Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Admits Back Injury Hampered Performance

Among the Los Angeles Dodgers swinging the bat much better as of late including Mookie Betts, who is hitting an impressive .275/.383/.525 in 10 games since the start of May.

Betts has dealt with a couple of injuries this season, including back stiffness that sidelined him for four games in April and a sore forearm after being hit by a pitch.

Upon returning to the lineup from his back injury on April 13, Betts batted just .220 with eight extra-base hits and five RBI over a stretch of 20 games.

The 28-year-old downplayed the severity of the injury at the time but recently admitted it likely had a bigger effect on him than he made known, per Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:

Mookie Betts said the back issue that bothered him for much of April “is long gone now,” but the right fielder acknowledged Tuesday that the injury probably hindered him more than he let on.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Betts said after conducting a video question-and-answer session for more than 150 youths from the Catholic Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Los Angeles County in Dodger Stadium. “But that’s not an excuse. Guys have aches and pains all the time. You have to figure out a way to get the job done, no matter what.”

While in the midst of his slump, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts saw that Betts was pressing at the plate. “I think when you’re as talented as he is and you hit at the top of the order, you do feel that sense of, ‘If I get going, I think the offense will follow,’” Roberts recently said of Betts’ struggles.

“Very uncharacteristic, the swings out the strike zone. So for me, that’s trying a little too hard. For me, it’s just let the game come to you. When they throw it in the strike zone, get your A swing off.

“If they don’t, take it, knowing that we have other guys who still need to do their jobs. Mookie’s going to be fine. The line will be where it is. His career line will be where it’s at. It’s just one of those funks that he’s going through, but he still goes out there and competes every single at-bat. That’s why I love the player.”

Betts trying to ‘get on a wave and ride it’

Betts particularly has been on a tear since last weekend’s Freeway Series against the L.A. Angels, recording six hits in his last 19 at-bats with three doubles, a home run and five RBI.

“Things come and go, but I think I’m in a decent spot to go out and compete,” Betts said. “Working hard, trying to get back to a normal feeling. Like I said earlier, it’s just trying to get on a wave and ride it.”

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