In a corresponding move to create room on their 40-man roster for the newly-claimed Justin Marks, the Los Angeles Dodgers transferred Andre Ethier to the 60-day disabled list. The veteran outfielder remains sidelined by a lumbar disc herniation.
The paper move doesn’t have any bearing on Ethier’s status, nor is it indicative of his recovery. While it does prevent the Dodgers from reinstating Ethier until the end of May, his return was not expected to come until some time in June.
Though, even that projection was considered a best-case scenario. It wasn’t until recently that he began to swing a bat, after weeks of not partaking in baseball activities.
Ethier called his recovery a “week-by-week” process that’s based on symptoms that follow an increased workload. The 35-year-old only managed to appear in 16 games last season, because of a fractured right tibia sustained during Spring Training.
He reported to camp this year finally recovered from the leg injury, only to fall victim to back trouble. What began as hip soreness followed by back spasms, an MRI on March 20 revealed a herniated disc in Ethier’s lower back.
That immediately ended a spring which saw him go 6-for-12 with one double, one home run, six walks and two RBI in eight Cactus League games. Ethier was one among the six Dodgers who began the 2017 season on the disabled list. His DL stint is retroactive to March 30.
The Dodgers hold a $17.5 million option and $2.5 million buyout on Ethier’s contract for 2018.
To present time, Los Angeles has put 15 different players on the disabled list this season. They set an MLB record last year by sending 28 players to the DL.