Mookie Betts will be out of the Boston Red Sox lineup for the second consecutive game. When will the superstar outfielder be back?
The Boston Red Sox will be without their best all-around player when they open their series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Memorial Day.
Mookie Betts will miss his second consecutive game with tightness in his left side. He was a late scratch on Sunday but this time the decision to have him sit out another game was made hours in advance. His absence appears to be a precautionary move.
Betts told the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham that “it’s not a big thing” and he hopes to be back in the lineup tomorrow.
The Red Sox managed to muster only one run in Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Braves without Betts leading the offense. Chris Sale had a rare rough outing in which he was shelled for six runs. Most teams aren’t going to walk away with a win when their starter gets lit up like that. Yet the Red Sox have the firepower to pick up their ace when he’s having an off day. That wasn’t the case without Betts.
J.D. Martinez was also out of the lineup yesterday. It was merely a day off and he’s back in there today as the designated hitter. It’s still not the same without Betts at the top but the batting order does look more formidable with Martinez anchoring the lineup in the cleanup spot.
Andrew Benintendi slides up to the leadoff spot with Xander Bogaerts filling in behind him. Benny reclaims his regular spot in left field after he shifted to center for Sunday’s game. Jackie Bradley covered for Betts in right yesterday but he’ll move back to center field today. This time it will be Brock Holt filling in for Betts in right field.
The Red Sox are also sitting Dustin Pedroia this afternoon, with Eduardo Nunez taking his spot at second base. Pedroia has only played two games since being activated from the disabled list but the team isn’t quite ready to test him with three in a row. He’s still seeking his first hit of the season, going 0-for-7 with a pair of walks in his two appearances.
While Pedroia’s return should give the team a boost once he finds his rhythm at the plate, the team was doing fine without him. That wouldn’t be the case if Betts were to miss an extended period. He’s the front-runner for the AL MVP, leading the league in most offensive categories. There is no suitable replacement for Mookie.
The Red Sox are being understandably cautious with their young star. Better for him to miss a couple of games now rather than risk missing several weeks if he aggravates the injury.