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Andre Ethier isn't sure how to assess his season

While he has been as consistent as he set out to be at the start, he has only seven home runs. He says he hasn't felt comfortable all season and is constantly making minor tweaks.

July 06, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Andre Ethier, shown sitting with Manager Don Mattingly, went into Wednesday batting a career-high .317 but with only seven home runs.
Andre Ethier, shown sitting with Manager Don Mattingly, went into Wednesday… (Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire )

Asked about his season to date, Andre Ethier wasn't sure how to answer.

Was he pleased with his performance?

"Yeah and no," he said.

On one hand, he went into Wednesday batting a career-high .317. He had a 30-game hitting streak early in the season and has been the model of consistency he set out to be at the start of the spring training.

"It's what my team needs," Ethier said.

On the other hand, he had only seven home runs.

"If you look at my track record, some of the numbers aren't holding up to that," he said.

Ethier hit 23 home runs last season, when a broken finger limited him to 139 games and resulted in a loss of form late in the year. The season before that, he belted 31 homers.

Whatever the numbers say, Ethier said, "I still feel like I'm a power hitter."

Ethier said he hasn't felt comfortable the entire season, adding that he has been constantly making adjustments. But he said he has been mindful of not making drastic changes as a means of improving his power.

"You hear it all the time: Power is a matter of inches," he said. "The average is there, the hits are there. How do you tinker? You don't want to mess this up."

With Matt Kemp on a season-long tear, Ethier said his primary objective is to reach base.

"That's more opportunities for Matty, or whoever's behind me, to move runs in," Ethier said.

Thursday will be Ethier's bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium. The day will also be the deadline for fans to vote him into the All-Star game, which will be played in his hometown of Phoenix.

Ethier is one of five National League players who are part of Major League Baseball's Final Vote, in which fans can cast ballots at to determine who gets the last spot on the All-Star roster. The deadline to vote is 1 p.m.

Ethier asked fans for help.

"We didn't have Major League Baseball there when I was growing up," he said. "This is the first All-Star game ever to be there. Who knows when the next one will be? For it to happen to line up when I'm in the major leagues is pretty neat."

Barajas on the mend

With an eye toward returning from the disabled list for the Dodgers' first game after the All-Star break, Rod Barajas could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment Thursday.

Barajas was put on the disabled list June 19 because of a sprained right ankle.

Tentative plans calls for Barajas to be the designated hitter for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday and Friday. He could catch Saturday.

Barajas is scheduled to be off during the All-Star break and to be activated July 15 in Arizona.

Until then, Manager Don Mattingly said A.J. Ellis would be the Dodgers' primary catcher. With Dioner Navarro batting .173 through Tuesday, Mattingly said he might as well go with Ellis because of his pitch-calling ability.

Short hops

X-rays on Aaron Miles' right elbow came back negative. Miles, who was hit by a pitch Tuesday, was held out of the lineup but said he felt he could play. … Recent minor league call-up Eugenio Velez became the eighth player to start in left field this season.

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