21 December 2011

the evolution of the right fielder, part 3

we pick up with the departure of raul mondesi and the arrival of shawn green

shawn green (2000-2003)
green had put up big numbers for the blue jays in 1999 (42/123/.309) so i was a bit disappointed when he played in all 162 games for the dodgers in 2000, but did just 24/99/.269.  it reminded me of darryl strawberry's first (and, as it turned out, only decent year in la), but i shouldn't have worried.  green posted back-to-back years of over 40 home runs in 2001 and 2002.  his power numbers were down in 2003 - i believe he had injured his shoulder - but he still played in 160 games. take that, mike marshall!  i should mention that green and i have something in common - we both were in attendance at game 1 of the 1988 world series, but, unlike him, i didn't leave early.

the dodgers moved greenie to first base in 2004 and juan encarnacion turned up in right.

juan encarnacion (2004)
encarnacion was acquired by the dodgers via a trade with the marlins in december of 2003.  he started 77 games for the dodgers in right before he was traded back to the marlins in july of 2004.  that was the deal that jim tracy openly lamented, as the dodgers gave up encarnacion, guillermo mota, and paul lo duca for brad penny and hee-seop choi.  encarnacion was hitting only .235 at the time with 13 home runs, so i think tracy was more upset at losing his starting catcher.

drew (2005-2006)
encarnacion's departure and the failure of any interim right fielder to claim the job opened up the spot for free agent jd drew.  drew came aboard after a lone season in atlanta in which he finished 6th in the mvp voting.  his first year in la was forgettable as he played in only 72 games for the blue, and hit only 15 home runs.  manager jim tracy deployed his crew of 'ja(y)sons' (repko, werth, and grabowski) to fill in for the missing drew.  jd rebounded nicely in 2006, playing in 146 games, hitting 20 home runs, and driving in 100 for the only time in his career.  he also hit one of the back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in that late season game against the padres.  of course, scott boras had negotiated an out clause in his contract after two years, and drew took it and headed to the red sox.

andre ethier (2007-2011)

with drew gone, the dodgers simply moved andre ethier over from left field, and he's been there ever since.  in his 5 years as the dodgers' rightfielder, ethier has averaged 146 games, 35 doubles, 20 home runs, and .288 at the plate.  his home run numbers are lower than expected over that span because of his 2011 season when injury hampered his power.

so, there you have it.  in three parts, the dodger rightfielder has evolved from carl furillo to andre ethier.  here's hoping it doesn't evolve any further for a while.

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