Andre Ethier Out With Herniated Disc

Andre Ethier

Outfielder Andre Ethier is doubtful for opening day. The club announced after the veteran received an MRI on his ailing back. The MRI revealed that Ethier actually has a mild disc herniation. There are no reports as to how long Ethier may be out for, but it’s pretty unlikely he’ll be ready for opening day.

Of course we all remember Clayton Kershaw’s herniated disc in 2016 that was considered mild as well. He was out over two and a half months. Apparently Ethier also received an epidural injection. He will return to camp on Thursday but has been ordered by doctors to halt all baseball activities for ten days.

If Ethier is to start the season on the disabled list that obviously opens the door for someone like Andrew Toles to make the squad. Ethier is 6 for 12 (.500) this spring with one home run and two runs batted in.  He’s looked good when he’s played. Unfortunately that hasn’t been much this spring.

If Ethier is unable to go left field could be up for grabs between Andrew Toles, Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson and Franklin Gutierrez.  The Dodgers have already unofficially announced that Gutierrez will make the opening day roster as a part time outfielder and right handed bat off the bench. This is not surprising considering they signed him to a guaranteed MLB contract.

Thompson and Van Slyke are both coming off of injury riddled seasons as well. Thompson is recovered from a severe back injury (stress fracture) and Van Slyke was hampered by wrist and back problems. Thompson is now back in camp and playing in games. He’s looked strong early on. Ethier’s injury could also give the Dodgers a little bit of roster flexibility.

Toles is probably the early favorite to win the fifth outfield spot, but he has options and can be sent down to Oklahoma City. Van Slyke is out of options, but should make the club as well providing he is healthy. Thompson is a strong candidate too, but he has options and might not be fully recovered from his back injury. However he has stated that he feels he is 100% healthy. Thompson is hitting .333 (6 for 18) this spring with one home run.

Ethier is in the final year of a five-year contract and is due to earn 17.5 million dollars. He has a vesting option for 2018 and a 2.5 million dollar buyout. The option can vest if Ethier reaches 550 plate appearances in 2017 or 1,100 plate appearances between 2017-2018.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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66 thoughts on “Andre Ethier Out With Herniated Disc

  1. Disappointing for some. Not for everyone. Some have professed Ethier as a softie for years. I think he’s clearly our best left fielder.

    So, Gutierrez and Toles? Might work. Has SD picked a starter yet? Could be a left hander, meaning Gutierrez could start Opening Day. Which is 12 days off. 11 games. Time to dial it in

    1. I thought Scott was having a good spring, but I saw that his batting average is down.

      Maybe that won’t matter, since he is only going to play against lefties.

      I saw that Toles got two hits today, and raised his batting average to a little above 300.

      And Thompson has two hits yesterday, so he is doing well, considering all the time he has missed.

    2. Badger, what kills me is that some of those who say Ethier is soft, turn around and call guys like McCarthy and Kike tough, scrappy dogs or some such. I can understand an appreciation for underdogs, but many overdogs are not only talented but tough as well. Good example is Kobe – born with a silver spoon and God blessed talent, but as tough and junkyard as they come.

      And I agree with MJ from the other thread. Ethier was unfairly handled by Mattingly and in fact I put Hanley and Kemp in there a well. The NY types just have their own ways and want to convince everyone the Jeter way is the only way. Well in LA, we smoke, smile and get hairy all over, so take a walk. I think the last true New Yorker that was also a true Dodger may have been Branch Rickey. Getting Torre and his protoge Donnie Manhattan set us back years.

      1. Hey, what about Lasorda?

        I’m still not impressed with what I’ve seen so far from the exhibition season. Dodger pitching is very suspect. Even Kershaw got pounded the other day. Hill has yet to surface, Kaz seems cooked. I hoped Ethier would start, but karma cannot be put aside.


        Gonzalez, Forsyth, Taylor (if Seager can’t go), Turner, Grandal.
        Toles, Pederson, Thompson (maybe Puig if he surges in last week of exhib).

