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Andre Ethier's blister further threatens his power down stretch

August 23, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Andre Ethier belts a home run against the Atlanta Braves.
Andre Ethier belts a home run against the Atlanta Braves. (Scott Cunningham / Getty…)

Things for the Dodgers to Worry About: Part 52 in a continuing series.

In today’s segment we ask, what if the Dodgers have to play the rest of the way with an Andre Ethier deprived of full power?

Ethier has a quarter-size hole on the palm of his right hand from a blister that popped under a callus, right at the point where he holds the knob of the bat.

That means every time he swings the bat, he’s going to irritate it. It’s an incredibly hard thing to heal while playing, and with only six weeks to go, there’s no doubt Ethier is going to keep playing.

He started wearing a pad with a donut hole in the middle taped over the blister Wednesday.

“It’s not like a little blister, this thing is a monster,” said Manager Don Mattingly.

“He’s probably going to have to wrap it the rest of the way.”

It’s the same hand on which he had a fractured pinkie in 2010. Ethier tried slightly choking up with the bat Wednesday and did double, giving him a team record of six consecutive seasons with 30 or more doubles.

Ethier had the remaining callus shaved back after the game and had the blister bandaged.

“I guess it makes the game a little more interesting,” Ethier said.

Dodgers infielder Adam Kennedy said he developed a similar blister on his palm 2½ months ago and it has yet to completely heal. Kennedy called it “by far” the most painful injury of his career.

“When you swing, it’s knee-buckling pain,” Kennedy said. “The skin is just so raw.”

Ethier said the blister first popped Sunday in Atlanta, and that the pain was most noticeable while taking his practice cuts.

“It doesn’t feel good in batting practice, but once the adrenaline gets going in the game you can usually get through it,” he said. “You have to be a little more precise, make sure to hit the ball on the barrel and swing at the right pitches.”

But an Ethier choking up on the bat doesn’t sound like an outfielder who will be in the full blossom of his power.

As it is, he has hit only one home run in his last 36 games.

“I feel great, I feel good, except I have a huge hole in my hand that hurts,” Ethier said. “That’s the frustrating part. It’s just like Donnie said, you have to figure out a way to go up there and battle and keep having tough at-bats and find a way to contribute.”

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