The surplus of outfielders on the Los Angeles Dodgers roster last season was no secret. Despite the departure of Matt Kemp, the organization entered this season with the same issue, and that is due to the emergence of 23-year-old centerfielder Joc Pederson.
The outfielder that lost his starting position last season was Andre Ethier. In 2014, the 33-year-old started less than 100 games. Ethier handled the change with grace last season, but wanted to be a starter in 2015, whether that be in Los Angeles or elsewhere. He once again found himself coming off the bench to start the season as Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and rookie Joc Pederson made the starting outfield.
Although for Ethier, his competitive nature subsides when looking at the young outfielder’s success this season so far via Vincent Samperio of Dodgers Nation:
It’s been fun to watch,” said Ethier. “It’s tough when you know there’s lots of expectations on you. But he gets it. He just goes out there and does his thing.”
Additionally, the seasoned outfielder was also not shy to offer a helping hand to the young Dodger whenever he may need:
It’s been exciting. I’m happy for him. I’m glad to be there to be able to watch it and help him out whenever he needs it.”
Pederson, who was recently promoted to the leadoff spot, has been a force to be reckoned with. Batting .300 with five home runs in just 22 games, Los Angeles’ newest outfielder has made the bats of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez hardly missed, especially with his grand slam in Friday’s win against the Diamondbacks. Not to mention, the youngster has already a collection of defensive highlights on his résumé, too.
While Ethier is busy making a case to be able to start once Crawford and Puig return from injury, it’s nice to see him willing to take a player under his wing a bit.
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