Ethier expected to return on Tuesday

Ethier expected to return on Tuesday

MIAMI -- Manager Joe Torre said on Sunday that he is confident Andre Ethier will return to the starting lineup for Tuesday's home opener.

Ethier missed his fourth consecutive start on Sunday because of an ankle sprained in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, but he appeared much improved during pregame agility drills. He came off the bench on Saturday night to hit a two-run pinch-hit single.

"He's a nice weapon to have," Torre said. "He'll be a player Tuesday. He's fine, but sending him into the field, to go to the corner to get a ball and turn around whirling, those things we don't know about."

In addition to replacing Ethier in Sunday's lineup, Torre rested left fielder Manny Ramirez, third baseman Casey Blake and catcher Russell Martin for the day game following a night game.

Carrying Garret Anderson as a fifth outfielder allows Torre to have both Ethier and Ramirez out of the lineup. Anderson started for Ethier in right field and Reed Johnson started for Ramirez in left. Ronnie Belliard started at third for Blake, and rookie A.J. Ellis was behind the plate for Martin.