Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Andre Ethier (Page 2 of 12)

Andre Ethier isn’t saving up for a painy day

IMG_5168

By Jon Weisman

Today, Andre Ethier took batting practice on the Dodger Stadium field for the first time in 2016 — about four months after he intended.

As he continues to fight his way toward recovery from a fractured right tibia suffered in Spring Training, Ethier is in a similar situation to what Clayton Kershaw also expressed today — eager to return, making progress toward that return, but ultimately at the mercy of his body’s willingness to return.

“We’re just trying to take — I wouldn’t say steps, I would say we’re trying to take leaps because of how the timetable is,” Ethier said.

“Certain movements or certain things will flare up, but I think the key part of that is how my body reacts afterwards. Before, when I had those little pains or little flareups, they would last a day or last a couple days. Now, they’re lasting maybe minutes, which is a good sign.”

Read More

Thompson heads to DL, Zach Walters recalled

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 1.15.39 PMBy Jon Weisman

Trayce Thompson, who hasn’t been able to shake a lower back irritation despite the All-Star Break, has become the 20th Dodger to go on the disabled list this season (retroactive to July 10).

Taking his place on the active roster will be infielder-outfielder Zach Walters, who is already on the 40-man roster.

The 26-year-old Walters was acquired during the opening week of the season from Cleveland and has spent the entire season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He has a .346 on-base percentage and 491 slugging percentage in 77 games, with 15 doubles and 10 homers, while playing every position except catcher. (Yes, he even pitched to seven batters this year.)

Read More

Rehab news glowing for Kershaw & Co.

IMG_4821

By Jon Weisman

It was an absolutely lovely day at Dodger Stadium today. Mild warmth. A refreshing breeze.

As the shadows made their way across the field at the 5 o’clock hour, Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson emerged from the clubhouse and played catch. And it wasn’t tentative. It was glove-poppin’, “we mean business” catch.

While more Dodgers trickled onto the field for an informal workout tonight, the last night before returning to action with a 10-game road trip that begins Friday at Arizona, Dave Roberts spoke to reporters about the state of several injured players — Kershaw, Anderson, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, Andre Ethier, Yimi Garcia. And everything was just about as glowing as that magic late-afternoon sunlight.

Read More

Hitting history for Dodger All-Stars

Andre Ethier is introduced before the 2011 All-Star Game. ()Barry Gossage/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Andre Ethier before the 2011 All-Star Game. (Barry Gossage/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

No Dodger has had a hit in an All-Star Game in five years, and so it’s up to Corey Seager to change that tonight — unless you’re looking for Kenley Jansen to grab a bat and come through.

Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon, Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez have combined to go 0 for 8 since Ethier’s pinch-hit, RBI single in fifth inning of the July 12, 2011 All-Star Game. Gordon did come around to score as a pinch-runner in the 2014 contest.

The greatest single All-Star batting performances by a Dodger belong to Duke Snider (two singles, a double and a walk in 1954) and Mike Piazza (double and home run in 1996).

Here are some firsts and lasts among all Dodger All-Star batters since 1933, when Tony Cuccinello became the franchise’s first All-Star hitter — striking out to end the 1933 All-Star Game …

Read More

Kershaw, Ethier, Anderson quicken recovery progress

San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Orioles at Dodgers, 12:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Scott Van Slyke, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Bud Norris, P

By Jon Weisman

Chronically the last team to count their chickens before they hatch, the Dodgers nevertheless feel upbeat about the latest progress from Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Andre Ethier in their injury rehab.

Kershaw and Anderson, each recovering from different back ailments — Anderson’s required surgery in March, Kershaw’s an epidural last week — played catch in left field this morning, “which is exciting and encouraging for all of us,” Dave Roberts said.

No return timetable has been outlined for Kershaw, but Roberts said that the clearance to play catch came ahead of schedule.

Read More

In case you missed it: Rehab games for many, but not Ethier

Andre Ethier poses with former Dodger infielder Mark Ellis prior to Monday's game.

Andre Ethier poses with former Dodger infielder Mark Ellis prior to Monday’s game.

