Sep 20, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier (16) and center fielder Matt Kemp (27) prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers: Andre Ethier Likely Limited to Big Pinch Hit Role

The surplus in Los Angeles Dodgers outfielders has never been a problem for Don Mattingly this season. It’s only been a help, they are as banged up as they’ve been all season. Matt Kemp is most likely shut down for the remainder of the season. Andre Ethier’s status was not in good shape prior to his light workout at Dodgers Stadium today. He did not have a setback, but the news was not better afterwards.

The LA Times Bill Shaikin reported that Andre Ethier is likely to only be used in a pinch hitting role in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. Andre Ethier described his instructions

They just said, ‘You have to beat a throw from the outfield,’ After I get on first base, we’ll worry about what happens then.

Andre Ethier anchored the Dodgers outfield in centerfield almost all season since Matt Kemp was out with various ailments. But Ethier has been sidelined with shin splints for the last week.

If he wakes up and feels great over the weekend, I’d expect him to play–much like Kemp for that matter. Ethier speculated

Who knows, maybe we wake up Saturday or Sunday and it feels good enough to run full-bore

Ethier and Kemp are too talented to let Skip Schumacher, Scott Van Slyke, or Jerry Hairston be starting outfielders in a playoff series.

Shin splints do not geel good at all, but it’s an uncommon and, for lack of a better word, weak injury for a baseball player. They do not feel good by any stretch, but if I was choosing a sport to play through shin splints, I’d pick baseball. The caveats about shin splints are they do not go away quickly or easily, and they can lead to stress fractures.

But being an injured left handed bat on the bench in the postseason, gives you an uncommonly big platform to be a hero in a Dodgers uniform.

Tags: Andre Ethier Los Angeles Dodgers NLDS

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