        Bullpen is sketchy to me. I’m not so big on Avilan, Fields, Hatcher (booooo).

        Not feeling great about this club, right now.

        1. Urias is not going to make the starting 5. Dave Roberts has already said that Julio is going to be in extended spring to monitor his innings. Ryu is borderline to be ready. 5 starters will be, Kersh, Maeda, Hill, McCarthy and Wood. You are way off on the position players. Gonzo, Turner, Forsythe, Seager, Utley, and my pick for the utility guy, Taylor. Of is going to be, Puig, Pederson, SVS, Toles, and Gutierrez. Toles makes it because Andre cannot go. Dark horse is Thompson. But I think he goes to AAA to play every day. Only real question mark right now is the bull pen. After Kenley and Romo and Dayton, it is a crap shoot.

          1. Why am I off on the position players, Norris? The only position to date that is in question is RF and Puig is penciled in. Taylor will start at ss if Corey can’t go.

            Do you really think McCarthy and Wood will fill out the SP’s? If Ryu is ready, they should go with him and Wood. Even a less than 100% Ryu should be better than McCarthy. Urias will be back at some point. Hopefully, Hill will get it together before the season begins. He’s looking washed up.

      2. YF

        It killed me at times when Mattingly was in charge.

        In that last post season when Mattingly was still manager, we would look at the starting line up before the game, and we knew then, that we didn’t have our best chance to win.

        Because Mattingly almost always didn’t play the right players, or have close to the right batting order.

        And he often stuck with the wrong player, or wrong line up, to long.

        He wanted to go to the Marlins partly because he didn’t have a job here, beyond what he was signed for.

        And because he was friends with the Marlin’s owner, and he knew there was young players there, that would look up to him.

        He just couldn’t handle conflict well.

        And with a lot of different personalities, you are always going to have some kind of conflict, at one time or another.

  2. Hate to see Ethier is injured. This is two years in a row. Tough ending to his career. I would hope Thompson would win the starting job. Maybe Toles and Thompson can split the duties.

    1. Idahoal

      I hope both Toles and Thompson, can play well enough too.

      You would have thought the new guy with that terrible condition, would be the outfielder, that couldn’t start on opening day, instead of Ethier.

      But everything does happen for a reason, but I don’t think Ethier would want to hear that now, after what happened to him, last year.

    2. Hey guys, unless something really unforeseen happens, Thompson is going to be at OKC. SVS makes the team because he is the only real backup option for Gonzo. Versatility is the name of the game. Toles and Thompson can only play the OF. They like multipositional players which is why Chris Taylor is going to beat out Kike. Taylor is a superior infielder and SS to Kike. He has also been playing some CF. Kike has been with the PR team and has been so so. Taylor is hitting a ton.

  3. Favorite son Willie Calhoun was sent down today. His bat showed well, I think. Let’s all hope the defense becomes passable.

    Also sent down were Verdugo, Eibner, Jose Miguel Fernandez and the increasingly versatile Sweeney.

    Gutierrez is getting more run than I suspected. Looks like Platoonville in left.

    1. Oh yes. They would platoon in left even if Ethier was ready to go. But looking at the rest of the lineup, I think they can go every night. They won’t of course, but I think they might could.

      I think it’s safe to say Calhoun will hit his way to the Majors. Kid can hack.

    2. Gutierrez was signed for one reason only. He kills left handed pitching and he was told almost 2 weeks ago that he had made the team. He pretty much could have batted .100 this spring and he was making this team.

      1. Michael

        Everybody knows that about Gutierrez.

        We are just glad that Thompson is doing well, after being out so long.

        And if he can produce at the major league level, we won’t have to get a bat like Gutierrez, in the future.

        And if Gutierrez gets hurt, which is likely, Thompson might get called up.

        And Toles does have a chance to play at the major league level, with Ethier out.

        Because Scott and Gutierrez, don’t hit righties, and Scott hasn’t done much, in the last couple years, and he isn’t having a good spring either.

