Fresh off a very successful trade deadline, the Dodgers got another boost to their lineup on Sunday. Star right fielder Mookie Betts has been activated from the injured list, as he's fully recovered from his hip injury.
Betts has been out since July 19 with the malady.
In an interesting twist, Betts is playing second base on Sunday against the Diamondbacks. He's played three innings there this season and started one game at second last year. In his MLB career, he has started at second 15 times with 14 of those coming in 2014. Surely the long-term plan isn't for Betts to stick at second because once Trea Turner is activated, they need to move him or Corey Seager to second. Turner, acquired with Max Scherzer from the Nationals last week, is currently out after testing positive for COVD-19.
Regardless, the big news is the Dodgers getting Betts back in the lineup.
Obviously, injuries are never good but the timing of Betts' hip issue was particularly bad. From July 2-17, Betts appeared in 11 games and hit .400/.446/.740 with five doubles, four homers, 11 RBI and 15 runs. In short, he looked to be fully locked in as the lineup catalyst.
On the other hand, the timing is beautiful for Betts' return right now for the Dodgers. They have gone just 5-8 since winning their first two games out of the All-Star break. Being activated Sunday means Betts has a game Sunday against the Diamondbacks to get back up to speed before the Dodgers host the AL West-leading Astros for a two-game series in Dodger Stadium this coming week.
Betts is hitting .270/.374/.502 (139 OPS+) with 25 doubles, three triples, 14 homers, 40 RBI, 63 runs, seven steals and 3.4 WAR this season.
Within the last three days, the Dodgers have added All-Star shortstop Trea Turner and Hall of Fame pitcher Max Scherzer in addition to activating All-Star shortstop Seager and superstar outfielder -- and, apparently, second baseman -- Betts from the injured list. They are certainly beefing up the talent level on their roster.
And yet, the Dodgers also entered Sunday three games back of the Giants in the NL West. They do hold the top NL wild card spot, but with this level of payroll and talent, winning the division and avoiding a one-game playoff should be the goal.