Ethier showing results of winter running work

Ethier showing results of winter running work

PEORIA, Ariz. -- When Andre Ethier had arthroscopic right knee surgery last September, did doctors transplant some of Dee Gordon's running speed?

Ethier went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple Tuesday, his 13th extra-base hit of the spring. He hasn't stolen any bases like Gordon, but does have a team-high three triples. He had only one the last two regular seasons combined.

"I spent a lot of time focusing on my running technique during my rehab," said Ethier, who worked at Athletic Performance in preparation for his free-agent year. "They broke down my body mechanics. Even once I was healthy, I had a bad gait. They asked if I was still hurting. I was cringing with every stride, expecting pain.

"I'm more efficient running now and can go faster, longer, and keep it up. It's always been difficult for me to get up to speed, and once I would run for a while, it was tough to keep it together. I think we've fixed a lot of it. I think it's been as important as all the lifting and working out."

Of course, smashing the ball has had even more to do with the extra bases. He has a .947 slugging percentage this spring and a .476 on-base percentage, for a 1.423 OPS.