Dodgers News: Andre Ethier Focused On Finding Timing, Not Length Of Rehab Assignment With Quakes
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For a second time in as many years, the Los Angeles Dodgers will have played all but the final month of the regular season without Andre Ethier. A foul ball in Spring Training last year caused a spiral fracture in his tibia.

Ethier was initially projected to miss an estimated three months, but the complex fracture and nerve issues delayed his return. Despite the lost season, the veteran outfielder was included on the Dodgers’ postseason roster for the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series.

Now looking to return from a herniated disc in his lower back, another injury that occurred during Spring Training, Ethier began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend.

Ethier appeared in a second game on Tuesday and explained to Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA his focus is on getting comfortable at the plate, not the duration of the rehab assignment:

“I think that’s the biggest thing right now is just getting the timing back,” Ethier said. “It’s always easier said than done, but if you can just hold on to that feeling. I do a lot of film work with my video – looking at stuff from the past – and try to pick up some keys and ques, but each year is different so you just go out there seeing live pitching, seeing game situations, repricating situations out there, how they’re going to pitch to you and just playing the game and going through it. There’s not a certain number. Everyone wants to know ‘what’s the number? Is it twenty, twenty-five, thirty, fifty at-bats?’ No, it’s just when you feel good you feel good.”

Ethier has made two starts for the Quakes — once each as a designated hitter and in left field — and gone 2-for-6 with one RBI and two strikeouts. His schedule has been akin to that of Spring Training, playing one game and taking the following contest off.

While Ethier played through discomfort last October, he was fully recovered from the leg fracture by spring of this year. Results supported that, as he went 6-for-12 with one double, one home run, six walks and two RBI in eight Cactus League games.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously targeted Friday, Sept. 1, as the date the team would activate Ethier off the 60-day disabled list. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman echoed that sentiment during an appearance at Tuesday’s Dodgers All-Access event.

Regardless of his date of return, this season may very well be Ethier’s last with the Dodgers.