LOS ANGELES -- There still was no official word from the Dodgers late Monday night as to what they plan to do with injured right fielder Andre Ethier. But manager Joe Torre seemed to hint, as subtly as he possibly could, that Ethier and his broken right pinkie probably are headed for the disabled list.
"We haven't had any decision yet," Torre said, just after the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the Houston Astros. "His doctor's consultation went fine, and it didn't tell us anything we didn't know. It's still a matter of how sore it is. We will have to make a decision in the next day or so.
"We're just going to have to make an announcement at some point, let's put it that way."
If Ethier weren't on the verge of being shelved, of course, there would be nothing to make an announcement about. As it is, he was still too sore to actually swing a bat on Monday, two days after he broke the little finger on his right hand taking batting practice before Saturday night's game at San Diego.
The Dodgers were holding out hope that Ethier, who entered Monday leading the National League in hitting and RBIs and tied for the league lead in home runs, could still play with a tiny splint on his finger that immobilized only the first knuckle, the site of the fracture. But all Ethier has been able to do so far is stand in the batter's box with a bat in his hands, without swinging it, during Clayton Kershaw's regular between-starts bullpen session.
Asked about the situation after the game, Ethier wasn't in the mood to discuss it.
"I got nothing to say tonight, guys," he said. "Talk to the guys who played in the game. No story here. Nothing to write about."
Outfielder Xavier Paul, the player most likely to be recalled from the minors if Ethier is added to the DL, returned to the lineup for Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday night at Salt Lake after missing all of one game and most of another because he was hit in the face by a thrown ball during batting practice on Saturday. Paul played the entire game in right field and went 3 for 5 with a double, a performance that presumably would have removed all doubt as to his readiness if that was what Dodgers officials were waiting for before making a decision.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.