Now Commenting On:

Ethier hopes extra work vs. lefties is paying off


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Leyson Septimo of the White Sox has pitched only 14 1/3 Major League innings, but he's left-handed, and that was enough for Andre Ethier to relish the triple he slugged off Septimo in Saturday's exhibition opener for the Dodgers.

"Now you guys will have nothing to write about," Ethier said, mocking his Spring Training mission of relearning how to hit against lefties.

He's been working with new hitting coach Mark McGwire, new assistant John Valentin and has spent extra time taking batting practice against left-handed manager Don Mattingly. Maybe he just imagined that Septimo was Mattingly.

"I wish it was that easy," Ethier said. "Me and Mac, I've been seeing a lot of left-handed curveballs [off a pitching machine] every day. I just have to figure out how to get better at it."

Ethier hit .284 last year, but .222 against lefties, 103 points higher against righties and a 339-point differential in OPS against right-handers versus left-handers.

Ethier said he welcomes McGwire's focus, which is on pitch recognition and selection, not mechanics.

"But the hitting coach can only say so much," Ethier said. "In the box, it's you and the pitcher and everything else is out the door."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español