By Jon Weisman

Some items to catch up on …

  • Andre Ethier is still in limbo, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. “It’s a little slower than we thought,” Ethier said. “At the eight-week exam, I was expecting to have the OK and go do baseball stuff and slowly progress into running. It was a little bit of a jaw dropper when you get the result. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t healed like I was hoping it was. I had to reassess that it would take a little longer. You always think you can bounce back quicker than you do.”
  • In his first rehab outing since going on the disabled list June 3, Yasiel Puig grounded out, homered to right center and walked.
  • Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu came through their weekend rehab starts without issues and remain on schedule for their next appearances — Thursday for McCarthy, Friday for Ryu. McCarthy threw two innings June 11 in his rehab debut. Ryu pitched three innings June 12.
  • Carl Crawford cleared waivers and was officially released by the Dodgers.
  • Brock Stewart, the 24-year-old righty who was a sixth-round Dodger draft pick from Illinois State in 2014, made his Triple-A debut Monday for Oklahoma City. Stewart struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings and didn’t walk anyone until his final batter, though he allowed two home runs.
  • Another newcomer to the Oklahoma City starting rotation is 27-year-old righty Nick Tepesch, who was picked up after being released by Texas. Tepesch has made two five-inning starts for Oklahoma City, with a 2.70 ERA and nine strikeouts in 10 innings. He has 219 career big-league innings with a 4.56 ERA.
  • Frankie Montas isn’t exactly new to Oklahoma City, but he is officially off the Dodgers’ 60-day disabled list and was officially optioned Sunday. With 11 strikeouts against one run in his first 7 2/3 innings (two appearances), Montas has done nothing to discourage speculation that he is on the fast track to Los Angeles. He next pitches Wednesday.
  • Double-A Tulsa’s Trevor Oaks and Willie Calhoun each won Player of the Week honors, as did Single-A Rancho Cucamonga’s Michael Ahmed, the brother of Arizona’s Nick Ahmed.
  • Jose Tabata, who was acquired in exchange for barely-a-Dodger Michael Morse last summer, was released June 11 from Oklahoma City. The six-year MLB vet had a .673 OPS in Triple-A this year.

Andre Ethier’s return to be delayed

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Andre Ethier’s recovery from a March 18 right tibia fracture has slowed, and his expected June return has been delayed, Dave Roberts told reporters today.

Roberts said that there isn’t much new with Ethier, who hasn’t been running at full body weight. Roberts added that he has exchanged texts with Ethier and that he is anxious to get back to action.

— Jon Weisman

Dodgers hold team meeting before batting practice

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Alex Wood, P

By Jon Weisman

In the wake of their four-game losing streak, the Dodgers held a closed-door meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the clubhouse that Dave Roberts said essentially addressed the same issues he brought up after Thursday’s game.

“You just got to get back to the fundamentals and trying to play clean, crisp baseball and play every pitch,” Roberts said. “I think that there are signs of that. … Whether we’re winning games or not winning games, I still think there’s a process that needs to be in place, and you just don’t want things to get away from you. So right now, it’s kind of hit the reset button a little bit.”

Among other issues, Roberts has the sense that Dodger batters are pressing at the plate.

“You know, it’s funny — I think it’s just guys are trying too hard,” he said. “And you hear it all the time when guys aren’t swinging well, that guys want to do it so bad, it’s a little bit, ‘Try a little less hard.’ Because guys just start swinging the bat, and you start coming out of the strike zone.”

One thing not addressed in today’s meeting was the 80-game suspension of former Dodger infielder Dee Gordon that was announced late Thursday. Reaction to that news is amply covered at a number of sites, but Roberts echoed the feeling of many.

Read More

In case you missed it: Grandal’s return delayed

Yasmani Grandal homers March 18 against Arizona.

Yasmani Grandal homers March 18 against Arizona.

Dodgers at Indians, 7:05 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, DH
A.J. Ellis C
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Elian Herrera, 2B
Trayce Thompson, LF
(Clayton Kershaw, P)
Update: Howie Kendrick was scratched shortly before first pitch with left calf tightness and is day to day.

