‘Could Be Catastrophic’: Does Mookie Betts’ Fractured Hand Spell Doom For World Series-Or-Bust L.A. Dodgers Franchise Paying Out $316M To Players?

MLB superstar Mookie Betts is one of the 6 percent African-American players in baseball. He’s also a prime candidate for top player in the game as he’s perennially in the MVP race and won the award in 2018 as a member of the Boston Red Sox

Betts made history this season when he turned in his Gold Glove in right field to assume the everyday responsibilities at shortstop. It was an unprecedented move, but necessary. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers are going for the gusto this season, having signed two-time MVP and former L.A. Angels star slugger Shohei Ohtani to a record $700 million deal in the offseason. Betts, Ohtani and All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, another former MVP, came together to form the most formidable threesome in MLB. 

The acquisition of Ohtani and the continued and consistent elevation of Betts – now as one of the best shortstops in the league – has the Dodgers sitting pretty, eight games in front of the competition in the NFL West. 

Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten, current president and part-owner of the Dodgers, have spared no coins in trying to get the Dodger back to the World Series for the first time since they won it all during the 2020 shortened COVID season. 

Everything was set up perfectly for them to challenge for a title. In sports, we are taught to expect the unexpected, and an injury to their most important player, a durable and versatile player, is something they would have never predicted. 

Mookie Betts Fractures His Hand, Out For About 65 Games

On Monday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that the team is expecting Mookie Betts to miss roughly six to eight weeks with a hand fracture after getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

LA Dodgers Superstar Mookie Betts will be out 6 to 8 weeks with a fractured hand after getting hit by a pitch.
LA Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts will be out 6 to 8 weeks with a fractured hand after getting hit by a pitch. (Getty Images)

Roberts compared the timeline to when former Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager missed 65 games in 2021 with a similar injury.

Nick Hamilton of Nitecast Media said the loss could be “catastrophic.”

“He’s headed to the IL for the first time this season,” Hamilton, who spends hours over the course of a season at Dodgers Stadium, said. “Scheduled to return if rehab goes well, 6-8 weeks from now. This will impact the lineup as they lose a guy at SS, but also lose a player who can connect at the plate leading off in order to get on base. Dave Roberts will try options until he can figure out the best lineup but Betts presence on the field and in the clubhouse as an active player will be missed.” 

The Dodgers are a loaded squad, ranked fourth in pitching and third in hitting in MLB team statistics. But baseball is all about chemistry. The loss of the seven-time All-Star is a tough blow for Los Angeles, as Betts was in the midst of another MVP-caliber season as the Dodgers’ shortstop and leadoff hitter.

Through 72 games, he was hitting .304 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI, and he’s certainly the most important player on the team. Betts also owned a .405 on-base percentage, which represented the third-highest mark of his career over the course of a full season. 

Luckily, the Dodgers have gotten out to a fast start with Betts and Ohtani leading the way. The dominance of those two players have helped the Dodgers withstand a string of injuries throughout the 2024 season. 

LA Dodgers With Comfortable Lead In NL West Despite Injuries

In addition to Betts, starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto, another high-priced free agent from Japan, was placed on the 15-day injured list due to a strained rotator cuff. Third baseman Max Muncy also remains out after suffering an oblique strain on May 15.

In Betts’ absence, Los Angeles will likely lean on veteran Miguel Rojas at shortstop, but they will certainly feel the difference in production, leadership and energy on the field. 

They are praying that Betts comes back sooner rather than later. With the Dodgers’ abundance of talent, some aren’t giving them a pass because Betts got hurt.

With one of the most dynamic players in the sport with two championship rings to his résumé out of the lineup for at least 65 games, according to manager Dave Roberts’ assessment, now is the opportune time for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants to cut into the 45-29 Dodgers’ lead and get up over the .500 mark. 

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