The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Mookie Betts on the 10-day injured list with right hip inflammation on July 25 but he is expected to return this weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Betts’ trip to the IL was retroactive to July 22, which makes Sunday, Aug. 1, the first day he is eligible to be activated. When he returns, the 2018 American League MVP could eventually see time in the infield instead.
In his workout, Betts was fielding ground balls at second base and manager Dave Roberts said “it is possible” he could play there in a game.
“Sunday, I’m expecting him to be active. I don’t see it on Sunday. I see him in right field on Sunday,” Roberts said.
“Albert is going to be playing first and Muncy will be at second base that day. So my expectation is on Sunday he will be in right field.”
While using Betts at second would take away a lot of his defensive value, it could help lengthen the lineup as the team waits for Gavin Lux to return.
This season, he is hitting .270/.374/.502 with 14 home runs and a 138 wRC+ in 82 games.
Roberts’ comments about Betts possibly sliding over to second base were made prior to the Dodgers completing a trade Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. Though, Turner must remain in MLB’s COVID protocol at least until Aug. 6, and the team has not said where he will play.
Furthermore, Betts said on Saturday that he believed playing some second base was a possibility.
Betts’ previous experience at second
Betts was drafted by the Boston Red Sox as a second baseman before they converted him to an outfielder while he was still in the Minor Leagues. He has 139 career MLB innings at second, with 122 of them coming in 2014.
Betts has also previously pushed to get some time in the infield, and he played three innings at second base for the Dodgers last season.
“We’ve talked about it. We talked about it a little bit last year, talked about it in Spring Training, and he’s always been lobbying to get in there, get on the dirt,” Roberts said earlier this month.
“That’s where he came up and was drafted, so I just felt it was a way we could get Justin out fo the game, appease [Betts] a little bit and he rewarded himself by hitting a grand slam and scoring another run after that. Three innings of defense at second base, it was good.”
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