The Los Angeles Dodgers enter Sunday’s regular-season finale against the San Francisco Giants without much to play for. Sure, a win would put further strain on the Giants’ bid to reach the National League Wild Card Game, but Los Angeles doesn’t stand to gain or lose anything.
The Washington Nationals secured home-field advantage in the NL Division Series on Saturday with the Dodgers’ shutout loss to the Giants. Though, even if the Dodgers had won, the Nationals’ defeating the Miami Marlins shortly after would have produced the same result.
Los Angeles spent a significant portion of the last week staging multiple auditions as decisions for their NLDS roster loom.
Along the way manager Dave Roberts has revealed a handful of players who will be part of the playoff roster.
On Sunday, Roberts said Andre Ethier will be with the Dodgers for the NLDS, which rounds out the group of outfielders, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
Andre Ethier and Josh Reddick are on the postseason roster, Dave Roberts says. "The outfield's set." Puig, Joc, Toles, Howie are in too.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 2, 2016
Ethier returned Sept. 10 from a fractured right tibia sustained during Spring Training. Entering Sunday, he’s 4-for-23 with one double, one home run, two walks and six strikeouts over 15 games (three starts).
Not long ago it was believed Ethier and Andrew Toles were competing for the same roster spot. But with Toles already named to the NLDS roster, and the Nationals’ pitching staff not having an abundance of lefties, that presumably created an opportunity for Ethier.
His inclusion may spell doom for Kiké Hernandez, who struggled for much of the year. Ethier is batting a career .234/.333/.393 over 35 postseason games and figures to fill the role he has since being reinstated from the disabled list — pinch-hitter.
Upon joining the club last month, Ethier said he was willing to do whatever was asked of him.