Andre Ethier has become the forgotten man in the Dodgers’ outfield thanks to an ankle injury and after a setback yesterday Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles writes that “his availability for the postseason is in question.”
Ethier tested his ankle with some pregame running, but had to cut things short and afterward called it “frustrating to be where we’re at right now.”
Ethier hasn’t played for two weeks and if healthy it’s not clear how much action he’d see in the playoffs anyway, as the Dodgers have Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig manning the three outfield spots. However, having a left-handed bat like Ethier available off the bench would have been a nice late-game option at the very least.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.