Saturday, June 29, 2013

Andre Ethier, On The Clock

Despite some pretty decent play in left field the past couple of games, plus a slight improvement in his batting average (at .256) and his OPS (now back over .800), Andre Ethier is still speculated to be the one without a chair when the music stops, which will occur when Carl Crawford returns from injury (any day now) (link insider only):

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford is nearing a rehab assignment, reports, with the speedster testing his hamstring by running curves at the club's spring training facility in Arizona. Once he's ready for activation, the Dodgers will have some choices to make. Andre Ethier is now the left fielder with rookie Yasiel Puig claiming right field. Matt Kemp is back from the disabled list and handling center, as usual. Crawford is a left fielder by trade and figures to reclaim his job once he's healthy. That could leave Ethier as the odd-man out.

Of course, skipper Don Mattingly could work with four outfielders, giving them rest and using them off the bench on their off days. Ethier, a lefty hitter, is batting just .256/.334/.380 for the season and has been dominated by left-handed starters. Crawford is also a left-handed hitter, however, so there's no chance to put together a traditional platoon scenario.

Since it seems insane to think the club will take Puig out of the lineup for more than the occasional day to rest and Kemp is the lone true option in center -- other than Puig -- there really don't appear to be too many options for the team. Ethier and Crawford either share left field, or the one that is hitting plays and the other is used as a reserve.

It's also conceivable that Ethier is shopped around the league, but his contract and lack of performance make that a tough task for GM Ned Colletti. Ethier is owed $70 million guaranteed after the 2013 season.

photo: Ray Stubblebine, Reuters


Dusty Baker said...

I know it's easy for me to say since I'm not the one signing paychecks, but I'd almost like to hang onto E for now. Look at our track record for injuries: Kemp, Crawdaddy, Van Slyke, nameless rabble of crappy call-ups have all played outfield and missed significant time. Future injuries this season and/or slowness coming off the DL means it's not the craziest idea in the world to carry 4 OFs. Keeping E means platooning to give guys rest, sitting E on days lefties are pitching, etc.

It's a problem many would like to have.

Plus, not to jinx it, but if/when Puig comes back to earth, he may need some down time.

Paul said...

I agree Dusty. Remember back in spring when we had too many starting pitchers? Things change fast and a deal for Dre without eating his contract probably won't happen. Crawford and Kemp haven't shown much stability the past few seasons so I wouldn't be so quick to assume they won't make another trip to the DL.

spank said...

i agree tambien. As much as Ethier gets on my fucking nerves with his princess antics having 4 quality outfielders ready to go is always a plus.

Dusty Baker said...

Exactly, gents. If I weren't so lazy I was going to make that same point re: starting the season having 8 starters and now we have 3 plus Schumaker.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

I say ship him

Fred's Brim said...

I would like to keep all 4 of them too.
Why isn't trading Crawford an option? He's owed less total money than Dre and his contract is up a year sooner. Gotta figure he'd be easier to dump on someone. It's crazy to think that after Crawford's crazy contract that Dre would be the bigger anchor of the two