The Dodgers got a huge hit over the weekend when Mookie Betts was on the list of those injured by a cracked rib and they are already looking for ways to help them survive the storm. Los Angeles explores ways to become a right-handed winger in a left-handed group Eddy Alvarez waiting for Betts to recover, Ken Rosenthal announces The Athletic (Twitter link). They want to spend only a ‘minimum potential cost’ on such a transaction, suggesting that they are looking for low-priced breaks rather than a higher-profile name.
If it weren’t for the injury caused by the veteran’s severe fortune Kevin Pillar, Dodgers may already have this solution. However, Pillar suffered a fracture of the upper arm shortly after being invited to the major club and will be left with the rest of the season to resolve the problem after the subsequent operation.
The value offered by Betts cannot be completely replaced, as he is once again one of the best all-encompassing players in the game. The former NL MVP hit 0.273 / .349 / .535 with 17 home runs, 13 doubles, six stolen vessels and his typical global defense brand on the right. There are no definite indications as to how long Betts will be on the shelf. Manager Dave Roberts expressed optimism about the two-week absence, but it is at best. The fact that Dodgers are looking for cheap, seemingly short-term group options speaks volumes about this optimism, but with this type of rib fracture, all you have to do is rest and let it heal. Only time will tell how fast Bett’s rib heals.
The 32-year-old Alvarez doesn’t have a single record for a big league that would give much hope (.190 / .277 / .276 in 130 records), but he has broken the Triple-A hit .304 /. 430 / .500 clip in 2022 and has been as productive in Triple-A performances as the 2019 and 2021 Marlins. It makes sense that Dodgers is currently looking for some in-house ways to improve things. Even the most obvious sellers in the summer trade market aren’t yet motivated to sell – not when many teams are still trying to assess their play-off opportunities – and the short-term approach gives them some time to assess how long Betts needs to recover.
Focusing on cheap group selections removes Dodgers from higher profile names like Oakland Ramon Laureano and Baltimore’s Trey Mancini – at least for now – but there are still many scenarios to be left for research. To speak purely speculative, a great league like Arizona Jordan Luplow it would make sense both to drop out of Betts and to move on as a bench neighbor, although the D-backs may want a real prospect in return – especially from a division rival. Given that most of the proposed group (Alvarez) is relatively unknown, Dodgers can be content to hunt for the same vague solution on the short side of the group – be it a successful small league sluger (e.g. Trayce Thompson, Jaylin Davis) or someone who hasn’t made their MLB debut yet.
If at some point it looks like Betts is expecting a longer absence, the chances of a big move improve. At this time, small swaps or even in-house ads are the more likely first steps. Rosenthal, for example, notes the third baseline Miguel Vargas, hitting Triple-A in Oklahoma City with 0.278 / .376 / .475 could be one choice. However, 22-year-old Vargas, who is among the top 100 baseball players on MLB.com and Baseball America, has not played on the pitch in his professional career.
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