In Sunday’s series finale in Miami, Andre Ethier helped Zack Greinke finally notch a win with a dazzling and tumbling catch in left field to rob Dee Gordon of an extra base hit or possibly even an inside-the-park-homerun.
Ethier, who has played all three outfield positions for the Dodgers whenever needed over the past decade, made a diving catch in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Dodgers were leading 1-0 at the time, and the catch preserved the lead and eventual shutout for the Dodgers.
Earlier in the month, Ethier made a highlight reel catch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Ethier leaned over the left field wall to run down a Jason Heyward fly ball in foul territory.
An underrated defender in my opinion, Andre Ethier has proven this season to be able to keep up with Mr. Center Fielder Joc Pederson. Ethier’s versatility has definitely been valuable to the Dodgers who had Ethier to fill in for the injured Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford at different points of time over his ten-year tenure after the outfield became crowded.
Ethier has played in 70 games for the Dodgers this year. He’s played 43 games in right field, 18 games in left field and 1 game in center field. He’s made 3 errors, but he has 4 outfield assists. Just to compare, Matt Kemp has made 5 errors and 7 outfield assists in the San Diego outfield over 74 games.
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While Ethier may not be an elite outfielder, his versatility and great read on the ball along with his strong arm make him valuable in the Dodger outfield in this his 10th season as a Dodger. While trade rumors have persisted over the years, Andre Ethier’s impact on the team shouldn’t go unnoticed. He’s made some great catches in the outfield for the Dodgers in 2015, and Ethier has already more than doubled his homerun output from the season prior.
Ethier is walking more this year than in 2014 (10.2% BB) and he’s striking out less (15.7%). His fielding has been better this season than last year, and while 2009 was a long time ago, Ethier has been the healthiest of the Dodger outfielders this year.
I still enjoy watching Andre Ethier play both at the plate and in the field. He’s made a couple of very memorable catches this season, his tenth as a Dodger.
Don Mattingly has already said that when Carl Crawford returns, Andre Ethier will remain the starting left fielder.
"“Andre’s kind of taken that spot, to be honest with you,” Mattingly said."
We will continue to chronicle Andre Ethier’s tenth season as a Dodger throughout the season.