Los Angeles Dodgers 2019 Spring Training is officially underway as pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch a week ago, and now position players officially arrived for the first time on Monday morning to begin preparing for Saturday’s Cactus League opener.
Many of the organization’s position players reported at the same time that pitchers and catchers did to get in extra work, but one who was noticeably missing was outfielder Andrew Toles.
Toles continued to be absent from camp when the team showed up on Monday, and it appears there is a good reason for it. According to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group, Toles is not reporting to Spring Training at the moment due to a personal matter and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman noted is currently unknown when he will arrive:
#Dodgers Andrew Toles will not be reporting to camp at this time. Dealing with "a personal matter," per LAD. "We aren’t sure when Andrew will arrive but he has been in contact with the organization and has our full support."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 18, 2019
Toles was the team’s starting left fielder the second half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 before suffering a torn ACL that cost him the rest of that season.
He returned in 2018 and proved he was healthy, but spent most of the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City due to the team’s logjam in the outfield at the Major League level.
This spring would have been a big one for Toles as he was competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster. Other Major League outfielders include A.J. Pollock, Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo, as well as Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez.
Should Toles not report to Spring Training at some point, it is unlikely he makes the team to begin the season.
Toles hit .233/.281/.300 in 17 Major League games in 2018, but had an impressive .306/.345/.461 slashline with seven home runs and 39 RBI in 71 games with Oklahoma City.