By Jon Weisman

Yasmani Grandal will remain out of the Dodger lineup until at least Sunday, Dave Roberts told reporters today.

An MRI showed no muscle damage in Grandal’s sorearm, tweeted Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., but the Dodgers are taking a precautionary approach with their starting catcher, who told SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo that if it were up to him, he would play.

Of course, it became apparent toward the end of last season that Grandal is pretty much the Black Knight when it comes to pain tolerance. Today, Bill Plunkett of the Register noted that Grandal caught Kenta Maeda’s bullpen session, though he let another catcher throw the ball back to the mound.

Grandal has played in eight Cactus League games, with his most recent start coming Sunday.

Here are some other pregame notes:

  • Andre Ethier won’t be allowed to put any weight on his fractured right leg for six weeks, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • Corey Seager batted in a minor-league game today, going 0 for 4. He did not play defense in the game.
  • In his third inning of a minor-league game today, Cuban pitching prospect Yadier Alvarez was clocked by two scouts at 100 mph, said J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
  • National columnist Peter Gammons has an extended piece on the Dodgers at GammonsDaily.
  • Fangraphs writer Dave Cameron addresses concerns that the Dodgers aren’t taking Clayton Kershaw’s prime seriously enough.
  • On Saturday, the Kings will host Dodgers Pride Night at 7 p.m. at Staples Center. Fans are invited to purchase a ticket package that includes a ticket to the game and a commemorative Dodgers Pride Night long-sleeve shirt that will be redeemed at the game. Visit lakings.com/dodgers for more details.

With Ethier sidelined, who gains a roster spot?

Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Roster move: The Dodgers have reassigned non-roster reliever Matt West to minor-league camp. The Dodgers have 41 active players remaining in big-league camp.

By Jon Weisman

On this last Wednesday without baseball until the All-Star Break, let’s consider the domino effect of Andre Ethier’s fractured leg, which not only opens up a spot in the Dodger starting lineup but also the bench.

Read More

Andre Ethier to miss 10-14 weeks with fracture

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Dodgers at Royals, 6:05 p.m.
Carl Crawford, DH
Chase Utley, 2B
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Joc Pederson, CF
Kiké Hernandez, SS
A.J. Ellis C
Trayce Thompson, LF
Rob Segedin, 1B
Rico Noel, RF
(Alex Wood, P)

By Jon Weisman

The second X-ray was radioactive and then some for Andre Ethier.

When Ethier fouled a ball off his right shin Friday, initial x-rays were negative. But after he showed no improvement over subsequent days, a follow-up CT scan revealed a right tibia fracture.

He won’t need surgery, but he is expected to need between 10 and 14 weeks to recover, which puts him out until at least approximately June, or approximately a third of the regular season.

Ethier, who turns 34 on April 10, played in 142 games last year and hasn’t played in fewer than 130 since 2006, his rookie year. He had an .842 OPS and 137 weighted Runs Created in 2015.

Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke are the most obvious choices to pick up Ethier’s innings in left field, with Trayce Thompson — who starts for the Dodgers in tonight’s Cactus League game against the Royals — the leading option from the farm system. The 25-year-old Thompson OPSed .896 with 144 wRC+ in 135 plate appearances when he debuted with the White Sox last summer.

Kiké Hernandez is the last Dodger to start in left field in a game that counted — Game 5 of the 2015 National League Division Series — and could also see time there once Corey Seager returns to action at shortstop.

A year ago, Crawford was coming off a hot finish to 2013, and Ethier was expected to be the fourth outfielder, only to step forward when Crawford struggled with injuries. This year, Crawford and others will have the opportunity to step up for a fallen starter.

In case you missed it: Maeda rolls after getting a bit rocked

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

It’s hard not to like what Kenta Maeda has brought to the U.S. so far.

Same with Justin Turner, even if the journey isn’t quite so far.

Read More

Andre Ethier taken for X-rays — day to day with leg contusion

[mlbvideo id=”557684583″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers held their breath as left fielder and increasingly impressive leadoff hitter Andre Ethier went to get X-rays on his right leg.

