Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ethier barely avoids arbitration

Andre Ethier was the last person on the arbitration list, and was supposed to go to a hearing today. But all of that was avoided when he inked a 1-year, $3.1 million deal.

Ethier's numbers last year were pretty darn good, finishing at .305 AVG, 20 HR, 77 RBI. He started off the year with a .329 AVG in April, but that quickly went downhill by the end of June, when he was at .271. He was always a good player, but pretty inconsistent.

Never fear, enter Manny Ramirez, who Dre quickly took advantage of. He hit a sizzling .429 in September, raising his average from a .277 to .305. Hitting in front of or behind Manny did wonders for his confidence. Hopefully that will be the case again this season.

One important thing not in question this season is that he will be a starter. If you can remember to last Spring Training, the starting left field job was between Ethier and Juan "For Five" Pierre (Andruw Jones in center and Matt Kemp in right). Even if Manny comes back, Ethier will start in right field.

Entering his 4th season in the Majors and at only 27, big things could be expected from him.

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