Andre Ethier will not take part in the 2012 Home Run Derby, and the right fielder might also be headed for the disabled list as he deals with a strained left oblique.
Ethier has missed the last four games after injuring his oblique on a check swing in San Francisco on Wednesday. Manager Don Mattingly has been weighing the options of waiting for Ethier’s return before the All-Star break and possibly play with a short bench, or place Ethier on the disabled list and have him return at full strength after the break.
“We’re still encouraged and we’re still day-to-day with Andre. As we get closer to those days, what is the risk and what is the reward?” Mattingly asked. “Do we bite the bullet for an extra four days to be able to know 100 percent that when we start that second half we’ll be at full bore.”
Teammate Matt Kemp, the captain of the National League squad in the Home Run Derby and charged with naming his three teammates for the All-Star event on July 9 in Kansas City, was going to pick Ethier, who has 10 home runs and 23 doubles this season. But Ethier decided to play it cautious and will instead focus on getting healthy and return to the Dodgers, whether that is before or after the All-Star break.
“It’s fun to go out there and it’s an honor, but when it all comes down to it, just going out and winning games is my motivation,” Ethier said.
NOTES, QUOTES Kemp set to begin rehab assignment Tuesday –CF Matt Kemp, elected to start in the outfield for the National League All-Star team for the second straight season, will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) on Tuesday. Kemp, who has played two games since May 14, expects to return to the Dodgers on July 13, the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break. –RHP Javy Guerra (right knee inflammation) began a rehab assignment on Sunday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, allowing one run and one hit in one inning of work. Guerra is expected to pitch again for Class A on Tuesday, and barring any setbacks could be activated by the Dodgers when they open a four-game series in Arizona on Thursday. –LHP Clayton Kershaw, named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday for the second straight season, allowed one earned run in seven innings on Sunday, striking out nine in his first win since June 9. Kershaw is the first Dodgers starting pitcher to be named an All-Star in consecutive seasons since Brad Penny in 2006-2007. “It’s a huge honor, and I’m incredibly excited to get to go again,” Kershaw said. –1B James Loney connected for an RBI double on Sunday against the Mets to snap an 0-for-28 slump. It was one of two RBI on the night for Loney, matching his total from his previous 15 games combined. –SS Dee Gordon had an up-and-down night on Sunday against the Mets. He committed two errors to push his total to a major league worst 17 errors on the season, but Gordon also had two hits, scored a run, drove in a run, and stole three bases to match his career high. –1B Carlos Lee will not be traded to the Dodgers, as the team pulled their trade offer from the Astros on Sunday per multiple reports. The Dodgers reportedly had a deal in place for Lee early Saturday, but were waiting on Lee to waive his no-trade clause, which he did not do. BY THE NUMBERS: 8 — Runs scored by the Dodgers on Sunday in a win against the Mets, matching the number of runs scored by the Dodgers in their previous eight games combined. QUOTE TO NOTE: “I like to eat, so I’m going to eat good too. I don’t want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at night.” — CF Matt Kemp, on buying the postgame meals for the clubhouse on his upcoming minor league rehab assignment at Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
ROSTER REPORT MEDICAL WATCH: –RF Andre Ethier (strained left oblique) was injured in the first inning June 27 and had to leave the game. An MRI on June 28 showed a strain, and the Dodgers chose not to put him on the disabled list. He did not play June 28-July 1 and still could end on the disabled list. –CF Matt Kemp (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 14. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Albuquerque on May 27, and he was activated May 29. He re-injured the hamstring May 30 and left the game. He went back on the 15-day disabled list May 31, and he is expected to be out until at least late June. He had resumed taking batting practice as of mid-June. He was cleared on June 25 to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game but is expected to play in at least five minor league rehab games beginning July 3 before rejoining the Dodgers on July 13. –LHP Ted Lilly (left shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24. An MRI showed no damage, so he won’t need surgery. He played catch for the first time June 22. –RHP Blake Hawksworth (arthroscopic right elbow surgeries in January 2012 and February 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 27. He played in an intrasquad game at the Dodgers’ Arizona facility on May 24. He began a rehab assignment with high Class A Rancho Cucamonga on June 22. –RHP Javy Guerra (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 3. He underwent surgery June 5. He threw off a mound for the first time June 22 and began rehab assignment on July 1 at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. –INF Justin Sellers (bulging lower back disk) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 29. The problem was causing him numbness in his right leg. He received a second epidural injection in early June. –2B Mark Ellis (left leg surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list May 19. He had to have a second surgery May 21 to drain his swollen left leg, two days after having an emergency fasciotomy to relieve pressure in the leg. He was hitting off a tee in mid-June and took batting practice June 15. He resumed baseball activities in late June. There is no timetable for his return. –RHP Matt Guerrier (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 4. He threw a bullpen session May 16 and then had to rest for three days with elbow soreness. He had more elbow pain May 23, slowing his recovery again. He isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break. –RHP Rubby De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery in August 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26.