Dodgers' Mookie Betts to Go on IL with Cracked Rib Injury; No Timeline for Return

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 19, 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts runs out of the dugout before Game 6 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts has landed on the injured list with a rib injury.

Manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Saturday that an MRI revealed Betts has a cracked rib.

Roberts added the team isn't sure of the size of the crack at this point, and there is no timetable for Betts to return.

The Dodgers skipper said on Thursday that Betts was originally injured in a collision with Cody Bellinger during Wednesday's win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Betts is hitting .273 (.884 OPS) with 17 home runs, 40 RBI and 53 runs this season. He has missed their past two games against the Cleveland Guardians, including Saturday's 7-1 win. The Dodgers have a 7-8 record so far in June, falling 1.5 games behind the San Diego Padres in the National League West.

He played his first six seasons with the Boston Red Sox, making four All-Star teams and winning the American League MVP and the World Series in 2018. He emerged as one of the game's best and brightest stars while leading one of MLB's best 21st-century teams to a win at the Fall Classic.

However, the Red Sox traded the eight-year MLB veteran and pitcher David Price to the Dodgers following the 2019 campaign in what amounted to a cost-cutting move.

Betts' first season in L.A. (2020) ended with the Dodgers' first World Series victory since 1988. He excelled in the playoffs, notably hitting .429 in the Wild Card Round vs. the Milwaukee Brewers and smacking a pair of home runs against the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

Unfortunately, the 2021 season was an off-year for Betts, who hit .264 (.854 OPS) with 23 home runs and 58 RBI in 122 games. Betts had a .981 OPS from 2018-2020.

His hip was a persistent problem, and he landed on the injured list on July 25 with right hip inflammation, per Megan Garcia of MLB.com. He soon returned but went on the injured list with right hip inflammation retroactive to Aug. 8. Betts eventually returned to the lineup on Aug. 26.

This season has been more fruitful for Betts, but he will now have to miss time. Chris Taylor and Eddy Alvarez have filled in as the starting right fielder in the past two games with Betts unavailable. They will likely continue in that role for the time being.