If Andre Ethier’s knee passed its first in-game test Monday, when he legged out a double against the Chicago White Sox, it passed its second test Tuesday.
Ethier casually cranked a solo home run to right field –his first of the spring –against Giants starter Barry Zito in the second inning. His swing was smooth and his reaction was modest.
“I kind of surprised myself,” Ethier said. “I haven’t seen a ball hit like that in a while off my bat. It’s kind of nice to see.”
There is a difference between modesty and confidence, and Ethier said he had plenty before arriving in Arizona. I’ll throw the rest of his comments about his newfound approach in tomorrow’s notebook; that approach includes a lack of urgency to begin discussing a contract extension.
Ethier was hitting fifth today against the Giants after hitting cleanup the day before because Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wanted to move righty batter Juan Rivera up a spot against the left-handed Zito. He flied out to center field in his only other at-bat, in the third inning against Giants right-hander Steve Edlefsen.