Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has faced a lot of hardship this season. He hasn’t hit well, currently sitting on a .236 average with five home runs and a .681 OPS. Manager Don Mattingly was very critical of him in the media. Some upstart Cuban rookie, Yasiel Puig, is making him look small-time. And he is constantly being mentioned in trade rumors.
Despite all that, Ethier is taking it all in stride, which is admirable. Players in similar situations in the past have mutinied, demanding an exit. (Speaking of, have you heard the Miguel Olivo news?)
Asked about his future, Ethier chuckled. “Look at the way guys are dropping around here,” he said. “They need as many bodies as they can have.”
But if Puig continues his ascent and the entire outfield is healthy, Ethier could be the odd man out.
“It’s not in your control,” Ethier said. “It’s nothing you can have a say about, except to go out there and play hard.”
Ethier also talked about observing Juan Pierre when he was a Dodger between 2007-09. Pierre took 729 trips to the plate in ’07, but as Ethier and Matt Kemp emerged, his playing time vanished, amassing only a combined 831 PA in ’08-09. Nevertheless, Ethier recalls, Pierre had a smile on his face, didn’t complain, and cheered on his teammates.
It’s true that the Dodgers massively overpaid Ethier when they gave him a five-year, $85 million extension last June. In the Dodgers’ rush to get rid of him, some team will be smart enough to grab him cheaply and utilize him as part of a platoon. He has a career .904 OPS against right-handed pitchers and .645 against lefties.