Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier finished up a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday night, going 2-for-3 for Triple-A Albuquerque, and is set to rejoin the big league club on Monday night in Arizona. Or so says ESPN Los Angeles’ Tony Jackson.
Ethier, 28, has been on the disabled list since May 18 with a fracture at the tip of his pinkie finger. He was scorching hot offensively before the injury and will try to pick up right where he left off against the Diamondbacks on Monday night.
The former Arizona State Sun Devil was batting a ridiculous .392/.457/.744 through 33 games with 11 home runs and 38 RBI. The Dodgers have won only five of their last 10 games without him and still trail the Padres by two games in the National League West standings.
The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.
This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.
The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.