It was a season of extremes for Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier in 2011.
An All-Star and a Gold Glove winner who took a 30-game hitting streak into May, Ethier's season ended prematurely in an awkward public disagreement with the club over the treatment and severity of a knee injury that had altered his mechanics. Though he bat .292 in his sixth season as a Dodger since his rookie year of 2006, his 11 homeruns and 62 RBI were the lowest totals since his rookie year.
Ethier enters the 2012 season ready to accept the added pressure of having to produce in a contract year. It's a venture that shouldn't be hindered by the batting behind an MVP candidate in Matt Kemp, where he'll be facing an awful lot of pitchers working from the stretch, concerned with a self-proclaimed 5050 hopeful on the basepaths.
Mashing the ball in spring training must count for something he finished with 15 extra base hits and 16 runs batted in over 51 at bats and for Ethier it...