Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier is still not well enough to play center field, but before Game 3 this afternoon, he worked out in the outfield.
Ethier has been sidelined since September 13 with an ankle/shin injury and was questionable to even make the postseason roster. The injury has limited him to pinch-hitting duties and Don Mattingly went so far as to say it’d be a “great surprise” if Ethier played the field in the NLDS.
However, talking to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Ethier sounded a bit more upbeat:
Hopefully sooner than that, Ethier said. That’s what we’re hoping for. You never know.
Things were seemingly turning around for Ethier as Mattingly suggested prior to Game 2 that he could see an expanded role if he were to reach base after pinch-hitting.
Without his services, Skip Schumaker has started the past two games and will again tonight in Game 3 as the Dodgers look to take a 2-1 series lead. Scott Van Slyke and Yasiel Puig are also candidates to play center field, but Mattingly feels much more comfortable with the veteran out there.
Ethier had a very strong end to his season as he played center field with Matt Kemp’s absence and hit .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs. The Dodgers certainly miss his bat in the middle of the lineup as he 38 RBI with runners in scoring position.
If the Dodgers are to win tonight, it’s unlikely Ethier would start in center tomorrow night, but a loss might make him and Mattingly desperate.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!