But with all the attention this spring about Carl Crawford and his elbow, and Matt Kemp being on the cover of Big League Chew, Ethier is beginning to look like the kid you stick in right field because he can’t play.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Just to show he’s still here, Ethier hit a two-run home run in the first inning yesterday. The Dodgers thumped the Mexico Team that is preparing for the World Baseball Classic.
Ethier and his teammates are making a strong statement in the Cactus league. Ethier is having a really good spring. He has taken some grief about hitting left-handers, so he smashed a triple earlier this spring off of one in his first at bat.
But spring ball doesn’t mean a whole lot. Ethier’s body of work in seven Dodger seasons speaks volumes to what he has done in LA. Dodger fans have seen this two-time all-star pile up career stats that are outstanding. His career .290BA, .362OBP, .476SLG, and .838OPS, puts him in the top 25 of all outfielders. Last year his batting avg. dipped slightly, and his strikeouts were up, but he still had 89 RBI, and 20 HR.
Having signed a five year $85 million contract extension in June of 2012, Ethier is signed up to be in LA until 2017. If he can come back to all-star form like 2010 and 2011, Ethier will silence all of his critics.
That’s not his focus though. Ethier wants to see the Dodgers win a World Series. So he’s out in right field saying, “Don’t forget about me.”