Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Will Be More Mindful With Mookie Betts’ Workload

Mookie Betts returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Tuesday night for the first time in a week because of lower back stiffness that specifically caused discomfort when running. He hit a home run and didn’t show any lingering effects of the back trouble.

Prior to the series opener against the Colorado Rockies, the last time Betts played he started in center field because the Dodgers were without Cody Bellinger. Although running is what caused trouble for Betts, manager Dave Roberts does not necessarily plan on staying away from potentially playing him in center field.

However, Roberts will exercise a bit more cautious with overall workload. “I haven’t talked to him yet, but my thought is yeah,” Roberts acknowledged. “What that means, we don’t know yet.

“Even playing two of three this series, to get ready for the weekend, to kind of get his legs back under him, I think makes sense. A start here [Tuesday], [Wednesday], give him a day off and get him back in there. I’ll talk to him though.”

The Dodgers already were taking some precaution with Betts and other regulars to begin the season, particularly with their Opening Series coming in high altitude at Coors Field. Betts and Justin Turner were among those to only play in three of four games against the Colorado Rockies.

Accepting days off more regularly is something Betts has come around on. “Early on I was kind of resistant to taking days off,” he admitted.

“Obviously a lot has changed since I first came up. There’s a lot of data that proves some days off definitely helps more on the backend, so now I’m more accepting to the schedule that Doc lays out.”

Betts unsure of root of back trouble

The past week marked the first time Betts has ever dealt with back trouble in his career. “Honestly, I don’t really know when or how everything happened,” he said. “I was playing and it just was hurting to run. I didn’t do anything in a game that hurt myself.

“It was all just kind of weird how it happened. It is what it is. You just kind of deal with things as they come.”

Betts added the minor injury was mainly a scare and he simply wanted to exercise extreme caution with working to return. Betts will start in center field on Wednesday night.

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