Brandon League out; Andre Ethier in

Updated: October 4, 2013, 1:35 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

ATLANTA -- The Los Angeles Dodgers left veteran reliever Brandon League off their 25-man roster for the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, which begins Thursday night.

As expected, outfielder Andre Ethier made the roster despite an injured left shin, though Ethier he said Wednesday he will be used strictly as a pinch hitter for at least the first two games of the series. Game 3 is Sunday in Los Angeles.

League signed a three-year, $22.5 million contract in October and began the season as the Dodgers' closer. He lost the job to Kenley Jansen in June and had his worst season in six years. League, 30, was 6-4 with a 5.30 ERA and 1.54 WHIP and, by the end of the season, was pitching only in mop-up situations.

The Dodgers also left utility man Jerry Hairston Jr., a 12-year veteran, off the roster. Hairston, 37, struggled with hip and groin injuries the past two seasons and hit .211 this year, including .067 in his final 23 games.

Hairston later tweeted, "During my career I've always put the team first. Most important thing is the Dodgers winning this series. We can discuss me later."

Both League and Hairston are eligible to re-join the Dodgers if they advance to the NLCS.

The Dodgers, who are carrying 11 pitchers and 14 position players, kept Chris Capuano as a third left-handed reliever as well as youngsters Scott Van Slyke and Dee Gordon. With Ethier limited and Matt Kemp out for the postseason, Van Slyke and Gordon have taken fly balls in center field in case of an emergency, but Skip Schumaker figures to get the bulk of the playing time there.

Gordon, one of the fastest players in the league, could be a weapon as a pinch runner.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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