Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier fouled a ball off of his leg during a Cactus League game on Friday. He underwent a bone scan on Monday, which revealed that he suffered a fractured right tibia, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Ethier is expected to miss 10-14 weeks as a result.
This is a huge blow for the Dodgers, as Ethier is coming off of a stellar 2015 campaign in which he hit .294/.366/.496 with 14 home runs and 53 RBI in 445 plate appearances. And it’s yet another injury for the Dodgers, who will open the season without Frankie Montas, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Brett Anderson.
Ethier was expected to face mostly right-handed pitching. With him out of the picture, Carl Crawford is in line for increased playing time in left field. The Dodgers also limited Crawford’s exposure to lefties last season, as he racked up 163 plate appearances against right-handers and only 30 versus southpaws.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.