LOS ANGELES — One of the X-factors in the National League Division Series just might be outfielder Andrew Toles, who is battling a sore left wrist but is expected to be fully ready when the series opens on Friday in Washington D.C.
Toles, who was out of baseball in 2015, started this season in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, then hit at three minor league levels — .331/.374/.511 with 39 extra-base hits in 82 games — and kept hitting in the majors. The 24-year-old hit .314/.365/.505 with 13 extra-base hits in 115 plate appearances and 48 games.
Now, he’s on the Dodgers’ NLDS roster.
"His ascension has been remarkable. He's a player we trust, someone who doesn't scare off, can conduct a good at-bat, and play defense,” manager Dave Roberts said on Tuesday. "Andrew is a guy who can steal a base if need be, can score from first in a ball in the gap. You can see his foot speed on defense. He does a lot of things to help us win.”
Roberts said the left-handed-batting Toles is a candidate to start a game or two during the series. Toles started 10 of the Dodgers’ final 15 regular season games against right-handed pitchers.
Toles is one of seven rookies on the Dodgers’ 25-man NLDS roster, along with Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Grant Dayton, Ross Stripling, Austin Barnes and Corey Seager.
"The environment that Doc and the coaches have created, and that the veterans have created, it allows these guys to come up from the minor leagues and be incredibly comfortable,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Toles had his wrist in a brace on Tuesday, but still took part in the Dodgers’ workout at Dodger Stadium. Every part except hitting, though that seemed like more of a precaution than anything.
"Tolesy is doing well. It was more trying to stay away from him the last few days,” Roberts said. “If there was a game today, he'd be playing."