The Los Angeles Dodgers have been bit by the injury bug through the first month of the season, with the likes of Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux, among others missing time thus far.
Betts was out of the lineup for one week earlier this month due to lower back stiffness. He returned to play in seven games before enduring another injury on a hit by pitch. Fortunately for Betts and the Dodgers, the 95 mph fastball struck him on the inside of his right forearm.
X-rays came back negative, though Betts was experiencing soreness and held out of Tuesday’s series finale against the Seattle Mariners. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he potentially would be available for a pinch-run scenario, but not to play the field or pinch-hit.
Betts didn’t wind up appearing in the 1-0 win, though benefitted from treatment throughout the afternoon and should be in the Dodgers lineup when they begin a four-game set with the San Diego Padres.
“He felt better as the day progressed, so my expectation is that he’ll be in there on Thursday,” Roberts said.
The outcome and prognosis is what Roberts wished for as he came out of the dugout to check on Betts, who was writhing in pain upon being hit. “I was hoping that it would be something soft tissue as opposed to the wrist, the elbow or something like that,” Roberts said.
“I guess best-case scenario, and there was a sigh of exhale once he wanted to stay in there. That’s part of it, the soreness, but I think we dodged a bullet.”
Dodgers roster outlook
Last weekend the Dodgers optioned Matt Beaty but rather than replace him with a position player, recalled Alex Vesia. The left-hander was then optioned the following afternoon as a corresponding move to reinstating Brusdar Graterol from the 10-day injured list.
That still left the Dodgers with 14 pitchers on their active roster, which Roberts anticipates holding true unless Betts’ injury dictates otherwise. “Assuming Mookie is fine on Thursday, I think it will be status quo,” Roberts said.
“Certainly things could change, but I would think we kind of stay the course.”
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