Mookie Betts has been placed on the Dodgers’ 10-day injured list due to right hip inflammation, the team announced. In the corresponding move, right-hander Jimmy Nelson was activated from his own 10-day IL stint to take Betts’ spot on the active roster.
There was no mention made of a retroactive placement date, which is somewhat curious since Betts hasn’t played since July 19. Teams are allowed up to three days of back-dating on IL placements, so Betts would have been eligible to return to action in a week’s time. Instead, the star outfielder is now set to miss 10 full days beginning today.
Manager Dave Roberts said last week that Betts was dealing with multiple “nagging” injuries beyond just his hip, so it could be that this 10-day break might be necessary to get Betts fully healed up and ready for the stretch drive. Betts has also missed a couple of games this year with such maladies as a sore shoulder and a sore back, though this represents his first actual IL placement since a minimal 10-day stint in 2018.
After a slow start to the season by his standards, Betts is now back producing at his usual superstar level. The outfielder has 14 home runs and a .270/.374/.502 slash line in 374 plate appearances, and his absence will create another notable gap in the L.A. lineup. Corey Seager and Gavin Lux are also on the injured list, and while Cody Bellinger is dealing with a balky hamstring. Pitching is thought to be the Dodgers’ primary focus at the trade deadline, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the club added another bat to the bench.
Nelson’s return will provide some reinforcement to the bullpen, as the righty missed a little over two weeks due to a back strain. Nelson had another 10-day IL trip earlier this year, but health aside, it has been a very successful comeback year. After missing the entire 2020 season due to back surgery, Nelson has become a full-time relief pitcher and delivered a 2.00 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 27 innings.