Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles has been diagnosed with a torn right ACL, the club announced and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com was among those to tweet. He’ll require surgery to repair the ligament that seems likely to keep him out for the remainder of the season.
For the time being, at least, Brett Eibner will take his place on the active roster, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Also coming up is Scott Van Slyke, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter links), with reliever Adam Liberatore also hitting the DL with a groin strain. The two new additions to the roster, however, both hit from the right side.
The left-handed-hitting Toles, 24, hurt himself chasing down a flyball in the left field corner in an attempt to preserve an ongoing no-hitter. But he couldn’t make the catch and had to be helped off the field after going down awkwardly.
Today’s news represents the worst-case scenario. While Toles should have every hope of returning to full health after his ACL is repaired, the recovery time required makes it all but certain he won’t return in the present season.
Toles had engineered a meteoric rise to the majors last year, finally (and suddenly) making good on his promise. He had previously been a third-round pick of the Rays who washed out of baseball and ended up sitting out the 2015 season. But he hit at every level in 2016, including the majors, where he slashed .314/.365/.505 in 115 plate appearances.
That late-season showing made Toles a clear part of the Dodgers’ plans for the current campaign. If anything, though, his importance has increased: Toles is one of six Dodgers players who has accumulated more than 100 plate appearances thus far. Though he’s not quite hitting at last year’s pace, Toles is sitting at a productive .271/.314/.458.
Of course, that offensive work has come almost exclusively against right-handed pitching, as the Dodgers prefer to use him in a fairly strict platoon role. But he was a highly useful piece, and one that will be missed. While Los Angeles is fortunate in that top prospect Cody Bellinger has opened his career with a bang, and is capable of playing a corner, he had been slated to spend most of his time at first base with the struggling Adrian Gonzalez resting his ailing forearm. Instead, Bellinger will occupy left field for the time being, skipper Dave Roberts told reporters including Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). He added that the organization will look to accelerate Gonzalez’s rehab timeline in the wake of the injury.
Looking ahead a bit, Andre Ethier could ultimately take over as the primary left-handed-hitting platoon corner outfielder, though he’s still a ways away from returning and features quite a different skillset than Toles. Ultimately, there are still plenty of scenarios for the Dodgers to have quite a productive outfield unit. So long as Gonzalez can return to take the lion’s share of time at first, the team can allow Bellinger and Yasiel Puig a chance to hold down near-everyday jobs in the corners, with platoon pieces such as Ethier and Franklin Gutierrez on hand to pick up any slack.
Basically means Bellinger gets to keep his roster spot long term after Gonzalez gets back.
Yup that seems to punch Bellinger’s ticket. The Dodgers might have to stick with him even if he struggles. Maybe Ethier becomes an option by mid-summer. If not, re-que the Braun rumors.
Oh my. Andre Ethier….that’s a name I’ve not heard since….well, heck, when did he last play?
1938, I think it was. I remember it well.
Rats! Let’s blame McCourt.
It’s Frank McCourt’s fault.
Ouch. Taylor should start playing LF once forsythe comes back
Yeah Taylor in the OF was bad. Really bad.
That stinks but they are prepared for this with their depth
Do you think his career is over?
Not over, no, but for a 65-70 runner, it certainly stinks. He’s battled back from personal issues, he’ll battle through this, too. Still, it just sucks.
He didn’t sever his leg. Guys come back from torn ACLs all the time.
Sprains (partial tears) maybe, but requiring surgical correction? That usually means full replacement of the ACL. Fortunately he’s young but still that’s a tough recovery.
It’s a rough injury, but feel like far more than not recover to 100% Adrian Peterson and Kyle Schwarber came back in less than 9 months from full tears.
We will have to keep an eye on Wilson Ramos. He’s got an extra challenge due to his position.
That bites! He was just starting to hit. Cheers to a speedy recovery and a strong 2018..his road to the big leagues is quite interesting.
They say these things always work themselves out, but this one just sucks. Toles wasn’t necessarily an everyday guy, but he’s the type of guy every contending team looks for. Luckily for the Dodgers they aren’t hurting in OF or OF prospects. I wonder if Taylor gets a bigger role? I also wonder if we see Frosty splitting time at 1b/2b until or if his toe is fully healed with Bellinger playing both LF/1b.
Very sorry to hear about Andrew’s misfortune. He has worked and played hard for the Dodgers and his teammates. I wish him nothing but the best of luck in his recovery.
This sucks for Toles especially him being so productive at the dish and on the field. ACL is going to take him some time to heal so probably see him mid next season. That means Bellinger is going to act like our new Van Slyke. Play left when Gonzo’s playing. Than play first when he’s resting. This also will let Taylor split with Forsythe. Kinda hoping Trayce puts himself together and starts producing so we can see him in LA again.
Time to bring up Verdugo!
That would be cool, I’d rather have him than van slyke. Doubt it happens though
He only has 3xbh, couldn’t physically make it through AA and AFL, and some maturity concerns. Now granted the maturity concerns are those of a 20 year old, but he’s just not mentally and physically mature enough yet. He’s also not a Seager/Bellinger type prospect. He needs seasoning and to play everyday. That opportunity is only going to come in AAA. Patience is required on Verdugo.
Typo *6. They also aren’t going to waste an option year if they feel Forsythe is close.
Braun back in play?
No he’s everything they are trying to get away from. I’m also sure that little arm injury doesn’t bold well. If they are in play for an OF it’ll be an expiring contract.
By get away from i assume you mean older player with a big contract and his defense. If they can get rid of kazmir i think it may be worth a shot
Yeah just the older big contract inflexible positionally with the injury concerns. If a Braun deal were to have occurred it would have happened in the offseason. Plus I’m guessing their bullets will be used to address a possible SP/RP need. They have a ton of OF talent.
I don’t know about that. A lot of that depth is in players you don’t want to field every day. I’d say they are 1-2 injuries away from taking another look at Braun.
Roster crunches always work themselves out – but this is a terrible way for it to happen. Toles’ story makes him pretty easy to root for..
That definitely means job security for Bellinger. He’s up for good!
Toles is a platoon player on most contending teams. If this is a huge loss for the Dodgers, then they need to rethink their organizational plans.
You seem to have a personal vendetta with the dodgers. First of all Toles only started vs right handers so it basically was a platoon. He was a good player who fit what the dodgers needed which was LF help. Every team has a spot where they need help in, even the contenders.
All these injuries.. why
Because professional sports are intense and difficult. Pretty much every player is playing hurt all the time. Until they get so injured they can’t play.
Love being able to keep Bellinger along with a healthy Gonzo but still wonder why hold onto Van Slyke in any form… What happened to Trayce Thompson?
Trayce is working back from his back injury he’s going to need a little more time to knock off the rust although it looks like he’s getting there.
They need to trade Joc while he still has an upside left. He has been horrible