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Ethier to play left in new outfield configuration

Ethier to play left in new outfield configuration

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Ethier to play left in new outfield configuration

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier hadn't played left field in five years, but he started there on Thursday and is likely to remain at the position in the Dodgers' new outfield alignment.

Matt Kemp, fresh of the disabled list, will remain in center with rookie Yasiel Puig in right. That will be how the Dodgers typically play the outfield until Carl Crawford returns from the disabled list in July.

"This is more of the look I kind of picture," said manager Don Mattingly.

Ethier last appeared in left in 2008, when he played 41 games at the position. Since then, he's primarily played right and center for the Dodgers. This is the first time in Ethier's career that he's played all three positions in the outfield in the same season.

"I'm sure he'll not be totally comfortable, but I think Dre has shown us true versatility," Mattingly said. "He's shown us that he can get good jumps in center, which tells us he can play anywhere."

The Dodgers want to keep Puig in right because he has the strongest arm of any outfielder on the club. The rookie sensation has three outfield assists in his first 22 games.

"He really profiles there with the arm and everything," Mattingly said.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Austin Laymance is an associate reporter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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