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Don Mattingly is sticking with Dee Gordon at Dodgers leadoff spot

Manager says he doesn't plan to do much different for now even though the speedy shortstop, who leads the National League with 10 stolen bases, is struggling at the plate.

April 28, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin
  • Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon attempts an unsuccessful bunt during Friday's 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon attempts an unsuccessful bunt during Friday's… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

Dee Gordon can't get on base these days, but Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly has no intention of removing him from the leadoff spot.

The Dodgers' second-year shortstop went into Saturday batting .224. His on-base percentage was only .268.

Gordon was two for 13 in his last three games and hadn't drawn a walk in any of his last six games.

Of the possibility of dropping Gordon in the order, Mattingly said, "I could think about it, but then I have to find a guy who can lead of. At this point, I don't feel I need to do a whole lot different."

The Dodgers started the day tied with the visiting Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League.

"We'll keep riding this thing," Mattingly said.

From the start in spring training, Mattingly warned Gordon would be susceptible to slumps.

"For me, with Dee, it's all part of it," Mattingly said. "You didn't think he was going to come up and tear it up."

Gordon has particularly had trouble hitting left-handers. Through Friday, he was batting .120 against them.

Why Mattingly is willing to be so patient is obvious: Gordon has tremendous upside.

Despite his inability to reach base with any kind of consistency, Gordon went into Saturday as the major league leader in steals with 10.

He was also tied for the major league lead in number of times caught stealing, with four.

Sale expected to close Monday

When the Dodgers take the field Monday night, they should be under new ownership.

The sale of the Dodgers is expected to close as scheduled Monday, according to three people familiar with the process.

Friday night marked the deadline for parties to object to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court order approving the sale from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group led by Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson. No objections were filed.

McCourt sold the team for a record $2.15 billion. The money is ready to be transferred to him, two of the people said Friday.

His divorce settlement requires him to pay $131 million to his ex-wife, Jamie, on Monday.

Attorneys for Frank McCourt, Guggenheim and Major League Baseball are close to finalizing the extensive documentation that accompanies the sale.

Injury rundown

Juan Rivera said he thinks he could be back in the lineup for the series finale against the Nationals on Sunday.

Rivera, who pinch-hit for the Dodgers on Saturday, had sat out the Dodgers' previous two games because of a strained left hamstring.

"I don't feel any pain," Rivera said. "What I feel is tightness, but that's normal."

Todd Coffey, who was put on the disabled list as much because of his poor form as his ailing knee, has pitched in two minor league games and is eligible to be activated Sunday. Mattingly said the Dodgers might hold off on activating Coffey because they would like to have long reliever Nathan Eovaldi for another day. Eovaldi is expected to return to double-A Chattanooga when Coffey returns.

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