Red Sox star Mookie Betts still sore from foot inflammation
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox will be without leadoff hitter Mookie Betts once again when they open their series with the San Francisco Giants.
Mookie Betts isn’t quite sure how the injury happened but the soreness in his foot hasn’t subsided enough for him to take the field when the Boston Red Sox open a three-game series at Fenway Park against the San Fransico Giants.
Betts was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup and he sat out the finale of the two-game series in Philadelphia the next day. There was hope that he’d be ready to return following Monday’s scheduled off-day but clearly that’s not the case.
An MRI revealed inflammation in his ailing left foot and the team will take a cautious approach to monitor his symptoms before determining when he can get back on the field. That’s unlikely to happen during this brief homestand.
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There’s a chance that Betts could return for the next series in Tampa Bay. If he does, it will be as a designated hitter since they don’t want him playing on turf immediately after returning from this injury. Playing on that type of surface in Toronto last week may be the cause of the soreness Betts is dealing with now.
Betts is hitting .293 with a .918 OPS, 28 home runs, 78 RBI, and major league-leading 131 runs scored. That total ties him for the eighth-most runs scored in a season in franchise history. Betts had an outside shot at the franchise record (Ted Williams, 150) but this injury almost certainly takes him out of the running – no pun intended.
With only 13 games remaining and the Red Sox hopelessly out of the playoff race, you have to wonder if it makes sense to bring Betts back at all this season. If there are any concerns about his foot – which there must be if they aren’t planning to use him in the outfield – Boston should at least consider shutting him down.
Andrew Benintendi will fill the leadoff role in Mookie’s absence. That wasn’t the case for the first game in Philly, perhaps due to the late lineup change, but he did bat leadoff on Sunday and went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Benny began the season at the top of the order but manager Alex Cora quickly abandoned the idea by swapping him with Betts when the Red Sox offense sputtered out of the gate. A breakout year by Rafael Devers warranted a promotion to the No. 2 hole behind Betts, pushing Benintendi toward the bottom half of the order.
Speaking of leadoff hitters, the Giants will have a familiar name at the top of their lineup. Well, the last name is one Red Sox fans will recognize anyway. Mike Yastrzemski will make his first appearance at Fenway Park with his grandfather in attendance.
This three-game set hosting the Giants is the last time the Red Sox will be at Fenway until the end of the month when they wrap up the 2019 season with three games against the Baltimore Orioles. With Betts expected to miss this series, time is running out for fans to see Betts play at home. With an uncertain offseason ahead of his final year before hitting free agency, Betts potentially being done playing at Fenway this year is a disheartening thought.