It’s news that all Dodgers fans wanted to hear as Andre Ethier is back in the starting lineup for tonight’s Game 1 in St. Louis. Ethier has been sidelined since September 13 with an ankle injury and was limited to just pinch-hitting duties in the NLDS against the Braves.
Ethier worked out at Dodger Stadium Wednesday before the team departed for St. Louis and manager Don Mattingly wanted to see him run the bases again yesterday. After yesterday’s workout, Ethier reported that the ankle was feeling better and Mattingly admitted that it’d be a late afternoon decision if he would start.
Apparently that decision has already been made according to David Vassegh of AM570 Radio:
Andre Ethier will be in Dodgers starting lineup
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) October 11, 2013
His insertion into the lineup means that Skip Schumaker will go back to a reserve role as the Dodgers can now stretch their lineup even further. Mark Ellis has been batting second with Yasiel Puig hitting fifth, but that will continue for at least tonight as Ethier will hit seventh tonight in his return to the lineup.
Ethier is hitting .292 against the Cardinals in his career and at Busch Stadium, he’s hitting .231 with one home run and seven RBI as the Dodgers couldn’t have gotten better news ahead of Game 1. How the ankle responds after starting for the first time since September 13 will be something for after the game, but it’s great to see number 16 back in the lineup.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS!