Andre Ethier Out 10-14 weeks

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Andre Ethier, will begin the season on the disabled list with a fracture in his right leg, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA.

Ethier fouled a ball off his leg on Friday against Arizona and was carted off the field after drawing a walk. The 10-14 week time frame would have him on the shelf until mid-June at the earliest, but it could be after the All-Star break before we see him in the lineup again.

The 33-year-old was slated to be the opening day left fielder for the Dodgers, manning the outfield at Chavez Ravine with Joc Pederson (CF) and Yasiel Puig (RF). One could expect a platoon of outfielders Carl Crawford and Scott Van Slyke. Van Slyke is hitting .375 with three homers this spring, while Crawford is hitting just .120 with three runs driven in. Not lost on this injury news is the fact that there are several organizations with a real chance to take the NL West crown from the Dodgers in 2016.

The Diamondbacks sold the farm this past offseason and are in “win now” mode. The two biggest moves include the inking Zack Greinke away from the aforementioned Dodgers to a $206 million deal and trading two top prospects (Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair) and a budding young outfielder (Ender Inciarte) to the Braves for Shelby Miller. With these two arms, Patrick Corbin will return to the rotation for the entire season. All with an offense that was second in the NL in runs scored last season.

The Giants essentially added two more aces in Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to deepen the rotation behind Madison Bumgarner and have a homegrown infield that continues to improve. Not to be discounted is that even year “mojo,” for whatever it’s worth. The combination of Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and Coors Field also makes it impossible to overlook the fact that the Rockies could make life difficult for NL West pitching throughout the season.

Losing an everyday player before the end of spring training is not the ideal beginning to Dave Roberts’ first season as a big league manager. It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers look to add an outfielder once the season begins or hold out for Ethier’s return.

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