It has been a week since the Dodgers placed Mookie Betts on the 10-day injured list due to a right rib fracture, and it doesn’t appear as though the five-time All-Star is much closer to a return. Manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register and Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times) that Betts is doing about “the same” after a week of rest, and Betts hasn’t been cleared to start baseball activities.
Given the varied nature of rib injuries, there was no official timeline placed on Betts’ recovery, though Roberts did say there was some initial hope Betts would miss roughly two weeks of action. Unfortunately, it now looks like Betts certainly won’t make that projection, and Roberts didn’t give any updated idea on when the outfielder could be ready.
Looking at the calendar, if Betts has to miss much time beyond just another week, it is possible the team might opt to shut him down through the All-Star break, rather than bring him back for what might be just a few games before the break. Because the All-Star Game is at Dodger Stadium this year, the Dodgers get an early jump on the break, as they don’t play on July 17.
With Betts sidelined, Eddy Alvarez and the newly-acquired Trayce Thompson have formed a platoon to cover one corner outfield slot, while Chris Taylor has seen most of the work in the other corner position. Of course, any method of replacing Betts is going to seem imperfect, considering his status as one of baseball’s best all-around players. Betts was hitting .273/.349/.535 with 17 home runs in 275 plate appearances, and was leading all NL outfielders in All-Star votes, as per the league’s last update.
Roberts also provided updates on several injured Dodgers pitchers both today and in yesterday’s sessions with the media. Caleb Ferguson may be closest to a return, as he tossed a live bullpen session today and is slated to throw another on Wednesday in preparation for a possible activation from the injured list. Ferguson didn’t make his 2022 debut until May, due to a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery, and he then went on the IL after six appearances due to forearm tendinitis. Fortunately, it looks like Ferguson could be back within three weeks, as the Dodgers are aiming to activate him for their upcoming June 30-July 3 series against the Padres.
Moving to pitchers on the 60-day IL, Roberts said that Victor Gonzalez (left elbow inflammation), Tommy Kahnle (bone bruise in right elbow), and Danny Duffy (flexor tendon surgery) are all scheduled to return in August. Kahnle has pitched four innings for Los Angeles this season while Gonzalez and Duffy have yet to see any work in 2022 — in Duffy’s case, he hasn’t pitched since July 16, 2021, when he was still a member of the Royals.
The outlook is still unclear about Blake Treinen’s availability, as Treinen threw only three innings before right shoulder inflammation sent him to the IL back in April. The veteran reliever started to play catch earlier in June, but Roberts said today that Treinen is still “weeks away” from being able to throw off a mound. Given the ramp-up time necessary once Treinen does get back on the bump, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to return before 2022 is over.
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