Andrew Toles received a text message from one of his Dodgers teammates recently. It came from reliever J.T. Chargois and it featured a picture of Toles’ Dodge Challenger. Toles had left the car at Dodger Stadium when the team optioned him to triple-A Oklahoma City in late March. Toles had expected to retrieve it well before July.
“There’s like spiderwebs and dust,” Toles said after recording two hits in an 8-2 victory over the Padres on Monday. “That’s what [Matt] Kemp said earlier. He was like, ‘Dude. That thing looks gross.’” He added, “It looks pretty bad. It looks like people were drawing on it and stuff.”
Toles can get the car washed when the team returns to Los Angeles this weekend. After 426 days between major league games, Toles made his presence felt against San Diego. He roped a two-run double in the fourth inning and produced another run with his legs. He showed little rust after tearing a ligament in his knee in May 2017.
The Dodgers recalled Toles after placing Yasiel Puig on the disabled list with a grade-1 oblique strain. Puig will miss “a few weeks,” manager Dave Roberts said; oblique strains often require at least a month of rest. Toles started in center field against the Padres.
The team came close to keeping Toles on the 25-man roster after breaking camp at Camelback Ranch. In the end the Dodgers elected to option him to the minors and stick with Joc Pederson, who has rewarded the club after a slow start with an .843 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
After a torrid first week with triple-A Oklahoma City, Toles sat out nearly two months with a hamstring injury. He spent time in April, May and June at Camelback Ranch on a rehabilitation plan. He returned to Oklahoma City’s lineup on June 5 and hit .295 with a .777 OPS in 28 games. He expressed his commitment to caring for his body to avoid injury.
“I’m not, like, old,” Toles said. “I’m 26. So I shouldn’t be having these problems. It’s just me being lazy and not getting in there and staying on top of it. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll stay on top of it from here on out.”
Toles said he was unable to keep track of the success of his fellow outfielders.
“Ya’ll don’t even come on TV,” he said.
Muncy bound for derby in D.C.
Max Muncy will represent the Dodgers next week during All-Star festivities at Nationals Park — even if he doesn’t win the final vote contest. Muncy, who has 20 home runs after hitting a total of five in his first two major league seasons, will take part in the home run derby the day before the Midsummer Classic. Muncy plans to use hitting coach Turner Ward as his pitcher.
“It’s one of those things that would be a once-in-a-lifetime type experience,” Muncy said.
The Dodgers have been well represented in the derby in recent years. Cody Bellinger participated in 2017, Corey Seager in 2016 and Pederson in 2015. A few Dodgers amused themselves Monday watching Puig’s less-than-stellar performance at the 2014 derby; Puig did not hit a home run. Kemp regaled younger teammates with tales of his troubles in 2011 and 2012.