Los Angeles Dodgers set to send Mookie Betts, ‘one of the best players in baseball,’ to injured list

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is headed to the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said Saturday night.

Roberts scratched Betts from the lineup for the second consecutive game Saturday, but said earlier that he didn’t expect the injury to be serious and that the star centerfielder was in line for an MRI.

After Los Angeles’ 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians, however, Roberts said that the MRI revealed a cracked rib and that a return date was to be determined. The official team transaction will occur on Sunday.

Roberts is not sure yet if the injury is a hairline fracture or a larger break, but the loss will be significant regardless. Betts is batting .273 this season with 17 home runs, 40 RBIs and 6 stolen bases for a team that is battling for first place in the National League West with the San Diego Padres.

“You’re taking one of the best players in baseball out of the lineup,” Roberts said. “It’s a big blow, but at least we know what we’re dealing with and we’re going to get him back sooner rather than later.”

Betts was injected during the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels when he collided with Cody Bellinger in the outfield on a fly ball. Betts played the rest of that game. “A week from now, we’ll know more,” Roberts added.

Without Betts, Freddie Freeman had three hits, Trea Turner homered and four Los Angeles pitchers limited Cleveland to two hits in the six-run victory over the Guardians.

Julio Urias (4-6) pitched six strong innings to earn his first win since May 20. The left-hander, who had gone 0-3 with a 3.09 ERA in his last four outings, allowed an unearned run on two hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

The Dodgers are already without starting pitchers Walker Buehler, Andrew Heaney and Dustin May due to injuries.

“I don’t want to reference Murphy’s Law but it has been that way,” Roberts said. “You have to keep moving on. It’s a long season.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.