Do you ever see a Dodge Challenger on the road and think of Andrew Toles?
Andrew Toles left his Dodge Challenger at Dodger Stadium when he went to OKC to start the season. J.T. Chargois recently sent him a picture.
"There's like spiderwebs, and dust," he said. Matt Kemp told Toles the car looked "gross."
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) July 10, 2018
Well, I have more than a few times. It is what caused me to write this article. Toles is a fan and player favorite who seems to be fading from memory. We’ll take a look at what we know about his status and how he might be missed by the Dodgers.
Andrew Toles was originally drafted by the Tampa Rays in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft after being kicked off of his college team, Chipola (Fla.) College. During his first two professional seasons, he started to make an impact and looked like a good prospect. However, in 2014 he ran into some hustle issues with his manager and went on the inactive list for personal reasons. He was released the following Spring Training and ended up sitting out most of the year. During these times he was also dealing with anxiety issues.
The Dodgers signed him at the end of the 2015 season and he went and played for them during the winter in the Instructional League in Arizona. He started the 2016 season in High-A and ripped through the minors to be promoted to the Dodgers on July 8, 2016. He even started against right-handed pitchers in the playoffs, playing left field.
The 2017 season started with Toles as the leadoff batter on Opening Day. On May 9th Toles was again the leadoff hitter and left fielder. Julio Urías had a no hitter going in into the 7th inning facing Andrew McCutchen. Quickly, Julio had him down 0-2. With the count of 1-2 he threw strike 3 but the umpire called it a ball. On the next pitch, McCutchen drilled a ball to the left field corner. Toles went all out for the ball but ran his leg into the wall, destroyed his knee and the no hitter was broken up. Even worse, Toles was out for the season with a torn ACL.
When he came back in 2018 he was sent to the minors even though he had a way better Spring Training than Joc Pederson. He was up and down with the Dodgers a couple of times that season, with the Dodge Challenger story being one of the funnier stories of 2018. I did a full review of his 2018 season during the off-season. He ended up not making the playoff roster and with the Dodgers trading both Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, maybe there was room for him in 2019.
Missing in 2019
While everyone was reporting to Spring Training the Dodgers announced that Toles was not reporting do to personal matters. As the season started Toles was put onto the Restricted List due to not reporting. In late April he finally reported to Camelback Ranch to begin his season. In late May we got the news that he had left again.
Andrew Toles is no longer working out at Camelback Ranch. No details. #Dodgers mgr Dave Roberts said he thinks Toles left to spend time with his family.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 26, 2019
Since that time there hasn’t been a word about where Andrew Toles might be. Since there haven’t been any reports about where he might be or what he is going through, this article will not speculate. All we wish for is that he is handling any issues he is dealing with and that he will be back with the Dodgers when he is ready.
What Do We Miss?
To borrow from my own article:
Listen to the first part of this interview with Dave Roberts as he talks about Andrew Toles.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 11, 2018
Justin Turner also had some words about Toles.
“He’s pretty comfortable, and everyone in here embraces him and tells him how much they enjoy his company,” Justin Turner said. – The Athletic, Pedro Moura, July 15, 2018
Andrew Toles brings an exciting brand of baseball to the Dodgers, especially the speed factor. It’s great to watch him on the bases as he brings something to the team that most other players can’t. Toles also has an excellent arm to go with covering a lot of ground in the outfield. It would be great to have him taking a spot in the outfield as a defensive replacement.
On the offensive side of the ball, he brings some pop and can take extra bases due to his speed. In his short time with the Dodgers, he has had some key moments at the plate. Nothing is more memorable than his grand slam against the Rockies to give them the lead.
The bottom line is that Toles is a blast to watch on the field and we may have already forgotten about what he can do.
For many of us, Andrew Toles was an instant favorite. We’ve wanted to see what he could do over a full season with the Dodgers. As we see Toles still not reporting to the Dodgers, we are starting to realize he might not ever be back. Most of the question about Toles is hoping he’s OK and not worrying about the baseball part. I was hesitant to include his baseball strengths but I thought it would be a good reminder about him. My hopes for Andrew Toles are that he is healthy and in a good place as a human. The baseball is secondary but it would be great to see him back in Dodger Blue.