Andre Ethier will not take part in the 2012 Home Run Derby, and the right fielder might also be headed for the disabled list as he deals with a strained left oblique.
Ethier has missed the last four games after injuring his oblique on a check swing in San Francisco on Wednesday. Manager Don Mattingly has been weighing the options of waiting for Ethier's return before the All-Star break and possibly play with a short bench, or place Ethier on the disabled list and have him return at full strength after the break.
"We're still encouraged and we're still day-to-day with Andre. As we get closer to those days, what is the risk and what is the reward?" Mattingly asked. "Do we bite the bullet for an extra four days to be able to know 100 percent that when we start that second half we'll be at full bore."
Teammate Matt Kemp, the captain of the National League squad in the Home Run Derby and charged with naming his three teammates for the All-Star event on July 9 in Kansas City, was going to pick Ethier, who has 10 home runs and 23 doubles this season. But Ethier decided to play it cautious and will instead focus on getting healthy and return to the Dodgers, whether that is before or after the All-Star break.
"It's fun to go out there and it's an honor, but when it all comes down to it, just going out and winning games is my motivation," Ethier said.