An unexpected call-up and breakout campaign in 2016 set an expectation for Andrew Toles to play a significant role for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. But his year was cut short as Toles suffered a torn ACL while giving chase on a slicing fly ball.
The all-out effort was in part tied to Julio Urias being in the midst of a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Toles underwent surgery in May to repair the torn ACL in his right knee. A timetable was not provided for his return.
The 25-year-old recently began hitting off a tee for the first time since the operation. “We expect him ready in Spring Training,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.
“Exactly what that means and what kind of load he can take on in February or March, we’re not sure. But we’re optimistic he’ll be ready for Opening Day.”
Because of a change in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that installed more off days, Spring Training and Opening Day of the 2018 season were pushed up in the calendar. All teams will begin the new season on March 29, which is the earliest date in MLB history.
Toles presumably will reclaim his standing as the left-handed hitter for a platoon in left field. In 79 career games over parts of two seasons, he’s batted .294/.341/.483 with 12 doubles, eight home runs, 31 RBI and a 118 OPS+.