Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Determined To ‘Always’ Contribute
Mookie Betts
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been snakebit by injuries this season, particularly to key contributors. That applied to Mookie Betts throughout the week as he missed time because of a sore middle finger on his left hand.

Betts sustained the injury during an at-bat in the sixth inning of last Sunday’s game. He appeared to feel discomfort after fouling off a pitch, though still managed to hit a home run and play defense for one inning prior to being lifted.

“I don’t exactly know what happened. It was just a weird swing and somehow it jammed my finger. That was the first time that’s ever happened,” Betts said Friday, his first start in nearly one week.

“There was just a lot of swelling and I couldn’t really hold a bat. The training staff did an amazing job getting the swelling out of there and getting my back on the field.”

Betts missed the series opener against the San Diego Padres but entered as a defensive replacement in each of the next two games. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts praised the 27-year-old for his willingness to do so and remaining engaged despite not playing.

“I’m always going to be in the dugout. There’s always a way to help, so I’m going to find that way to help,” Betts said. “That’s kind of my personality. Just trying to get in the mix to help the team win. There’s always time to learn. It’s just you have to pick spots to expend your energy. I think I pick my spots in trying to give my all mentally.

Physically, there’s some things I’ve got to pull back on. I get tired sometimes, exerting too much energy. Mentally, I have to figure out a way to keep myself motivated and that’s by trying to find a way to learn, trying to find a way to help, just trying to find something to doin the game. This game is very humbling.”

Betts not only was back in the lineup for the series opener against the San Francisco Giants, he doubled in his first at-bat and hit a home run in the third inning. In the past eight games he’s taken at-bats in, Betts is 13-for-his-last-37 with six doubles, three home runs and six RBI.

“I don’t even notice it,” he said of the hot streak. “I’m just going up, trying to take one at-bat at a time, trying to find a way to get on base and score some runs. I don’t pay attention to hot and cold streaks. One at-bat at a time is how I focus.”

Roberts impressed by Betts

“I learned a lot about him,” Roberts said of seeing Betts through the injury process. “Something we probably already knew, he was eager to help in any way he could. … He was kind of chomping at the bit to get out there, help in any way and contribute. It was easy to get him into the game to help us out.

“He’s a student of the game, wants to be there for his teammates in any way possible, always trying to help us out. He just loves to play the game of baseball and help the Dodgers win.”

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