LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have a difficult decision to make with outfielder Andre Ethier and his troublesome left ankle in regards to the National League Division Series roster.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Sunday the club is considering carrying Ethier on the NLDS roster exclusively as a pinch-hitter.
"It depends what we're willing to do," Mattingly said. "Are we willing to have Andre as a pinch-hitter? Is that going to be enough for us? It depends what we're willing to live with and how we're able to use him."
Ethier has not played the field since Sept. 13 and is dealing with an ankle issue similar to shin splints. He's been rehabbing at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale since Friday, and he will return to Los Angeles on Monday night and work out with the team on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
Ethier has not been cleared to run the bases, and Mattingly said he's not sure if the outfielder will be able to do so on Tuesday.
"We'll just see what he can do, and then we'll decide if that's going to be enough to be able to keep him on it [NLDS roster] or not," Mattingly said.
Skip Schumaker would be the starting center fielder in the NLDS if Ethier is unavailable.
Kemp out for postseason after MRI on ankle
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp's injury-plagued season came to an end Sunday, as the Dodgers announced the center fielder has been lost for the postseason with a recurring ankle injury.
"I don't know what to say except the season is over for me," Kemp said. "I'll be a cheerleader on the bench."
Kemp, a late scratch Saturday night, underwent an MRI on Sunday, which indicated swelling in the major weight-bearing bone of his left ankle. If Kemp continued to play, there was a possibility the ankle could break.
Kemp was on crutches after Sunday's 2-1 defeat to the Rockies, and team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache said the outfielder would need to avoid putting weight on his ankle for at least a month.
"Pretty bad sign when they pull out the crutches," Kemp said. "To sum it up, if I keep going out there ... I could break it, and I don't want that. It could turn out really bad for me."
Although Kemp has avoided surgery for now, ElAttrache said there's a possibility Kemp would need an arthroscopic procedure to remove bone chips from the ankle if his recovery does not go as planned.
"We fully expect that that will heal, given enough time and relative protection from weight bearing," ElAttrache said. "But he's going to be recovering from this into the offseason."
Kemp said he was "super surprised" by the diagnosis. He missed 52 games after spraining the ankle July 21 but returned Sept. 16 and played 11 games. Kemp felt fine Friday, his fourth start in as many days, then reported increased stiffness and soreness in his ankle Saturday, which led to the MRI.
"I worked really hard, I was doing well and thinking I'd be OK," Kemp said. "I was excited two or three days ago, felt real good at the plate. I got my swing back, everything I needed to perform. Then they tell me I can't perform anymore. It's tough."
Kemp's loss comes on the heels of another left ankle injury to Andre Ethier, who also might not be available to play in the postseason.
Despite the bad news, manager Don Mattingly said the Dodgers would not panic heading into Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Braves on Thursday.
"I don't think anybody out there in that room is going to be willing to give this thing up because Matt is hurt," Mattingly said. "Without saying it in a bad way, we played all year long without Matt. We're capable of winning. We're not just going to roll over and act like something is wrong now. We're not going to be full strength. If you don't have Andre and you don't have Matt, you're not as good as you could be. But we're still good enough to win."
Kemp said he also expects to undergo cleanup surgery on the AC joint in his left shoulder. ElAttrache said a date for the procedure has not been set but estimated a recovery time of six weeks.
Kemp, who has been on the disabled list three times this season for a total of 88 games, initially injured his ankle in an awkward slide at the plate July 21 in Washington. Kemp was not hustling on the play and admitted he did not expect a play at the plate.
"You feel bad that he's not going to be out there and he's had a rough year," Mattingly said. "Physically, it's been tough, it seems like really since [his shoulder] surgery last winter. It's been a rough year. You feel bad for the guy. You know he wants to be out there. He wants to compete. But his body says he can't right now."
Young provides backup option in middle infield
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are looking at Michael Young as a possible candidate to play shortstop and second base in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.
Young started at shortstop on Sunday for the first time this season and did the same at second base on Saturday.
"We want to see him there and give him a look," manager Don Mattingly said.
Young could provide insurance on the infield behind Hanley Ramirez and Nick Punto in October. Ramirez is dealing with an irritated nerve in his lower back and Punto has an in-grown toenail on his right foot.
"It just opens your mind that something could happen, a double-switch late or a 14-inning game and he could end up somewhere like that," Mattingly said of Young, who has primarily played first and third since 2009.
Lee, Schebler make big strides toward Majors
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitching prospect Zach Lee wanted to crack the big league rotation this year but now has his sights set on 2014 after a strong season with Double-A Chattanooga.
Lee won 10 games and posted a 3.22 ERA in 28 appearances, issuing just 35 walks in 142 2/3 innings, and was third in the Southern League with 131 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP.
"This was the year I put it all together," said Lee, the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com. "This was the year I felt I grew the most. It was an unbelievable year for me. I'm looking to build on it to get up here next year at some point."
A first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Lee thought he had a chance to be called up early in the season when the Dodgers' rotation was ravaged by injuries. But the right-hander remained in the Minors as the club instead promoted Stephen Fife from Triple-A and traded for veteran Ricky Nolasco.
"It just kind of never really took place," Lee said. "I was trying to put myself in a position to kind of force my way up here. They had some injuries early on that opened up some opportunities, and I just wasn't able to really do enough."
Lee and Class A outfielder Scott Schebler were at Dodger Stadium on Sunday to accept the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year awards.
Schebler led Rancho Cucamonga with a .296 batting average and was second in the California League with 27 home runs. The outfielder was the only Dodgers Minor Leaguer with at least 20 doubles, 10 triples and 20 homers this year. He was named to the California League's postseason All-Star team.
"I'm just trying to prove something and get my foot in the door," said Schebler, who was a 26th-round Draft pick in 2010.