Not only has Clayton Kershaw been activated from the disabled list for this evening’s start at Miami, but Andre Ethier is poised to be placed on on the active roster for the first time this season.
The 34-year-old outfielder remains on the DL for at least one more game, but the Dodgers said he was en route today to Miami, and not, to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca,” for the waters.
For Ethier, this welcome development comes nearly six months the March 18 game when he fouled a ball off his leg and broke his right tibia.
Initial estimates of how long Ethier would be out — first a few days, then until June, then August — proved too optimistic, and there’s no expectation he will more than an occasional starter in the remaining days of the season, as Dave Roberts told reporters today. But Ethier has been knocking on the activation door for the past two weeks, playing 11 rehab games — including the past five days in a row, one of them a 16-inning affair — for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
He spent the majority of his rehab assignment as a designated hitter, though he did accumulate 31 outfield innings.
In his 10th year as a Dodger, Ethier’s 2015 season was a rebound campaign, with a .366 on-base percentage, .486 slugging percentage and 137 OPS+. This spring, he was emerging as a leadoff hitter option for the Dodgers before the injury, after which second baseman Chase Utley was elevated.