After starting his first game for the Los Angeles Dodgers since Sept. 13 in Game 1 of the NLCS Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals, Andre Ethier will miss Saturday’s Game 2 due to an ankle injury that has hampered him in recent weeks, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Ethier ended the regular season hitting .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, but it’s likely that his production would have been better had he not been limited in September. After hitting .312 or better in both July and August, Ethier hit just .211 in 38 at-bats in the season’s final month.

Skip Schumaker was Los Angeles’ starting center fielder in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, and he will stay in that role Saturday against his former team. Schumaker hasn’t hit particularly well in the playoffs, posting a .214 batting average and two RBI, but he is a defensive upgrade over Ethier.

As effective as Ethier can be at the plate, particularly against right-handed pitching, center field is not his natural position. Ethier failed to make a difficult play on a deep fly ball off the bat of Carlos Beltran in Game 1, and it resulted in a two-run double that tied the game up.

Ethier’s ankle ailment may have compromised his ability to make that play, and it could have very well been further aggravated. Whatever the case, the Dodgers will have to get by without him starting in Game 2.

Ethier was hitting .125 in the playoffs, but his presence adds depth to what was already a strong L.A. lineup. It remains to be seen how long Ethier will be on the shelf, but manager Don Mattingly certainly has to be hopeful that he’ll be back in some capacity, even as a pinch hitter.


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