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Dodgers want Ethier to be an option at first base

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MILWAUKEE -- Displaced Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been working out at first base this week, and he's not just killing time.

Manager Don Mattingly, who has been tutoring Ethier, said he sees Ethier as a viable alternative should something happen to regular first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In previous years, Ethier has toyed with the position, and he played one inning there in a 2010 game.

"I've always liked him over there. His actions are good," Mattingly said. "I want to get him more comfortable. I'd like to have that option. If something happens to Adrian, we've only got Scott Van Slyke. I want to get him to do a few more things. It's not just take a few grounders. He has to get the ball out of a bigger glove, the footwork around the bag and getting used to the speed of ground balls."

Since Mattingly's decision to move Yasiel Puig to center field, Ethier has dropped to fifth outfielder, with Matt Kemp playing daily in right field, while Carl Crawford and Van Slyke platoon in left.

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

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