Ethier’s defensive issues are mystifying. His arm is powerful, yet people still run on him. He has plenty of range for his position and has shown good instincts, but seems to just miss a lot of balls lately. I wonder if any of this has to do with the Dodgers’ defensive coaching?
As for his offensive issues, I don’t see these as permanent. Ethier is too good a contact hitter to be stuck in a TTO pattern for too long. I do think his power is real, however, looking at his swing and his build.
I’m looking forward to watching Torre’s juggling when Manny is back. Pierre is the logical choice for the bench, and he certainly can’t play right with his arm. But if Ethier continues to look like a flamenco dancer out there, would he switch Kemp to right at times and let Pierre play center?
I say this because if Furcal continues to struggle (or gets hurt again) I assume there’d be the temptation to let Pierre run the bases in front of Hudson and Manny.
A problem I’m sure a lot of teams wouldn’t mind having…
Kemp is the best overall CF in baseball this year. His combination of defense and offense is outstanding and his value reduced by wasting him in RF. Further, Ethier’s offense is significantly better than Pierre’s, especially with Manny in the lineup. If you wanted to sit Ethier against a tough lefty (remember, Pierre is better against LHP than RHP), then it would be better to keep Kemp in CF, where he is superior in every way to Pierre, and move Manny to his original position in RF. Given its symmetrical dimensions, there is no difference playing left or right in Dodger Stadium and Manny still has an arm that plays in RF.