The spring season hasn't even reached the halfway point, but if you're into early analysis then you have to be encouraged by the start of Andre Ethier.

Ethier, coming off minor knee surgery, is looking plenty healthy. Not just healthy, but more like the hitter Ethier was becoming before he fractured his pinky back in May 2010.

The outfielder has clearly been the Dodgers' best hitter in the early going, leading the team in almost every offensive category.

He was at it again in the first game of a split-squad Saturday, hitting a pair of doubles in the Dodgers' 8-6 loss to the Colorado Rockies in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Thus far, extra-base hits are almost all Ethier has known. He's batting .474 this spring, with all but one of his nine hits going for extra bases. He has one homer and triple, and six doubles.

He's been running the bases and the outfield wall, his only misstep this spring an occasional sore back.

The Dodgers also received an encouraging start from Nathan Eovaldi. The right-hander went 1-2 with a 3.63 earned-run average in 10 games (six starts) last season, and although he is not scheduled to start the season with the club, he is expected to be the first pitcher called when injury strikes the rotation.