Ask Andre Ethier about his left ankle —or anything related to it — and you won't get an answer.
Not much of one, at least.
Out of the lineup for the Dodgers' last four games because of a swollen ankle, Ethier started in the home opener Tuesday and hit the last of his team's four home runs in a 9-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ethier was two for five with two runs and three runs batted in.
Was he itching to get back in the lineup?
"No," he said, looking away.
How does his ankle feel?
"What do you think?" he replied.
When a variation of the same question was asked by another reporter, Ethier tried to be clever.
"It feels like I've got a foot and some toes connected," he said.
Ethier was more talkative when asked about he and Matt Kemp being presented with the Silver Slugger awards they won last season in a pregame ceremony. The awards were presented by former Dodger Eric Karros.
Kemp was also handed his Gold Glove.
"There are only nine guys' names on that plaque every year … and to have two of us on the same team, it's even more special," Ethier said. "Hopefully, we get all three in the outfield this year."
Meaning he hopes that Manny Ramirez, who hit his first home run Tuesday, will get one this season too.
In Troncoso they trust
While maintaining that embattled setup man George Sherrill was still the Dodgers' eighth-inning pitcher, Manager Joe Torre said that bullpen roles are subject to change depending on the situation.
Torre said he was open to using the left-handed Sherrill in the seventh inning if the Dodgers have to retire a left-handed hitter to get out of trouble. He also said Ramon Troncoso and Jeff Weaver were candidates to pitch in the eighth.
Of how he's appeared to gained the trust of Torre and pitched in the eighth or ninth inning in four of his five appearances, Troncoso said, "Whatever the situation, you have to treat it the same."