The Los Angeles Dodgers have forged ahead without Mookie Betts as he recovers from right hip inflammation caused by a bone spur. The ongoing trouble forced Betts to the 10-day injured list for a second time since the All-Star break.
Betts received a second injection to treat the discomfort and this week started going through exercises in the weight room. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated Betts would begin baseball activities as soon as Thursday, but before the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates he was on the field running sprints.
“He’s feeling good and moving well. I think for Mookie, every day has gotten progressively better,” Roberts said. “As I’ve talked to the training staff, there’s a potential rehab assignment in the near future for two or three days, and then we’ll get him back.
“I know that he won’t be back with us this weekend, so at some point in time next week would be the hope. Again, it’s all contingent on how he’s feeling.”
Roberts estimated Sunday to be the earliest Betts would potentially join a Minor League affiliate for his rehab assignment. The primary focus of which would be to ensure he can withstand the rigors of playing.
“If it were solely at-bats, we could set up a sim game and he could log some at-bats. I think the concern is the up and downs, length of a game, and seeing how his hip will hold up,” Roberts explained.
“That’s more the driver.”
Gonsolin bullpen session
Prior to Betts taking the field for his agility work with a Dodgers trainer, the likes of Danny Duffy, Tony Gonsolin and Clayton Kershaw played catch. Julio Urias also faced Albert Pujols and Gavin Lux in a simulated game.
Meanwhile, Gonsolin is scheduled to get off a mound for a bullpen session on Thursday. “It’s just going to be all fastballs,” Roberts said.
“Talking to our guys a few days ago, they said he was throwing the ball as well as he has in quite some time, so I’m encouraged and excited about the ‘pen.”
Gonsolin has been on the 10-day IL since July 31 because of right shoulder inflammation. He was briefly shut down before beginning to play catch again. He may be short on time to stretch back out as a starting pitcher, but Roberts isn’t prepared to decide one way or the other.
“I see Tony throwing a ‘pen [Thursday] and then a few days after that, then a few days after that facing hitters for a couple innings, and he’ll do it again a few days after that,” he said.
“That’s just kind of me spitballing a little bit, but it’s still some time. We’ll see where we’re at after each marker.”
Kershaw’s throwing program
Kershaw played catch Wednesday for a third straight day but what may be next remains unclear.
“Just in talking to him briefly [Tuesday], I would say it’s holding. I don’t think there was a regression,” Roberts said. “I really don’t know where he’s at. I know he’s still trying to get out there and stretch it out. We’ll know more as he kind of can get it stretched out longer.”
Roberts previously deemed Kershaw making multiple starts in September a “best-case scenario” for the team.
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