Dodgers Await Andre Ethier MRI, But Oblique Suggests Disabled List Stint

Will the Dodgers be without another All-Star outfielder?

The Dodgers will await the results of the MRI exam for Andre Ethier, which he will take on Thursday morning. But it seems clear that Ethier, who injured his left oblique on a check swing in the first inning and then left once the inning ended, could be headed for the disabled list.

As noted by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, "The Dodgers say he's day to day, but manager Don Mattingly said when he hears 'oblique,' he prepares for 20 days."

There have been plenty of examples of oblique injuries in the last year, including a pair of Dodgers.

Ivan De Jesus strained his oblique while swinging on March 17 during spring training, but his injury was so severe that he had to leave the game immediately, in the middle of his at-bat. De Jesus didn't return to game action for nearly seven weeks.

Last year, Rafael Furcal strained his left oblique and missed 25 games, though his injury occurred on a throw, not while at the plate.

Drew Stubbs hurt his left oblique while swinging and missed 17 games for the Cincinnati Reds, before returning this week. Travis Ishikawa missed 27 games for the Milwaukee Brewers with a strained left oblique before returning on Monday.

Darnell McDonald missed 23 games for the Red Sox in May He was placed on the disabled list five days after coming into pitch in a blowout, though he and the team said his appearance on the mound didn't cause the injury. "It wasn’t one particular thing because it’s been going on for a while. I’ve been treating it but it hasn’t gotten 100 percent, so they want me to rest and get it right," McDonald told ESPN Boston in May 13.

Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger missed 30 games earlier this year. Like Ethier, he hurt himself while swinging, but Clevenger also suffered a cracked rib, which lengthened his time missed.

Matt Joyce hurt his oblique and was placed on the disabled list last week, though he hopes to return within two weeks.

So if Ethier has to go on the disabled list, who will replace him? One of the trio of Alex Castellanos, Scott Van Slyke, or Jerry Sands is an option will likely be recalled, but will they play? As previously noted by Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness and Cat Fancy, Van Slyke was not in the lineup for Triple A Albuquerque on Wednesday night in Memphis.

Since their respective returns to Triple A...

  • Castellanos hit .352/.390/.593 with two home runs and five doubles in 14 games
  • Van Slyke hit .310/.397/.448 with one home run and five doubles in 15 games
  • Sands hit .250/.323/.443 with four home runs (including on Wednesday) and three doubles in 24 games.

Another option is moving Juan Rivera to right field and having James Loney play first base, but Mattingly has been increasingly frustrated in corner infielders Loney and Juan Uribe of late, enough to significantly reduce their playing time.

The offense is in need of a shake-up after 30 innings with no runs, and 13 runs in their nine-game road trip. We'll see what the next two weeks provide.

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