Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier was back on the field this morning at Dodger Stadium as the team engaged in a workout before they traveled to Atlanta this afternoon.
While Ethier still didn’t run the bases, he played catch in the outfield as the Dodger coaches evaluated him after he’s been at the spring training facility at Camelback Ranch. However, according to Pedro Moura of the OC Register, Ethier is shooting for Game 3 at Dodger Stadium to return to the field:
Basically, it sounds like Ethier will be limited to pinch-hitting Thursday + Friday. Still has hopes to play OF once series returns to L.A.
— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) October 1, 2013
Skip Schumaker is Ethier’s likely replacement in center field as the season-ending injury of Matt Kemp has tested the Dodgers outfield depth.
For the entire season, the question was which outfielder would sit once everyone was healthy, but Don Mattingly never had to make that difficult decision. The good news is that Ethier is likely to make the playoff roster and hopefully another week of rest and rehab will allow him to get back on the field for Game 3 on Sunday.
Ethier also talked about the urgency he’s felt to get back according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
More urgency to play with Kemp hurt? “I’d be lying if I said no,” Ethier said. #Dodgers
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 1, 2013
While many are panicking about the loss of Kemp, the Dodgers went on a 42-8 run without him, but losing Ethier is a huge blow to the team. Ethier surprised many with his defense in center field and once he felt comfortable there, his hitting started to come around.
The Dodgers postseason roster isn’t due till 10 am EST, but from all signs this morning, Ethier should definitely be on the NLDS roster.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!