        And it looked like a while there, that Scott would have to have a really good spring, to be on the major league team, after they signed Gutierrez.

        Even with the fact, that Scott plays first too.

        If they felt Scott was going be healthy and to produce, they probably wouldn’t have signed Gutierrez.

        But Scott hasn’t been reliable for a couple years, so I understand them, signing Gutierrez.

      2. Michael

        Sometimes you sound a little harsh, and I know you are right most of the time, but sometimes we are just happy for the young guys.

        1. I do not care who makes the team as long as they do a good job. If I am sounding harsh it is because some people read what they want to read and do not read what is being said out of camp, and they keep making the same old arguments and not listening to what is said. Roberts stated over a week ago that he did not expect Urias to break camp with the big club. He also stated that Gutierrez is making the team. Ergo, If Ethier was healthy and ready to go neither Toles nor Thompson would make it because your 5 OF’s would be Puig, Pederson, SVS, Gutierrez and Andre. With Andre hurt, Toles slides into the open spot. They are not going to carry 6. Especially if the super utility guy, at this point in my mind that would be Taylor, plays the outfield. Kike could still sneak in there, but Taylor is far superior on defense in the infield, and has played well this spring in the outfield. I just ask they speak with their heads instead of their hearts. And when a guy like SVS comes off injury’s that have made him ineffective and plays as well as he has this spring, unless something drastic happens in the next 13 days he makes the team simply as A-Gones back up…..they have no one else who can do that except Grandal, and you do not want to do that either.

          1. Michael


            I personally think Scott, will make this team.

            But he has been hurt so much, I hope he is healthy and ready to go.

            I thought he was having a good spring too.

            But I saw his stats, and he is hitting 241, with four RBIs.

            But you are right, there is still a lot of time left.

            I am just happy for Thompson, and with the way this front office use the forty man roster, we know there is always a chance, anyone from AAA might be up, in the season.

            It is just to bad that Scotty hasn’t been reliable in the last couple years, or they probably wouldn’t have signed, Gutierrez.

            I think Taylor will make the team, but I don’t blame Kike, for playing for his country.

            He will have the memories, of doing that.

            And really he needs to go to AAA, and get some consistent at bats, because he hasn’t played much, in the WBC.

            And he didn’t hit well last year, so he needs to show he can hit.

          2. MJ. you look at the stats and it looks like not a great spring, but the fly in the buttermilk is that he is making good contact, just not getting a lot of breaks. There are quite a few other guys not having a great spring. Forsythe and Turner are doing well, but Joc is hitting in the .240’s also. Difference with him is he is hitting with power. Puig is hitting lower than that, but the team is pleased because his at bats have been better and he is not chasing those outside pitches. Some guys you just know you can depend on, and if Scotty has a rough time or gets injured, Thompson is a phone call away…..look for Verdugo, and Bellinger to get September look-see’s .

    1. Michael

      Yes i haven’t seen enough, and I was just suprised because the times a saw him, it looked like he is getting hits.

  4. Verdugo was sent down too. Verdugo and Calhoun, who are both great at making contact with plus bat control and bat speed, would be great complements to Joc and Bellinger in terms of lineup construction (lefty vs righty aside). Plus Verdugo has a rocket arm. I would like to see them all get a chance to play together as Dodgers.

      1. 2018 and beyond!

        Of course I had Cotton, Montas and Holmes on my depth chart when I first said that. We should still be ok.

        I think Kershaw will be fine. Hope so. I’m thinking there won’t be many quality starts from any of the others so the bullpen better be prestantatious. (I haven’t used that word before. What do you think? Too much?)

        1. Badger

          Only time will tell, what comes out of all of the deals, but we have to wait, even beyond this year, to really know.

    1. YF

      Not only does Calhoun make good contact, he also has good power, to go with that contact.

      And that is what all the good hitters, have.

  5. The season is fast approaching and the Dodgers players are dropping. Does anyone see any correlation to last year?

    Soon, Hill & McCarthy will be nursing an injury. Ryu will have arm issues and Urias will be called up WAY before the original plan of which everyone will clamor that WAS the plan.

