Monday, February 14, 2011

Andre Ethier, fully healed, Predicts Dodgers Uptick

With a broken pinkie no longer holding him back, star outfielder Andre Ethier predicts greater personal output for the 2011 season, and a new kind of intensity with manager Don Mattingly having replaced the more laid back Joe Torre at the Dodgers helm.

"I think you're going to see a little bit more of a hands-on approach (from Mattingly,)" Ethier said. "...If the players mess up, he's going to be right on top of them, and if they do something right, he's going to be there too."

Speaking by telephone to Fox Sports Radio from the Dodgers Community Caravan bus as it rolled down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Ethier hinted that he would be able to improve his stats as compared to last year, when his home runs were held to 23 compared to 31, and his at-bats were limited to only 517 as compared to nearly 600 in 2009.

Not wanting to use it as an excuse, he none the less admitted that a broken pinkie was more than a little bothersome last year, limiting his ability to grip his bat.

"It was annoying...definitely frustrating," Ethier said. He's "100 percent healthy" now, he said.