Although it was pure coincidence Andre Ethier was a double short of hitting for the cycle the same night Juan Pierre injured his
hamstring lower back, the timing was too good not to notice. At the start of the season, Joe Torre announced he was starting Ethier over Pierre. Yet through June, Pierre got 66 starts, most of them at Ethier's expense.
Pierre's July visit to the disabled list finally gave Ethier a chance at regular playing time. Fast-forward to August: a bad month for the Dodgers despite a good month for Ethier. As in .292/.346/.615 w/7 HR good. Currently he leads the Dodgers with 19 home runs. If Dodger fans don't get a chance to see what Ethier can do with an entire season of at-bats in 2009, then some other team should. He deserves to be an everyday player.
It's not just Ethier's bat that impresses. He's got plus-speed (see tonight's triple) and an above-average arm good for eight outfield assists this year (for comparison's sake, Ichiro has ten).
If Ethier were on another team, I'd probably hate his guts. But he's ours. And he's good. Let's hope management thinks the same.
photo by Juan Ocampo/Dodgers