Manager Don Mattingly originally planned to have Ethier be the designated hitter in the game against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz., but Ethier and trainer Sue Falsone agreed that he would be better off playing the outfield instead of sitting in the dugout for extended periods, Mattingly said.
"It sounds like he's totally fine," said Mattingly. "I didn't know if DH would be better for him, but she felt to keep him running would be better for him."
Ethier played five innings and went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in the first inning of the Dodgers' 9-1 win.
Ethier has had back issues since moving boxes at home just before camp opened. Nonetheless, he is off to a fast start offensively, going 5-for-8 with a home run and four RBIs coming off September knee surgery.
Mattingly said infielder Russell Mitchell will be held out of games for a day or two as a precautionary measure after slightly hyperextending his arm. He was able to do all activities.