Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers can stop wondering who should start in center field. Matt Kemp was a great player for the team at one point in his career, but Andre Ethier has always been a fan favorite, and after Tuesday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, let’s put the debate to rest.
Ethier, along with Yasiel Puig in right and Carl Crawford in left, completes the regular starting lineup in the outfield for the Dodgers.
Ethier took care of the two hardest spokes in the cycle by getting a homer and a triple in his first two at-bats against the Reds. He accounted for all four of the runs at the start for the Dodgers. Late in the game in the eighth, Crawford left with a sprained ankle. There have been plans to get Kemp to become a left fielder, and this injury to Crawford may make that happen faster. However, Crawford’s consistency at the top of the lineup still makes him the preferred option.
Obviously if Kemp becomes the Kemp of a few years ago, they have to do something, and every Dodger fan knows that they have to either find a spot for Kemp, or trade him. Right now, Ethier is playing better and Puig is an MVP candidate, so Kemp is the wildcard.
Perhaps the Crawford injury will be a blessing in disguise to give the Dodgers a chance to really assess Kemp’s ability in left field. Regardless, having too many good players is a luxury, and the Dodgers are built for the playoffs right now. Ethier needs to be a part of that.