Family of Dodgers' Andrew Toles just glad he's alive

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

The family of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles was glad he was arrested last week because that meant they knew where he was.

Toles, who has struggled with mental illness, was charged in Key West, Florida, with trespassing property after he was found sleeping behind a Federal Express building at the airport and refused to move.

"When the news came out, the response from the public was very different from the response from my family,'' Morgan Toles, Andrew's sister, told USA Today. "When people saw my brother's mugshot, it was like, 'Oh, my god! He's been arrested.'

"You know what my family felt? Relief. It's really crazy to say, but the mugshot, really, was the best thing ever. We didn't know whether he was dead or alive.''

Toles, 28, rose from the low minors to the majors in just months and became a postseason star for the Dodgers in 2016.

He was the starting left fielder in the second half of 2016 and early in 2017. In May of that year he tore a knee ligament, and he spent most of 2018 at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Toles never reported to spring training in 2019 because of a personal matter. He did not play that year. His family told USA Today that he has been in at least 20 mental health facilities since 2019. He is currently in a Key West hospital and has a court date Thursday, according to his sister.

"Honestly, I don't expect him to show up,'' Morgan Toles told the newspaper. "He's probably not even aware. They're holding him in a hospital because he's so incoherent and will give him medication until he gets through it. But after that, and he's able to verbalize he wants out, he can leave when he seems fit.''

Toles' family has tried to gain guardianship of him to get him into a mental health facility for a stay long enough to help him. Toles has resisted and leaves every facility after a brief stay. According to USA Today, he has enough money from his playing days to fly and stay in hotels. But he also ends up in shelters and on the street.

Toles had struggled with anxiety since even before the Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract. He was the Tampa Bay Rays' minor league player of the year in 2013 but was released in 2015. He was working the early-morning shift in the frozen-food section of a grocery store before the Dodgers recruited him.

"It's heartbreaking, literally heartbreaking,'' Dodgers president Andrew Friedman told USA Today. "I have a long history with Andrew, and I just wish there was something more we could do to help."

Friedman drafted Toles when he was in the Rays organization. Dodgers teammate Justin Turner has offered to pay Toles' medical bills. At this point, family members say, they need him not to run.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.