Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts is being held out of the lineup on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres with an illness, according to manager Dave Roberts. Betts is expected to arrive at the ballpark later in the evening and could be available to pinch hit, thought it appears unlikely.
The absence of Betts comes as Cody Bellinger returns to the team after a stint on the 10-day injured list.
The 28-year-old Betts last missed time in late April after taking a pitch to the forearm against the Seattle Mariners. X-rays came back negative, giving the team hope his absence wouldn't last too long. The Dodgers are again hoping that's the case as Betts is one of the most irreplaceable players in the game.
The four-time All-Star slashed .292/.366/.562 with 16 home runs and 39 RBI over 55 games in 2020, finishing second in MVP voting to Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman. While mostly batting leadoff in 2021, he has hit .249/.363/.456 with nine home runs.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, they are among the best-positioned teams in baseball to deal overcome absences by stars. The amount of depth both on the big league roster and within their farm system are unrivaled.
Between Zach McKinstry, Chris Taylor and A.J. Pollock, there are plenty of options to replace Betts in right field. In the event Betts misses multiple days and the team opts to bring in an additional outfielder, the Dodgers could dip into their farm system and bring up DJ Peters.