Andre Ethier was in the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse prior to Monday’s series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he wasn’t activated from the 60-day disabled list. Nor was Ethier reinstated on Tuesday, when he again was in the clubhouse.
The veteran outfielder began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Aug. 25. After not appearing in the Quakes’ regular-season finale, Ethier was in the lineup on Wednesday when Rancho Cucamonga began a best-of-three playoff matchup against Lancaster JetHawks (Houston Astros affiliate).
He remained in the game as the designated hitter for all 16 innings, going 2-for-7 with a home run. What’s to come in the days ahead isn’t known. “At that point in time we’ll reevaluate,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Tuesday.
“Like I said from the beginning, I want to leave it up to ‘Dre and trust his knowledge of his own swing and where he’s at physically and defer to that. We’re going to have a conversation here in the next couple of days to try and figure out what’s best for him and us.”
Ethier is batting .290/.343/.419 with four doubles, one home run and four RBI in 10 starts with the Quakes. He’s logged 16 innings over three starts in right field, 15 innings in two starts in left, and otherwise been the Quakes’ designated hitter.
Ethier’s recovery from a fractured right tibia sustained during Spring Training has taken longer than he and club anticipated. Ethier was initially projected to miss 10 to 14 weeks.
Even as time has ticked away, Roberts and Ethier have maintained confidence a return in September was in order. Roberts did not set a specific number of games or at-bats the 34-year-old outfielder needed to record prior to coming off the disabled list.
It’s been accepted Ethier will not play pain-free this season, and perhaps never again for his career. After concluding their homestand Wednesday, the Dodgers have an off-day prior to beginning a 10-game road trip in Miami on Friday.
Roberts didn’t rule out Ethier joining the club at some point on their road trip and reiterated he will defer to the veteran on when a return may be in order.