Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweeted late Saturday night that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been diagnosed with a fracture at the tip of his right pinkie finger. It’s horrible news, especially when you consider how important Ethier has been for the red-hot 19-17 Dodgers this season.
Ethier, 28, leads the team in home runs (with 11), RBI (38) and OPS (1201). He’s also sporting a Major League-best .392 batting average through 125 at-bats this season and has tallied 11 game-winning hits since 2008.
The Dodgers have not revealed enough information to give us a clear picture of how the fracture might affect Ethier moving forward. Many players in the past have been able to fight through tiny breaks and continue slugging. Then again, others have required surgeries and long stays on the disabled list. We should all know more once the outfielder is reevaluated Sunday in Los Angeles.
If he is forced the miss time, the Dodgers could call up Xavier Paul, who is doing quite well this season at Triple-A Albuquerque with a .382/.427/.60 batting line in 76 at-bats. Garret Anderson could also be asked to play more frequently in the outfield. And same goes for Reed Johnson.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.