Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier has a ruptured blister on his right hand that will likely affect him for the remainder of the season, but even when healthy his struggles against left-handed pitching have contributed to a prolonged slump.
Since June 1, Ethier is hitting just .239 with three home runs in 62 games. During that span he has hit just .138 (13-for-94) against left-handed pitchers. On the season Ethier is hitting .218 against southpaws, not far from his career mark of just .238 against lefties.
"I've been a guy that really believes that Andre hits everybody, that he can hit everybody," said manager Don Mattingly. "We keep looking at the numbers and different stuff. I'm a little bit (concerned)."
But the Dodgers don't have many options, at least with the current roster construction. Even if Mattingly did want to bench or pinch hit for his $85 million two-time All-Star against southpaws, the team currently has a four-man bench.
The only other outfielder on the active roster aside from the three starters is Juan Rivera, and he is in a platoon at first base. In addition, the right-handed Rivera is hitting just .239 with a .385 slugging percentage against lefties on the year.
"We would consider (pinch hitting for Ethier against left-handed pitchers), but it depends on who you consider doing it with," Mattingly said. "When you get to the ninth inning I'm sitting at one guy, maybe two, and those options haven't been very good."
In other words, don't expect Ethier to be benched or pinch hit for anytime soon.