. pic.twitter.com/2qNEdlYL9u— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 20, 2023
Betts was not in the Dodgers original starting lineup, with James Outman leading off and playing right field instead. But that was before the start of Thursday’s game was delayed by rain, an annual Dodgers-Cubs tradition at Wrigley Field.
Whether Betts is added to the Dodgers lineup once this game starts, or if it is even played at all, remains to be seen.
Phillips has a 3.86 ERA in eight relief appearances this season, with two saves, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Phillips’ 28.6-percent strikeout rate is second among all Dodgers pitchers, behind only Phil Bickford (38.7 percent).
Jackson was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, just three days after his disastrous four-homer outing against the Cubs.
“It wasn’t about performance. It really wasn’t with Andre,” Roberts said on Monday. “I really wanted him to get him back in there at one point. But he’ll be back at some point.”
That some point came quicker than perhaps even Roberts envisioned. Jackson pitched once for Oklahoma City, striking out the only batter he faced in relief on Wednesday night in Albuquerque.
Hernández played in the only game for which he was active with the Dodgers, grounding out as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday afternoon against the Mets.