But manager Joe Torre also mentioned the sprained left ankle that Ethier suffered the first week of the season, causing him to miss three starts.
"He's still treating that ankle," said Torre.
Torre said that he would have preferred to remove Ethier in an 11th-inning double-switch Saturday, when he brought in long reliever and eventual winning pitcher Carlos Monasterios. But instead of using Ethier's third slot in the lineup, Torre put Monasterios in Matt Kemp's fourth spot. Kemp made the final out in the top of the 11th, getting thrown out on a disputed steal attempt of second base after singling.
"I'd much prefer to take [Ethier] out instead of Matt, but I'm trying to buy as many outs as I can with the last pitcher on the mound," said Torre.
Starting on Sunday for Ethier in right field was Reed Johnson. Garret Anderson started in left field, and Ronnie Belliard started at second base.