    The FAZophants will have every excuse in the book for why the Dodgers are not leading the Division. Eventually they will say, who cares, it’s all about winning the World Series until that doesn’t happen……and then it’s on to talking about all of the great (soon to be all-stars/hall of famers) prospects on the horizon. As we all know there is a draft every year and one can ‘sell’ the concept of the next Kershaw or Pujols being drafted by the great and powerful FAZ.

    But then one must look at Friedman’s track record while with the Rays for 9 years. Ladies and Gentlemen it was not impressive. Is he going to have the #1 and #3 overall draft picks with the Dodgers? Well there goes his 2 best draftees.

    Can’t use the excuse of ‘no money’ as this will be the 3rd year in a row that FAZ has had the highest payroll in baseball. With most fan bases, that would/should equate to ‘at least’ a World Series appearance or be ridden out of town. Oh, we’re paying you $7M a year? What were we paying the last guy? Haven’t seen a difference yet, well except for prospects being traded for journeyman players.

    Excuses, excuses. Get ready for them because they are coming.

    1. Correlation?

      Uh, yep.

      FAZ patterns are consistent. Even the contracts they drew up were spent on high risk players. Will that continue once the leftover contracts clear? Who knows. They do what they know how to do. McCarthy, Kazmir, Hill are current DL du jour choices, but I would like to believe when the dust clears, and by dust I mean Crawford, Guerrero, Olivera, Kemp, Gonzalez and Ethier, the FAZ will be free to sign 23-30 year old prime time talent. I’d LIKE to believe that, but as Chili just mentioned, they have a track record and, as the perceptive Miss Piggy once said “past is prologue frog”. We’d be wise to listen to a prescient pig.

      1. I hope Ryu can come back and pitch.

        He is fun to watch whether he is pitching, or hitting.

        And if he can pitch, by the time that Urias is able to join the rotation, we should have a pretty good rotation.

        And I don’t think Hill would have been a bad signing to you guys, if they didn’t sign Kazmir, McCarthy, or Anderson.

        Because Hill has a much higher upside, and I hope he can prove he can make his starts this year, because he is fun to watch pitch too.

        1. Pitching will be decided by injury, I’m afraid. Not a good sign. However, Ryu looks to be ready. Hill is struggling in the preseason, but, he made a mark here last year. If he holds up, along with Ryu, the Dodgers will have a formidable 4 man rotation. The 5th should be Urias, but they are coddling him. For me Kaz, McCarthy, Stripling, & Anderson should be recycled. Wood, career .500 guy, is probably the only one worth a gamble, but can he stay healthy?

          1. Badger

            I knew we were still paying Olivera, but this front office signed him.

            But what was interesting there, was that former Cuban second baseman, that they had in spring training this year.

            It said they released him there, I believe.

          2. No MJ, Dodgers are NOT still paying Olivera. Olivera was signed for $62.5M, 6yrs, with a $28M signing bonus. The bonus was paid at the time of the signing. The $4.666M you see at Spotrac for 2017 is the luxury tax hit for 2017 ($28M divided by 6 yrs). No money is going to Olivera from Dodgers in 2017. Olivera’s remaining contract is being paid by the Padres to get rid of Kemp.

            Bottom line: Dodgers paid $28M and a portion of Olivera’s 2015 salary before trading him to Braves for Wood and others. Getting Wood alone for $28M is pretty good.

          3. “Getting Wood for $28 million is pretty good” – catbox

            Leaving the obvious joke alone ……. Huh?

      1. Boxout

        I did hear on MLB Channel that the Dodgers were still paying part of his contract, last year, but I didn’t know about this year.

        And it was part of his contract.

