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2015 Dodgers review: Andre Ethier, the comeback kid

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A look back the bounce-back 2015 season for Andre Ethier, who combined good health, more playing time and just about perfect usage into a very productive campaign.

What went right

After ending 2014 riding the bench, starting just 10 of the final 60 games, Ethier came into 2015 the odd man out in the outfield, stated in spring training his desire for more playing time, then went out and earned it.

Ethier hit .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs and 20 doubles in 142 games, second on the team to Justin Turner in on-base percentage, OPS (.852), wOBA (.366), OPS+ (136) and wRC+ (137), among players with at least 200 plate appearances, and was third in slugging percentage and fourth in batting average.

The adjusted OPS+ and wRC+ were the best of Ethier's 10-year career, and in line with his 2008-2010 peak.

Ethier tied his career high with seven triples, set previously in his rookie year of 2006. Ethier is one of just 10 Los Angeles Dodgers with at least two seasons of seven or more triples; he and Willie Davis are the only ones to have seven-triple seasons nine years apart.

On Sept. 26 in Colorado, Ethier hit his 300th career double. His 301 career doubles ranks ninth in the 132-year history of the Dodgers, one of several categories in which Ethier is climbing the franchise lists. Ethier ranks 13th in home runs (159), 13th in RBI (682), 14th in games played (1,417), 15th in plate appearances (5,361), 17th in hits (1,354), 19th in walks (513) and 22nd in runs scored (636).

In addition to performing well with increased playing time, Ethier also performed well off the bench. He was 8-for-24 (.333) with two doubles and a triple as a pinch-hitter, and hit .316/.366/.447 in 41 plate appearances in games he appeared as a reserve.

What went wrong

Ethier's worst month was June, during which he hit .214/.275/.417, but even then he hit four home runs, his most in any month during the season.

Against left-handed pitchers, Ethier was 9-for-45 (.200) with two doubles, two walks and 14 strikeouts, hitting .200/.229/.244. But he was limited to just 48 plate appearances against southpaws; his 10.8-percent of PA against lefties was well below the 26.9-percent mark for the rest of his career.

2015 particulars

Age: 33

Stats: 142 games, .294/.366/.486, 14 HR, 20 doubles, 7 triples, .366 wOBA, 2.7 rWAR, 2.9 fWAR

Salary: $18 million

Game of the year

Ethier hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the eighth inning against the Angels on Aug. 2, then after the Halos forced extra innings Ethier hit another home run, this one a two-run walk-off shot in the 10th inning for a 5-3 Dodgers win.

It was Ethier's first walk-off home run since 2010, and the seventh of his career. Ethier's 14 career walk-off RBI are the second-most in LA Dodgers history, to Dusty Baker's 16.

Roster status

Ethier has two years and $38 million guaranteed remaining on his contract, plus a club option for 2018. Ethier will earn $18 million in 2016, and on Apr. 21, 2016 will reach 10 full years of service time, giving Ethier 10-and-5 rights and the right to refuse any trade.