After pinch-hitting in Game 1 of the NLDS and grounding out, it seems as if outfielder Andre Ethier’s ankle may be well enough to do a little more than just bat in Game 2.
Ethier has been sidelined with a left ankle/shin injury since September 13 and has been limited to pinch-hitting duty.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Daily News, Mattingly shed some new light on some of the possibilities for the outfielder in Game 2:
Andre Ethier’s ankle has healed enough that, if on base, “he could possibly stay in the game if it’s the right situation,” Mattingly said.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 4, 2013
This means that Ethier could possibly pinch-hit earlier in the game in a key situation and be kept in the game for more at-bats.It’s unknown whether Ethier would play in center field or be moved to one of the corner spots.
Skip Schumaker started in center field last night for the Dodgers and went 0-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly that brought in the first run of the game. If something were to happen to Schu, Mattingly said that Scott Van Slyke, not Yasiel Puig would start in center field.
Because of Ethier’s injury, the Dodgers have had Dee Gordon and Van Slyke taking balls in center field. Puig also made six starts in center field this season, but had trouble adjusting to a new outfield spot.
Ethier had been hinting at a return in Game 3 of the series, but it seems as if the ankle is feeling better. This season, Ethier hit .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI and filled in for Matt Kemp in center field for most of the year.
The Dodgers won Game 1 in Atlanta, 6-1, behind a dominant performance by ace Clayton Kershaw. They’ll send out Zack Greinke to face-off with Braves left-handed starter Mike Minor this afternoon in Atlanta.
In case you missed it, here’s why Brian Wilson was upset with the Giants organization.