A fractured tibia suffered in spring training resulted in Andre Ethier spending most of his time during the 2016 season rehabbing at the Dodgers' facility in Arizona. He managed to make it back in September and appear in 16 regular season games plus the playoffs, but he wasn't at 100 percent and appeared in most games as a pinch hitter. Last year will go down as a lost season for the veteran, but he could be a decent bounce-back candidate if he returns to full health in 2017. He remains basically a platoon player, making 422 plate appearances against right-handers between 2015 and 2016 and just 49 facing southpaws, but that has buoyed his rate numbers in recent years. As long as Ethier is healthy, he's likely to get the majority of starts in left field, but with regular days off against left-handers. It's also worth noting the Dodgers considered using him as a leadoff hitter before his injury.
Ethier (back) has been diagnosed with a mild herniated disk and will be shut down for 7-10 days, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. While manager Dave Roberts said the injury is not as severe as the herniated disk Clayton Kershaw dealt with last year, he added that it would be "tough" for Ethier to be ready for Opening Day, AM 570's David Vassegh reports. It is unlikely that he will be able to get right back into game action when he is declared ready for baseball activity, so a DL stint to start the season seems likely.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Ethier (back) is unlikely to play for several days, even if his MRI comes back clean, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. While this approach may be one where the Dodgers are simply being extra cautious with the veteran outfielder, Yasiel Puig is missing time with a calf injury this week, leaving the Dodgers a bit thinner at the position than expected. Ethier has gone 6-for-12 with a homer, two RBI, and six walks through eight games this spring.
Ethier is scheduled to have an MRI on his back Monday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. The tests are simply precautionary for Ethier, who was been dealing with tightness in his lower back for a few weeks now. He said that if it were the regular season, he would be able to find a way to play through the back stiffness. It doesn't seem overly serious, but it will be a situation to monitor; he should be considered day-to-day in the meantime.
Ethier was scratched from the lineup Sunday and is dealing with tightness in his lower back, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports. The veteran was held out of prior spring training games due to back and hip issues, so it appears the injury has flared up. He's scheduled for an MRI on Monday, so more information about his status for the upcoming season should be made available later this week.
Ethier (back/hip) returned to the lineup and went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI in Saturday's win over the White Sox. The veteran outfielder technically returned Friday when he appeared as a pinch-hitter, but Saturday's return to both the lineup and the field is a better indicator that his minor ailments have cleared up. Ethier picked up where he left off, bringing his batting average up to .500 (6-for-12) in 18 Cactus League plate appearances. The 34-year-old is currently fighting for a role in the crowded Los Angeles outfield. His primary competition for regular at-bats is fellow lefty Andrew Toles. While the latter hasn't done anything to lose ground in the race (9-for-32), Ethier's track record and contract situation may ultimately land him the job. Whichever player is named the Dodgers' starting left fielder would likely end up on the strong side of a platoon.