The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 25-man roster to start the 2016 season, and in doing so they also placed eight players on the disabled list retroactive to March 25. The group joined Brandon McCarthy and Frankie Montas, who were previously placed on the 60-day DL.
One of those players was outfielder Andre Ethier, who fractured his tibia during Spring Training when he fouled a ball off his shin. Ethier was sent for x-rays, which came back negative and he was initially listed day-to-day with a lower leg contusion.
However, the pain didn’t subside in the days that followed and Ethier didn’t show the expected signs of improvement. A subsequent bone scan revealed the fracture that will keep Ethier out of action for up to 14 weeks.
The loss is substantial as Ethier was named the Dodgers’ starting left fielder and was a candidate to bat leadoff against right-handed pitchers. But due to the team’s outfield depth, replacing Ethier shouldn’t be a problem.
As it currently stands, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig are expected to be the regular starters in center field and right field, respectively. Meanwhile, Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke are tentatively penciled in to platoon in left.
Trayce Thompson is also a candidate to receive playing time with Ethier out. Ethier enjoyed a bounce back season last year after a rough 2014. He batted .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs, 20 doubles, 53 RBIs, had a .366 wOBA and 137 wRC+ over 142 games.
He was also enjoying a successful spring before the injury, as he was batting .435/.517/.652 (10-for-23) with one home run, one triple, five walks and four RBIs. The 34 year old will likely return around June, at which point providing the Dodgers with even more outfield depth.