Though it may be difficult to fathom, some positives came out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Carlos Frias threw two scoreless innings and Andre Ethier received an opportunity to play first base for the first time this season. Ethier took grounders at first base during the Dodgers road trip and he got through three innings on Sunday without issue.
Ethier’s lone at-bat came in the ninth inning when he doubled for his first extra-base hit since Aug. 6.
During an appearance at Carne Asada Sunday, a promotional event held at Dodger Stadium after the loss, Ethier discussed his feelings of playing:
It was definitely nervewracking,” Ethier said. “I was saying some choice words in my head, standing there awfully close to the hitters up there. The ball comes a lot faster.”
Despite the nerves, Ethier discussed being able to play the position when called upon:
Today was a byproduct of that,” Ethier said, “in terms of an opportunity to have some reps. Whether it be a game like this or one where (Adrian Gonzalez) needs a day off, I can get out there and start at first base.”
Ethier’s season was looking up when he replaced Matt Kemp in center field, though he’s spiraled since being replaced by Yasiel Puig. Ethier’s role with the team is now primarily as a pinch-hitter, which he’s accepted but struggled in.
Aside from occasional days off, Adrian Gonzalez has largely been a mainstay in the Dodgers lineup. Gonzalez leads the team in home runs (17) and RBIs (83) and is hitting .274. As for Ethier, he’s hitting .244 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
As one part of the Dodgers crowded outfield, Ethier has a guaranteed three years and $53.5 million remaining on his contract. His contract also includes a vesting option at $17.5 million for the 2018 season with a $2.5 million buyout.
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