Baseball isn't as good when the best players aren't on the field, and that's why people missed Mookie Betts so much when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Oakland Athletics yesterday at the Coliseum.
The 28-year-old superstar was a late scratch for the reigning World Series champions, and neither the team nor coach Dave Roberts wanted to address the subject right away, prompting the rumors and speculation on his condition.
From Covid-19 to a major injury, the most pessimistic fans imagined the worst. However, the team has now confirmed that Betts was taken out of the lineup with just a minor injury and that he'll be back rather sooner than later.
Dodgers Say Mookie Betts' Injury Is Just A Stiff Lower Back
"The Dodgers say Mookie Betts isn't playing because he has a stiff lower back," reported Dodgers insider Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. In his place, Zach McKinstry got the start and Chris Taylor moved to center field.
With Betts at the helm, the overpowered Dodgers had climbed to a 5-1 record before dropping their second game of the season last night in extra innings, with Trevor Bauer getting a no-decision.
Needless to say, having Betts is a massive boost for the defending champions. Through his first five games of the season, he's slashing 348/.464/.565 while also providing his usual top-notch defense.
Lower-back injuries are tricky and shouldn't be taken lightly, but judging by the Dodgers' statement, it doesn't seem like this will be a lingering injury for the former AL MVP, who'll get an extra day of rest before the series against the Washington Nationals.
Hopefully, we'll get to see one of the greatest players of the decade at full strength and doing what he does best, as the MLB is already missing one of their superstars in San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr.