Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.
The team has since confirmed the injury, which Toles suffered while attempting to preserve a no-hitter that starting pitcher Julio Urias carried into the seventh inning on Tuesday night at Dodgers Stadium.
Toles’ effort proved unsuccessful as Andrew McCutchen’s fly ball to the left field corner bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. During his pursuit, Toles’ knee appeared to buckle as he tried to pull up at the warning track. He then crashed awkwardly into the left field wall, with his knees appearing to hit below the padding.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t even have time to exhale after McCutchen’s fly ball landed. As we saw multiple times last season, the then rookie manager was forced to make difficult decisions late in multiple no-hit attempts that drew a mix of praise and criticism. Had the 20-year-old Urias made it through the seventh inning untouched, Roberts would have been right back in that position with his young pitcher approaching 100 pitches.
Perhaps relief isn’t the right word, but whatever emotion Roberts might have felt when the ball dropped was immediately replaced by concern for Toles.
Unfortunately, injuries like this require only the slightest misstep, the odds of which may have been increased by Toles thinking he could make a near impossible play. Perhaps it’s not fair to suggest Toles was trying harder due to the circumstances, but he was certainly mindful of them.
Regardless, losing Toles will be a blow for the Dodgers. The 24-year-old outfielder had provided a spark when called upon, producing a .271 average to go along with five homers and 15 RBIs. Even with the team’s roster logjam, Toles figured to have an expanded role moving forward thanks to his speed and defense.
Now things do get a little clearer for Roberts in terms of making his daily lineup. Once Adrian Gonzalez comes off the disabled list, he’ll slot back in at first base allowing hot-hitting rookie Cody Bellinger to find a permanent home in left field.
No manager wants an injury to help make his decisions easier, but Roberts needed clarity at some point. Unfortunately, Toles’ injury provides it.
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