Dodgers reveal Mookie Betts' timetable: What's LA's plan with extended absence?

LA is going to be without the perennial MVP candidate for quite a while.
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

On Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game of four against the Rockies at Coors Field, and their first since losing Mookie Betts, who officially went onto the 15-day IL a day after taking a fastball to the hand on Sunday. The injury looked and sounded brutal as fans witnessed it at Dodger Stadium, and the only silver lining that we could find was that it was not immediately identified as season-ending.

The Dodgers shuffled the lineup at Coors to bat Shohei Ohtani leadoff, Will Smith in the two-spot, and Freddie Freeman third to make a reconfigured Big Three. Smith is far from a slouch — he already seems to be making good on his 10-year extension with his 44 RBI and .833 OPS — but Betts' absence was certainly felt.

So if the injury wasn't season ending, when will he be back? Ahead of Monday's game, Dave Roberts spoke to reporters and offered a loose timeline to return. His first estimate of 6-8 weeks is still a tough pill to swallow, but at least the team has laid out some kind of plan and didn't keep fans in the dark.

Mookie Betts could be absent from Dodgers lineup for 6-8 weeks after HBP and fractured hand

Roberts said that Betts would be fitted for a splint and be completely sidelined from activity for "a couple weeks," before at least getting moving again to keep himself in shape. All told, Roberts estimated that it would be 6-8 weeks until a full return, or about early August or September.

The Dodgers won that first game in Colorado 9-6, with a display of power that felt fitting for a lineup with some of the biggest bats in baseball swinging in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. The New Big Three had a great night as well; Ohtani collected three hits and an RBI, Smith one hit and two RBI; Freeman had one hit but walked five times and accounted for two of LA's runs.

LA's lineup proved that they can hold the fort down with Betts temporarily absent, but they won't always be playing at Coors Field. His injury will certainly be a test for the rest of the team's hitters, who have already struggled with run support and depth issues with Betts. Hopefully, all will go well with his recovery and he will be back when expected.