LA’s Stewart on shelf with shoulder tendinitis

Dodgers pitcher said he’s been shut down for at least a week with right shoulder tendinitis.

Stewart made a meteoric rise through the Dodgers’ system last year, beginning the season at Class A Rancho Cucamonga, but reaching the Major Leagues by the end of June and starting five games for the Dodgers jersey.

As a result, Stewart’s combined innings jumped from 101 in 2015 to 149 in ’16. He said the club believes the tendinitis was caught early and is considered mild.

“It might mean my season starts late, but they just want to be careful,” said Stewart.

Stewart, a sixth-round pick in the 2014 Draft out of Illinois State, has made two Cactus League appearances of 1 2/3 innings each and allowed seven runs on five hits (including one home run) and hit two batters and .

With the depth of Dodgers’ starting pitching, Stewart was likely to begin the season in the rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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Ethier received an epidural injection to relieve the pain and will return to camp Thursday. Manager Dave Roberts said Ethier will be shut down from baseball activity for a week to 10 days and said it will be “tough” for him to be ready for Opening Day.

“I don’t think we’re there about even thinking of Opening Day,” said Roberts. “It depends on how he responds the next week. We’re definitely not closing that door, but it’s going to be tough.”

The Dodgers also initially called ’s disk herniated last year “mild,” but with a setback he was out for 2 1/2 months.

“As far as I understand it, it’s not as severe,” Roberts said of a comparison to Kershaw’s injury. “We’re trying to get past the idea of Opening Day as a drop-dead, hard deadline. The No. 1 thing is getting him back and healthy, whatever day that is, that’s our goal.”

Ethier was expected to make the Opening Day roster despite last year’s injury. The latest setback will open a spot in the crowded outfield, with the most obvious beneficiary.

Men's Los Angeles Dodgers Nike Gray Cooperstown Collection Hybrid Pullover HoodieRoberts said surgery was not discussed.

“Once he’s asymptomatic, we can continue to be a little more aggressive,” Roberts said.

Meanwhile, Dodgers depth comes to the rescue in the form of Toles, who slugged a grand slam on Saturday, went 2-for-4 and raised his Spring average to .348 with an .870 OPS.

“He’s having a really good camp,” said Roberts. “For him, the at-bat quality continues to be there. He’s a really good athlete, he’s dynamic and he does a lot of things and to help you win a baseball game.”

Toles said he hadn’t thought about the crowded outfield the Dodgers had when camp opened or how Ethier’s injury seemed to open a spot for him. Competition is what he expected.

“It’s the Dodgers. I guess every year, that’s just the word on the street, pretty much every position, and I’m just trying to win a spot,” he said. “I just worry about me. Can’t worry about anyone else, and see how it works out.”

Toles, whose first Major League experience last year began hot and cooled off, said he spent the offseason working on his swing at Georgia Tech with his father pitching batting practice. He said his Dodgers experience last year has had a significant carryover effect this spring.

“It gave me insight into what to expect with pitching, defense, the speed of the game, the adjustments I needed to make,” Toles said. “Just what I needed to do to get better.”

It also helped his confidence.

“I wouldn’t say I belong, but I have a shot to, like, stick around for the future or whatever,” he said.

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