Andre Ethier wants to start - for Dodgers or someone else
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Andre Ethier wants to play every day, either in Los Angeles or somewhere else.
His chance to earn a starting role in the Dodgers' crowded outfield begins Thursday with their first full-squad workout.
During a meeting Monday after Ethier arrived at camp, manager Don Mattingly, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi told the two-time All-Star he'll get a chance to win a job.
If he's not going to start, Ethier wants to be traded.
''The fact that Andre wants to play every day is pretty clear,'' Mattingly after the meeting.
Ethier said he has to believe he'll get that opportunity.
''Yeah, I would hope so and think so,'' he said. ''I think they - Friedman and Donnie and Farhan - understand what I said and where I'm coming from. With me still being here, I would have to assume they're at least considering it.''
Ethier has plenty of competition, though. The projected Los Angeles starters are Carl Crawford in left field, rookie Joc Pederson in center and Yasiel Puig in right - with Ethier, Chris Heisey and Scott Van Slyke on the bench.
Crawford, who lives in the Phoenix area, spent his offseason at Camelback Ranch strengthening a badly sprained left ankle that limited him last year after he was injured May 27.
Los Angeles acquired Heisey from Cincinnati on Dec. 2, then traded star outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego nine days later.
The 22-year-old Pederson is one of the team's top prospects, and his power was evident in hitting drills Wednesday. On a back field at Camelback Ranch, he launched a shot over the fence and nearly hit a car that was traveling down a nearby road.
Pederson batted .303 for Triple-A Albuquerque last year before joining the Dodgers for a brief stretch. But it sounds as though he'll have to prove he's ready for a job that some speculate is already his to lose.
''Nobody is handing him the keys to the car,'' Mattingly said.
Mattingly also wouldn't speculate about who his starting outfielders might be.
''We don't know what's going to happen over the next four to six weeks,'' Mattingly said. ''That's why we're here. We'll evaluate and go from there.''
Ethier, who will turn 33 on April 11, started just 10 of the final 60 games last season, when he batted .249 with four home runs and 42 RBIs. He is owed $56 million on a contract that runs through 2017, and said he's prepared for whatever happens.
''It's up to them to make that decision,'' he said. ''It's up to me to go out there and force their hand. Whether it's playing here or playing somewhere else, I want to be playing.''
Crawford, troubled by injuries the last two years, has heard all the speculation. Still, he was taken aback when the Dodgers traded Kemp.
''Surprised like everybody else,'' Crawford said. ''That's one of those things. That's the direction the organization has decided to go, so you just deal with it and play with the guys we have here.''
Crawford likes what he sees in Pederson.
''He's looking good right now,'' Crawford said. ''I don't know what's going to happen with that situation. Everybody thinks he's going to be the center fielder. We'll just have to see how things work out.''
NOTES: Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu didn't work out because of stiffness in his back. Ryu arrived in Arizona a month ago. The left-hander worked out with a South Korean team in an effort to strengthen his shoulder. Shoulder fatigue bothered him last season. ... Veteran RHP Chad Gaudin, who hasn't pitched since 2013 when he started and came out of the bullpen for San Francisco, signed a minor league contract. He underwent neck surgery for a nerve problem a year ago. ''The medicals were good and here I am,'' Gaudin said. ''I'll do whatever they want, wherever they need me.'' ... A scorpion, apparently from an infestation at the adjoining White Sox complex, stung Jon Chapper of the Dodgers' public-relations staff. The critter was lurking in his shirt. There were no ill effects from what he said felt like a bee sting. But there was a trophy. INF Justin Turner gave Chapper a silver scorpion purchased from a nearby souvenir shop.