After Mookie Betts was removed in the seventh inning on July 17 because of right hip irritation, both he and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated the injury was relatively minor.
It wasn’t until that night it became publicly known Betts had played through the hip issue — along with left shoulder and back trouble — during the first half of the season. “I’m good,” Betts said after going 4-for-4 with three doubles and one home run.
“I’ve been dealing with it. I think I just made it a little more mad than normal, but I’m fine.”
After a day off to recover, Betts was expected to be back in the Dodgers’ lineup for their series opener last week against the San Francisco Giants. He was penciled in to start, only to be scratched shortly before first pitch.
Betts made a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning of that loss, and the hope remained he would soon return. More days passed, however, and Roberts revealed Betts’ hip inflammation was the worst it has been all season.
The 2018 American League MVP remained out of the lineup but the Dodgers nevertheless maintained he would likely avoid going on the 10-day injured list. There then were internal discussions on changing course and Friday appeared to be a breaking point as it was the final day the Dodgers could backdate an IL stint without losing time.
Roberts continuously pointed to this week’s series against the San Francisco Giants as the target for Betts’ return, but that changed when he was put on the 10-day IL before the series finale against the Colorado Rockies.
“He started trying to crank it up a little bit today and wasn’t sure if by Tuesday he would be ready to go,” Roberts explained. “So I think at that point it just made our decision that much easier.
“We tried to kick it down the road and wait as long as we could, but at some point we had to make a decision. That point was [Sunday] at about noon.”
Why did Dodgers wait to put Betts on IL?
The Dodgers initially were reluctant to place Betts on the injured list because it would entail missing a series with the Giants for a second time. In backdating his stint to July 22, Betts is eligible to be activated Sunday, Aug. 1.
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