Ethier, who hit the first pitch of today’s 11-8 loss to Arizona for a single up the middle, went down in the fourth inning after fouling a pitch off his shin. After being visited at home plate by manager Dave Roberts and head athletic trainer Neal Rampe, Ethier stayed in the game long enough to witness a wild pitch and draw a walk — then left for pinch-runner Rico Noel.

Ethier limped noticeably as he went back to the dugout. Minutes later, Ethier was driven to the clubhouse by cart, and then taken for further examination.

Update: The Dodgers announced tonight that X-rays on Ethier’s leg were negative, and that he is day to day with a lower leg contusion.

In case you missed it: Ethier leadoff experiment, step one

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

In discussing potential Dodger leadoff hitters last week, I hesitated to include Andre Ethier because he had never done so in a regular-season game – but I decided to do so anyway, because against right-handers, it makes sense.

Sure enough, Ethier grabbed a leadoff spot in today’s 7-3 Dodger victory over Colorado, walking and singling in his first two at-bats.

Dave Roberts told reporters today that Ethier could bat leadoff when the matchup is favorable.

What else can I tell you?

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is not going to pitch in Cactus League play and is doubtful to return to Major League action before June, Dave Roberts said today.
  • Zach Lee retired the first eight batters he faced in a 3 1/3-inning performance, allowing a run on four baserunners with one strikeout.
  • Julio Urias gave up a run in his first inning of relief, but retired the final four batters in his two-inning outing.
  • In his second Cactus League game, Justin Turner went 1 for 3 with an error.
  • Elian Herrera and Trayce Thompson both scored on the same wild pitch in the eighth inning.
  • Some interesting data from Tony Blengino at Fangraphs supports a big 2016 season for Yasmani Grandal. In his first Cactus League game since March 9, Grandal singled and walked.
  • Outfield prospect Alex Verdugo did a Q&A with Jim Callis of MLB.com.
  • Dustin Nosler of Dodgers Digest rated Dodger minor leaguers according to best tools.
  • Frank Sinatra Jr., who sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium several times, most recently in September as part of the centennial celebration of his father, has passed away at age 72. Tommy Lasorda expressed his sadness this evening. “Like his father, Frank Jr. brought us much joy with his unbelievable musical talent,” Lasorda said. “Last season, Frank Jr. sang the national anthem at Dodger Stadium on my birthday. What a voice! Frank Jr. was a great and lovely family man. He will be missed dearly.”
  • For a brief moment this morning, it looked like Dodger Stadium was going the Calvinball route …

Are Dodgers dodging the leadoff inquisition?

Just seeing if you're paying attention. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Just seeing if you’re paying attention. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Dodgers at A’s, 12:05 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Chase Utley, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Andre Ethier, DH
A.J. Ellis, C
Trayce Thompson, CF
Charlie Culberson, 3B
Rico Noel, RF
(Kenta Maeda, P)

By Jon Weisman

Earlier this week, MLB.com, the Times, the Register, True Blue L.A. and ESPN.com all wrote about how the Dodgers don’t expect to have a full-time leadoff hitter in 2016.

“It’s still wide-open,” Dave Roberts said, according to Bill Plunkett of the Register. “It might change but I don’t foresee a designated leadoff guy – versus left, versus right, versus any type of pitcher – because any day is different, any pitcher is different. So whatever I feel is the best, which makes the most sense for that night or day, we’ll do.”

For some reason, this seems to get under the skin of some fans, who correlate a consistent presence atop the order with winning. And to be sure, if you’ve got guy who posts a .400 on-base percentage against all pitching and doesn’t have redwoods for legs, that’s a good head start toward victory.

But you’re not doomed if you don’t have that person, and it doesn’t serve anyone to pretend that you do. Whatever advantage might be derived from stubbornly batting the same player in the same batting slot, regardless of who the opposing pitcher is, is surely bettered by creating the best matchups.

Let’s look at the Dodgers’ potential leadoff hitters, casting a wide net …

Read More

Page 2 of 12

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén