One of the hardest parts of managing a baseball team is trying to juggle the lineups and keep every player content.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has had to deal with this since he took over, and has had an even tougher time because of the crowded outfield situations he’s dealt with. While the burden was lessened a bit with the Matt Kemp trade, Mattingly still has five solid outfielders for three spots. Also, in the infield, the manager has a player who hit .340 last season on the bench.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Mattingly is working to keep his players in the game:
I’ll try to do the best I can about keeping everybody involved in the lineup,” Mattingly said. “It’s a little tougher early just because of the number of off days, guys that are rested or not rested.
So far, the only change Mattingly has had to make to the lineup has been at catcher, where A.J. Ellis started Opening Day and Yasmani Grandal the next two days. With an off day on Thursday, the starters will be fresh for the weekend in Arizona. The Dodgers also have another day off next Thursday, meaning the starters may not need a break yet. Justin Turner, Scott Van Slyke and Andre Ethier have each participated in games, but Alex Guerrero and Darwin Barney have yet to make their 2015 debut.
Mattingly admitted that the playing time may not come right now, but eventually it will come:
As you get into the season, there are so many games and so many little nick injuries, guys need a break or a breather. It gets a lot easier as the season moves on. It’s a little tougher now.”
Once the season gets into full swing, every player will be seeing the field more often.
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