Andre Ethier was the model citizen last season in a year that saw him lose his status as everyday player and relegate him to the bench.
Before the 2015 season began, Ethier let it be known that he wants to be an everyday outfielder and if that had to be with another team, then he was willing to do that. The Dodgers were unable to find a deal that suited them for the former Gold Glove outfielder. Ethier began the year as a backup once again; however, he’s been in the starting lineup recently after an injury to Yasiel Puig. Carl Crawford also went on the disabled list, leaving even more room for Ethier.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez acknowledged what Ethier had to go through via Lyle Spencer of MLB.com:
The last couple of years have been tough on ‘Dre,” said Adrian Gonzalez, who joined Joc Pederson and Ethier in the first-inning home run parade at the expense of Ryan Vogelsong. “Once Puig came up, it put some guys in a position where they weren’t going to play every day. You can’t get in a groove when you’re used to being a starter.”
Ethier has made the most of his playing time thus far, hitting .304 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 19 games (11 starts). He’s also provided strong defense in right field, highlighted by a diving catch on Wednesday night against the San Francisco Giants.
Gonzalez, the Dodgers leader in home runs, praised his teammate for what he’s done this season:
Right now, he’s playing a lot and showing what he can do. He’s always had power, and he’s a great defensive player.”
Until Puig and Crawford return, the Dodgers will need Ethier to continue his strong play in order to keep up their winning ways.
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