When the Los Angeles Dodgers placed Mookie Betts on the 10-day injured list June 19, there was initial optimism he would return from the fractured rib in two weeks.
That was the case with Cody Bellinger last season when he suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left ribs after colliding with Gavin Lux. “It’s in a different area, so we’ll see if that changes anything,” Betts said when comparing his fracture to Bellinger’s.
“But hopefully it’s two weeks or whatever. I’ll take the next couple of days of not really doing anything and let at least start the healing process and then just kind of go as tolerated.”
Betts’ recovery wound up progressing slower than anticipated and it wasn’t until recently that he began taking dry swings. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts nevertheless anticipates Betts returning before the All-Star Game, although as a designated hitter due to discomfort when throwing, via Owen Perkins of MLB.com:
Throwing remains a problem, according to Roberts, who added that he is “very optimistic” that Betts will be back before the All-Star break.
“I’m pretty certain that when he does join us again, it’s going to be by way of DH,” Roberts said.
While Trea Turner has made a seamless transition to leadoff spot of the Dodgers lineup during Betts’ absence, finding a replacement in right field has proven to be more challenging. Eddy Alvarez was given the first opportunity and struggled to fight off the sun at Dodger Stadium.
That played a part in the Dodgers seeking an outfielder from outside the organization and trading for Trayce Thompson. The reunion has produced some memorable moments, though Thompson has yet to replicate some of the early success from his first stint with the Dodgers.
Mookie Betts on track to start All-Star Game
Phase 1 for 2022 MLB All-Star Game voting concludes Thursday, and Betts and Turner are on track to advance. And in Betts’ case, he conceivably could become an automatic starter for the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium by way of being the leading vote-getter in the National League.
Of course, whether he participates in the 92nd Midsummer Classic could still be in question even if coming off the IL prior to the exhibition event.
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