Red Sox outfielder could begin baseball activities Friday; return depends on MLB protocol
By Alec Shirkey
BOSTON -- Mookie Betts' tumble into the bullpen on Jose Abreu's wild catch-turned-homer may have wowed fans on the highlight reels last week, but the Boston center fielder's fall on that play also sent him to the seven-day concussion disabled list on Wednesday.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, Betts has shown significant improvement in recent days -- enough that they expect him to travel with them to Detroit next weekend and possibly begin baseball activities as early as Friday.
"Mookie has seemed to turn a corner yesterday," manager John Farrell said on Sunday. "[The] headache has disappeared. He is going to be re-checked here in Boston. He won't travel to New York. He'll be re-checked here by midweek. He'll begin exertion testing today, and we'll continue to go through the MLB protocol for concussions. But a much-improved state with Mookie."
That, of course, suggests that Betts will remain sidelined past this coming Wednesday, when he is first eligible for activation. He will have to clear MLB's concussion process before he can return to the field.
"Even when he says he runs upstairs, there's no dizziness, there's no pressure in the head," Farrell said. "That wasn't the case two days ago. Seemingly, he's turned a corner."
Betts is hitting .265 with 10 homers and 13 steals during his first full season with the Sox, and the 22-year-old has added a number of highlight-reel catches in center field to boot. Fangraphs.com credits him with 11 defensive runs saved this year, which is tied with A.J. Pollock for fourth-best in the Majors.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.