  6. You guys want the Giant injury report?

    Here it is anyway:

    LH reliever Will Smith is getting his elbow checked out, TJ possible, but he’s definitely going to be out for a while. Not a minor detail. Javy Lopez is retired, they traded a first round pick pitcher plus a backup catcher to acquire Smith, and the other lefties have limited experience (Steven Okert), are having trouble with mechanics (Josh Osich), or are of the retread variety. In short, the Giants late inning setup crew is taking a hit and will be very reliant on RHP. They will be putting a lot of pressure on rookie Okert to get some big outs against big LHH bats, which the Dodgers happen to have lined up.

    What else?

    Mike Morse has a hamstring injury, hurting his chances to make squad. Mac Williamson has a quad injury, likely putting him out of LF competition. Some other bumps and bruises and the bell cows (Posey and Crawford) are still with WBC squad and have looked good.

    That’s all I got.

    1. Rye

      I don’t know if you ever watch High Heat, on the MLB Channel, but the guy on this program, Mad Dog , loves the Giants.

      And he hated that trade for Smith.

      And he was right about Smith last year, because he wasn’t that good in the pen.

      But I bet he is pissed now, because of what the Giants, gave up in that trade, to get Smith.

      1. according to John Sickels and likely others, yes.

        #10 per JS, with Barnes at 12. and Will Smith as an honorable mention, C+ prospect.

        1. according to….Smith is right behind Ruiz and they do not have Barnes in the top 30 at all, which is funny because they still have Toles on there as a prospect.

  7. You mean this Ruiz?

    Keibert Ruiz, 18, Dodgers: Already highlighted in Matt Pullman’s Teens Who Rake, Pt. III, Ruiz is my absolute number one breakout candidate for catching prospects next year. His offensive stats alone should cause you to get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, but digging deeper into his scouting reports at FanGraphs and Baseball America, you will find that his defensive skills may in fact be ahead of his bat, which is just insane. He is the same age as a high school senior, and I think Ruiz would have been a consensus top-10 pick if he were in the 2016 amateur draft. A great find by Dodgers scouts and the obvious replacement of Yasmani Grandal once he becomes a free agent in 2019, I believe Ruiz is poised to become one of the premier catching prospects in all of baseball, and soon.

    The guy doesn’t sound bad for an organization that, some say, doesn’t know how to scout and sign good players. Some foolish posters here think, “We’d be wise to listen to a prescient pig”. Not me, I will go with the FAZmasters!!

      1. Valencia, Venezuela. He is one of those hated International Signings. FAZ threw away $140,000 on Ruiz, at least according to some posters.

    1. What can one say. So some 20 y/o is going to be the Dodgers #1 catcher in 2019? Really? A kid that has yet to play above the rookie league. I have no idea how some people come to these conclusions. If he is the starting catcher for the Dodgers in 2019, then FAZ has really dropped the ball.

      God, when is this season going to begin. People are suffering from some serious withdrawals and in the mean time they have every Dodgers top prospect not yet traded as future MLB stars.

  8. Dallas Green passed away at 82. Former Phillie manager and GM…….heck, I saw that guy pitch! I am getting old!

    1. Michael

      You know that Cuban second base man, Jose Fernandez that was just at spring training?

      I saw him on a list that had players that were released, or the Dodgers are still paying for.

      I wonder if he was released after spring training?

      You said he looked bad.

      This list was from a link that Badger listed above after I asked him about Olivera.

  9. Badger: “hey, have you heard that joke they don’t tell to dumb trolls”

    Catbox: “no”

    Ruiz might be great. He has a long way to go.

    I’m watching the big game tonight.

    1. Who told ewe that one? That “wise prescient pig” ewe speak so highly of?

      Ewe would be “wise” to remember, ewe can put lipstick on a pig, but it would still be a pig. And ewe can put lingerie and heels on a BAAAAAAAger, but it would still be ewe!

  10. Montas pitched again today. 2 innings. 1 hit. 4 k’s. Got his second save. Lowered his ERA to 1.13. But, who cares, right?

    1. I care! I hope he does great!

      I read that while they would like Montas to be a starter, they may have him pitch in relief this year to support Doolittle.

      Cotton had a rough outing, but still has pitched well this spring as well.

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