GLENDALE, AZ (CBSLA.com) — Hours after sensational Cuban Dodgers prospect, Yasiel Puig, was optioned to the club’s AA affiliate, Andre Ethier left a game Tuesday night against the Rockies after experiencing tightness in his hamstring.
Ethier tripled off Colorado starter and former Dodger Jon Garland to lead off the bottom of the second inning. After rounding second, Ethier had what looked like an awkward slide into third base to avoid the throw. He was a little slow to get up, but stayed in and later scored on a sacrifice by Juan Uribe.
Cameras picked up Dodgers Head Trainer, Sue Falsone, remaining close to Ethier in the dugout following the play. He was later replaced by Alex Castellanos in right field, although it is not known whether it was due to the hamstring or if it was simply a scheduled replacement, as is common around the middle innings at this point in Spring Training.
Dylan Hernandez, Dodgers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, first reported the hamstring tightness on Twitter, also saying that the tightness was “very mild” and that Ethier expects to workout tomorrow and play again on Thursday for the club’s final split-squad day of Spring Training.
Many fans were expecting to see Puig , who hit .526 in Spring Training, start for the Dodgers on Opening Day against the defending champion San Francisco Giants on April 1, in spite of the condition of left fielder Carl Crawford being uncertain. Crawford, however, played Tuesday night and went 1-for-3. His main concern is with his ability to throw the ball, after undergoing Tommy John surgery last August.
Ethier is expected to be at full strength by the end of the week, and the hamstring is not believed to be severe enough to consider recalling Puig before the regular season.