Dodgers Notes: Mookie Betts May Start Underage Rehabilitation Soon

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If all goes well, Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts could return to the Dodgers at the end of next week. But he’ll have to play a few rehab games in the minor leagues first to see how his right hip responds.

Betts last played on August 7 and is currently on the injured list for the second time since the all-star break with inflammation in his right hip. The plan is for baseball activities to ramp up over the next few days at Dodger Stadium, with a rehab mission starting on Sunday.

“The concern is the ups and downs, the length of a game, seeing how his hip is going to hold up,” said manager Dave Roberts. “At some point next week would be the hope [for Betts’ return], but it all depends on how he feels.

Betts missed July’s last 11 games on the injured list and came back without playing any rehab games. His first three games away from IL were at second base, to reduce the wear and tear on his hip. He then played two games at right field before returning to the injured list on August 11.

Last week in Los Angeles while the Dodgers were on the road, Betts met with team medics and was diagnosed with a bone spur in his hip.

Launch plans

The Dodgers deploy an enclosure game on Wednesday night, with southpaw Justin Bruihl nominally starting as an opener for the second time in three days. Mitch White, who pitched four innings in a start last Thursday in Philadelphia, is the main pitcher tonight.

We knew another bullpen game was coming this weekend against the Mets, but instead of Saturday that was postponed to Thursday, giving the Dodgers four straight short starts.

Dodgers-Pirates lineups

Pos Pirates Pos Dodgers
Pos Pirates Pos Dodgers
SS Park (G) LF Pollock
3B Hayes 1B Muncy (G)
FC Reynolds (D) 3B Turner
1B Moran (G) SS Seager (L)
LF Tsutsugo (G) VS Black-smith
2B Difo (S) FC Bellinger (G)
RF Polanco (G) RF McKinney (G)
VS Perez (G) 2B Lux (L)
P Brubaker P Bruihl (G)

“Julio is missing and where we are at we just need to put him back together,” Roberts said. “We’ll pick up the pieces after tonight’s game.”

Julio Urías kicked off a mock match on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, and the plan for him is to be activated from the injured list at some point during the Padres series. His first eligible day to recover from his left calf strain is Tuesday, the first game in San Diego.

Moving the next game from the bullpen until Thursday gives Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer an extra day of rest before their next starts, Friday and Saturday, respectively, against the Mets. The cost is strongly related to the use of the bullpen, but some reinforcements could arrive soon.

Victor Gonzalez, who pitched a round Tuesday night for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, is expected to be activated from the injured list in the coming days. Then there are the additions that would require corresponding moves of 40 men – activating Joe Kelly off the casualty list and / or the seemingly imminent signing of Shane Greene.

Regardless of the combo, expect multiple pitchers to be used over the next few days.

Remarks

  • Tony Gonsolin will kick off a paddock session on Thursday, although his return from shoulder inflammation will still take some time. Roberts said Gonsolin could potentially need a second session in the reliever box and then face the batters several times before he can return, with a role to be determined. “It’s still a while, and we’ll see where we are after each marker,” said Roberts.
  • Clayton Kershaw played wrestling again on Wednesday. Still no real update on his return schedule, other than that he can’t be until September 5th.
  • Danny Duffy also played wrestling at Dodger Stadium. Roberts said the southpaw would be used as a relief upon his return. Duffy is eligible to return from the 60 Day Injured List on September 15.
  • With Trea Turner and Chris Taylor enjoying the usual days off, AJ Pollock is making his first debut in 2021. Beating first is actually Pollock’s most common career post, with 192 career starts. Twenty of them have been with the Dodgers, including three times in 2020.


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