Similar to what was seen last season when the Los Angeles Dodgers had all four outfielders healthy, Andre Ethier has often found himself sitting in the dugout while Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig take the field.
Kemp and Puig have solidified themselves as every day starters, with manager Don Mattingly recently stating as much, which has left Ethier, who is one of two left-handed Dodger outfielders, to platoon with Crawford in left field.
Ethier found himself in a somewhat surprising situation on Saturday when Mattingly left him out of the lineup, despite hitting a career .429 against San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain. Though Ethier would make a pinch-hit apperance in the eighth inning, it marked the third consecutive game that he wasn’t in the lineup.
There’s nothing that needs to be said,” Ethier said after he sat Saturday against right-hander Matt Cain. “Nothing has to be stirred up. It’s a long year, it really is. A lot of stuff can happen. We need all the guys we have in that locker room and we’ll need guys we have below” in the minors.
In the lone season the Dodgers carried the four outfielders, five if Scott Van Slyke is included, they rarely had all hands on deck. Ethier again reiterated his desire to play, but added he’s aware of the fact he needs to do whatever is asked of him:
You just have to go out there and figure out what you’ve been asked to do that day. And whatever I’m asked to do that day, I’m going to do it. I’m going to be ready when I get the opportunity to go out there and play again, and still come fit and prepared like I’m going to be out there until I don’t see my name in the lineup.”
Despite the daily uncertainty of whether or not he’ll start, Ethier figures to factor in the Dodgers’ success this season in some capacity. If it’s not as a starter, it may come in key pinch-hit appearances, or it may be by way of a trade that nets the Dodgers a missing piece.
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