Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Betts is just sore and should be in the lineup Tuesday, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe:
Cancel the panic. Alex Cora said Mookie Betts is fine and should start Tuesday, probably as the DH. Just a little sore. It was Bradley who called it to their attention.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) September 16, 2018
END OF UPDATE
The Boston Red Sox are running away with the best record in baseball, but there's an even bigger concern regarding the health of franchise player Mookie Betts.
The likely AL MVP winner left Sunday's game against the New York Mets after trying to throw out out Austin Jackson at home with "left side soreness," according to Tom Caron of NESN.
Mookie Betts coming out of the game. Not words you want to hear in mid-September. Looked like he was hampered in his throw home from right field. Remember, he had a left abdominal strain and missed the first 10 days of June. #RedSox— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) September 16, 2018
"Left side soreness" is the early word on Betts. Will be evaluated further. Notice they did not use the word "oblique." That said, the left oblique is on your left side.— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) September 16, 2018
The news is immediately concerning for Red Sox fans, with the playoffs just three weeks away. Entering play on Sunday, Betts was leading the majors with a .337 batting average, with 29 home runs and 72 RBI. Betts also leads the majors with an unbelievable WAR of 10.0.
As Caron noted, Betts did miss 10 days in June with a left abdominal strain. The 25-year-old has been relatively healthy throughout his whole career, having played 145-plus games every year since the 2015 season.
Despite already surpassing the 100-win mark already, the Red Sox have been hampered by injuries to key players throughout the season. Ace pitcher Chris Sale has spent two trips on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, and his innings have been extremely limited since returning.
Utility man Eduardo Nunez suffered a knee injury earlier this week and needed a couple of days off, while left Eduardo Rodriguez spent several weeks on the disabled list with an ankle injury. The Red Sox need both those players to be healthy if they're to go far in the playoffs.
The Red Sox can only hope that Betts' injury isn't serious, and that he'll be ready for the postseason. Though they are the best team in baseball, Boston doesn't have a player who can bring the superb defense and elite hitting, outside of slugger J.D. Martinez. Even then, the latter does need help carrying the bats, and nobody else on the team can replace Betts' production.
We'll be sure to provide more updates as they come available.