Dave Roberts Hopeful Mookie Betts Returns To Dodgers Lineup For Rockies Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers have played the past four games without Mookie Betts in the lineup, but manager Dave Roberts remains optimistic for a return during the series against the Colorado Rockies.

There initially was some hope Betts would be available for the series finale against the Washington Nationals, but Roberts effectively ruled that out when he said Edwin Rios would start . “I haven’t got anything more than I knew [Saturday] night,” he said.

“Training staff is encouraging him to keep active, keep swinging the bat. I expect him to run, play catch, and with the off day, get treatment and see where we’re at Tuesday. So right now I just don’t have any answers.”

Betts has been sidelined with lower back stiffness since last Wednesday. “I think it’s certainly isolated, so I’m not trying to read too much into it,” answered Roberts when asked if Betts has dealt with back trouble in the past.

“I think with where we’re at on the calendar, just making sure he’s as close to 100% as he can before he takes the field.”

Roberts added Betts has not received any sort of injection as part of his treatment and the team doesn’t expect him to require a stint on the 10-day injured list. Should they reverse course, the IL date could be retroactive for up to three days so long as Betts doesn’t first appear in a game.

McKinstry capitalizing with Betts out

With Betts and Cody Bellinger both unavailable, it’s created more opportunities for the likes of Zach McKinstry and Chris Taylor.

“You never want to see a couple of your star players miss time, but it does give guys a runway,” Roberts acknowledged. “Zach earned his way on our roster, so for him to get a little bit of a runway and perform is certainly a good thing for all of us.”

McKinstry had a particularly impressive close to the Nationals series, going a combined 3-for-6 with one double, one home run and five RBI over the final two games. He drove in all three of the Dodgers’ runs to help them complete a sweep Sunday.

McKinstry has credited Betts for remaining engaged with teammates and providing him with advice on playing right field.

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