Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Schumaker started each game in center field. In four games, he got three hits (all singles) and was never a legitimate offensive threat.
He offers no power threat—he has a career .086 ISO—and isn’t even an elite defensive player. His career UZR in center field is negative, and that passes the eye test as well: Justin Upton hit a ball in the first inning of Game 3 that a better defender would have caught, but Schumaker dove and missed.
Ethier, while not a better defender, is a vastly superior offensive weapon. His .783 OPS, while not up to his previous career marks, makes him a threat that pitchers are aware of. Schumaker’s presence means the lineup only goes six deep, but adding Ethier drops Juan Uribe down a spot and makes the bottom third of the Dodger lineup (Uribe, A.J. Ellis and the pitcher) much more formidable.
The Dodgers are still hoping that Ethier will be available to start the NLCS.