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Andre Ethier not expected to play center field at start of NLCS

Oct 10, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers batter Andre Ethier reacts in the dugout after he struck out against the New York Mets during their MLB National League baseball game in New York Reuters

UPDATE: While the Dodgers were hopeful that Andre Ethier would be able to start in center field when the NLCS begins, CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that he’s not expected to be ready by then. However, the good news is that his ankle has improved enough where he likely won’t need a pinch-runner if he gets on base.

10:47 a.m. ET: Similar to the Cardinals waiting on Allen Craig‘s health status, the Dodgers are hoping to have Andre Ethier fully available for the NLCS.

Ethier hasn’t been in the starting lineup since September 13, when he aggravated a leg injury, and went 0-for-3 as a pinch-hitter in the NLDS. However, according to Ken Gurnick of Ethier “was running down fly balls in the gap Wednesday as the Dodgers worked out at Dodger Stadium” and might start in center field versus the Cardinals.

Even when fully healthy Ethier is very stretched defensively in center field, so it’s hard to imagine him covering much ground coming off a lengthy absence for a leg injury, but then again he simply needs to be better than Skip Schumaker to provide an upgrade for the Dodgers.

  1. MyTeamsAllStink - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    why can’t they move Crawford or Puig to centerfield instead ?

    • moseskkim - Oct 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      yeah makes sense.. i love skip schumaker’s versatility but hes been pretty bad in center. ethier did an admirable job during the season when kemp was out so i hope ethier can get back to that. i dont think crawford or puig are options at center at all. they were gonna use skip and have van slyke or DEE GORDON play there in emergencies. DEE GORDON.

    • drewy44 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Crawford’s arm makes him a liability in center. Puig needs to take better angles to play center, but the Dodgers love him in right because of his arm (kind of like Jay Bruce) to make the RF to 3B throw.

      • kevinbnyc - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Agreed on Crawford, but if your options are a gimpy Ethier, Schumaker or…gasp…Dee Gordon, surely Puig would be better in center? He’s fast enough to make up for his questionable angles so he’ll still make plays Ethier wouldn’t touch.

  2. jimsjam33 - Oct 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Suit up Ethier . Time to earn your dough !

  3. zoneblocking54 - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    They should have called up joc Peterson and added him to the playoff 25!

  4. koufaxmitzvah - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Ethier has done a really good job in centerfield, exceeding expectations. If he hadn’t, then Puig would have been moved over months ago and there wouldn’t be a manufactured discussion about it.

  5. notsofast10 - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Ethier was a CF our of college at ASU and did an admirable job filling in for Kemp! He is fine if he is healthy! The question what will he do with the bat?

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