Dodgers' injury woes keep getting worse after Mookie Betts' HBP update

Just in the last 24 hours, the Dodgers have now lost two of their best players for a while.
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Earlier this season, multiple Dodgers relievers went onto the IL within the span of a few weeks, leaving fans to both scratch their heads and wonder what kind of bad luck their team had befallen and to be very concerned about what the bullpen was going to look like in the coming weeks. At one point, the Dodgers had 12 players on the IL, the vast majority of which were relievers, and LA was forced to scramble.

Scrambling might be the name of the game once again, as Yoshinobu Yamamoto officially went onto the IL on Sunday with triceps tightness, after he was taken out of his Saturday start after just two innings of work, and Mookie Betts might be right behind him.

Betts took a 98 MPH fastball from Royals reliever Dan Altavilla to the hand in the bottom of the seventh in Game 3 of the Dodgers-Royals series. Betts immediately crumpled, and Dave Roberts and a trainer came in to escort him back to the dugout.

Roberts had an understandable but still devastating update after the Dodgers won 3-0: the pitch had caused a fracture, and he will miss time while it's being treated. On the bright side, it won't require surgery nor will it be season-ending, but this is a massive blow to LA's lineup.

Mookie Betts to miss time with hand fracture after being hit by a pitch in Dodgers-Royals game

The Dodgers have a clear replacement for Betts in the interim: Miguel Rojas is still an elite shortstop who has been swinging the bat significantly better this season than ever before. He's split his time between second, short, and third this season, after taking most of the starts at shortstop last year after the Dodgers lost Trea Turner. It's likely Kiké Hernández will also get a few turns behind Rojas, but with Hernández's .203 average and .580 OPS so far this year, his starts are likely to be sporadic.

One of the more common criticisms being leveled at the Dodgers so far this season is that the lineup is top-heavy. Their Nos. 1-6 hitters are still mostly responsible for winning the Dodgers 44 games as of Sunday's victory, and losing Betts, who's batting .304/.405/.488 and is constantly competing with Shohei Ohtani as LA's most valuable player by most metrics, on top of Yamamoto is a pretty crushing turn of events.