Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts provided some good and bad updates in his Tuesday morning press conference at Camelback Ranch.
The Bad: Andre Ethier
Per multiple reports out of Arizona, Andre Ethier has a mildly herniated disk and will be held out of baseball activities for the next 10 days. This is obviously discouraging news for Ethier who has been tearing the cover off the ball this spring.
This injury is the same injury that held Clayton Kershaw out for two and a half months last season. While Dave Roberts said the injury isn’t as severe as Kershaw’s injury, it seems like a long shot for Ethier to make the opening day lineup in likes of this injury.
This is another unfortunate break for our veteran outfield as he dealt with a similar case last season when he broke his leg on a foul ball during spring training. Ethier is the longest tenured Dodger on the roster and is in what looks like his final season with the Dodgers. Dodger fans only hoped he could have had a fighting chance to be our everyday left fielder.
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But there’s no reason to overspeculate early. The Dodgers are downplaying the severity of the injury so let’s hope rest is able to heal Ethier’s disk sooner than later. If indeed, Ethier needs to miss an extended period the Dodgers are well equipped to deal with the injury. With other outfielders: Andrew Toles, Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson, and Kike Hernandez, the Dodgers have the roster to deal with this injury.
There’s no doubt Ethier’s veteran leadership will be missed in the clubhouse. But similar to last year, this may open opportunities for younger players that can provide more upside.
The Good: Corey Seager
Seager will also take at-bats today as a DH in a Minor League game. Seager has only played in 3 games this spring and has been nursing numerous injuries. Getting some in-game action is encouraging because he’s been slowly returning to team workouts this past weekend.
With only 12 days until opening day, I’m excited to see Seager get some at-bats before the regular season starts. Last spring he nursed a knee injury for the majority of spring training, but he showed no effects of any lingering pain during his rookie of the year campaign. Seager is one of the players the Dodgers can’t afford to miss any extended period of time. He and Turner are the strength of the lineup and shortstop is a difficult position to replace.
One positive that could be taken away from Seager’s absence this spring was the play of Chris Taylor. Taylor has hit .464 in 48 plate appearances in 15 games this spring. Taylor is fighting for the final utility role with Kike Hernandez and Carlie Culberson.
The injury to Andre Ethier may leave Taylor with a roster spot for opening day, but Taylor needs to get comfortable playing in the outfield.
Another positive update was that Roberts said Julio Urias was going to throw a bullpen session Tuesday afternoon and could possibly pitch in a Minor League game Thursday or Friday. Urias has been away from Camelback nursing a strep throat injury. But looks to be ready to get back in action.
Urias’ rotation spot had been in question lately because they want to preserve his innings, but Urias still believes he has a shot at making the opening day rotation. Roberts has been very mindful of Urias’ innings and pitch counts this spring and indicated yesterday that he doesn’t believe Urias could be stretched out to reach 100 pitches by opening day.
Urias is the biggest question mark for the Dodgers right now. The entire team knows he has the talent to compete at the major league level. It’s determining the timeline that is up in the air. I think Urias should go into extended spring training for the first 2 months of the season and get called up around June.
Other Injury/News Updates:
Adrian Gonzalez felt discomfort in his right elbow again and has been out of the lineup the past two game. This is the same elbow discomfort he was feeling earlier this spring.
Yasiel Puig felt calf tightness when running the bases and has also missed the last two games.
Pedro Baez and Sergio Romo are scheduled to throw bullpens today.
Keep a close eye on our social media for the latest, biggest news coming out of Camelback Ranch. We’re less than 2 weeks away from opening day and the Dodgers will be finalizing roster decisions in the coming days. Be sure to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook for any Dodger questions you have during the season.