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What to make of Mookie Betts' sore side

Rob Bradford
September 18, 2018 - 7:26 pm

NEW YORK -- According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, as of 9 a.m. Tuesday Mookie Betts was going to play in the Sox' series opener against the Yankees later that day.

Betts in center field -- sore left side and all -- with Jackie Bradley Jr. manning left field. But when the lineup was surfaced for what would be a 7 p.m. start time, plans had changed.

"With the weather, it doesn’t make any sense, not even to DH him," Cora said. "He’s not playing today, we’ll stay away from him and we’ll go from there."

That, however, doesn't mean Betts will be jumping right back into the lineup for Game 2 of the series.

While Betts said this ailment doesn't compare to the one that sidelined him for 12 games in June, there are still some tests to pass, particularly when it comes to throwing (which was what ultimately forced him from the game Sunday.)

Both the player and the manager have to balance letting the injury properly heal while not hitting the postseason with any kind of rust.

"It’s night and day," said Betts regarding the oblique issue that put him on the disabled list. "I couldn’t really swing and do anything really. Hitting is absolutely fine. Throwing is still fine. It’s just that max effort throw in that area."

"He needs his at-bats and he's the first one that will tell you that," Cora said. "But today the decision was made because of the weather. We'll see how it goes. We'll see what happens tonight first and we'll see what we do. But one thing for sure, with him, and I know he's close to doing a few things that are very special in this game,  but like I've been saying, he's a small guy. Not as big as other ones and we need him to be close to 100 percent when we go to October."

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