The Los Angeles Dodgers received a bit of an injury scare when star right fielder Mookie Betts was hit by a pitch to lead off Saturday night’s game against the L.A. Angels. He initially remained in the game, scored and was on deck to bat a second time in the inning.
However, Betts was removed prior to the start of the second. Betts was shown in the dugout pleading his case to the team trainer to stay in, but considering the postseason is just around the corner and this game had no implications on the standings, it made no sense to leave him in.
The Dodgers later announced Betts was taken out as a precaution, and after the win, manager Dave Roberts said he was hit in the hip area.
“I just think right now it’s day to day. We’ll see if we get him in there or just give him [Sunday] off,” Roberts added. “I’m not sure. I’ll talk to him later tonight and [Sunday] to see how he’s feeling.”
The Dodgers open up the Wild Card Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, giving Betts a few days to rest his hip and get fully healthy for what the team hopes will be a deep October run.
Dodgers counting on Betts in postseason
After some experimenting with the lineup, Roberts eventually settled on Betts remaining in the leadoff spot. It coincided with Corey Seager returning from a back injury and cementing himself as the two-hole hitter.
With his plate discipline, power and speed, Betts gives the Dodgers quite a dynamic threat at the top of the order. “He’s a table setter,” Justin Turner said.
“He’s a spark plug at the top of the lineup, he takes good at-bats, he can score runs in so many ways, he’s in scoring position when he’s in the box. And if you put him on, he can steal bases, he can take extra bases; you saw the play in Colorado, going second to home on a pickoff.
“He just energizes the offense at the top of the order. I think we’ve been clicking on all cylinders since they put him in the leadoff spot. The offense has been going since that day on.”
Should Betts not appear in the regular-season finale, he will have hit .292/.366/.562 with a team-leading 16 home runs to go along with 46 runs score, 39 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 55 games.
He also played Gold Glove-caliber defense, making him one of the favorites in the National League to take home the MVP Award.
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