Coming off a bounce-back season, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier said he wasn’t viewing 2016 Spring Training any differently than he has in years past. Ethier, who will turn 34 years old on April 11, wants to start every day.
That wasn’t necessarily a given when the Dodgers reported for the start of Spring Training, but Carl Crawford said he was told recently the club was going with Ethier as the starting left fielder. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed as much soon after.
Last season, Ethier batted .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs, 20 doubles, 53 RBIs, had a .366 wOBA and 137 wRC+ over 142 games last season.
Despite the important role he played in filling the long stretches of voids left by Crawford (torn oblique) and Yasiel Puig (hamstring strains), the Dodgers reportedly were open to trading Ethier during the offseason.
Assuming he is still with the Dodgers on April 21, Ethier will earn a no-trade clause as a 10-and-5 player. The veto power is given to players who reach 10 years of Major-League service time, including at least the last five with the same club.
Ethier was in the lineup on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, who started left-hander Jose Quintana. Although lefties have tended to give Ethier trouble throughout his career, the veteran outfielder hit an opposite-field, two-run home run, his first homer of the year, off Quintana in the second inning:
The Dodgers and White Sox traded home runs in the seventh, eighth and nine innings, combining to hit a total of five over the final three frames. After entering in the sixth as a defensive replacement, Matt Davidson hit a pair of two-run home runs, giving the White Sox a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning, and a walk-off win in the ninth.