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Don Mattingly to return as Dodgers manager

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti confirms that the team will honor the final year of Manager Don Mattingly's contract even if the team misses the playoffs.

September 14, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

Manager Don Mattingly will return next season.

General Manager Ned Colletti confirmed Friday that the Dodgers intend to honor the final year of Mattingly's contract, which expires at the end of the 2013 season.

The decision to retain Mattingly will not be affected by whether the Dodgers reach the postseason, Colletti said. Entering Friday, the Dodgers were 71/2 games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West and two games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second of two wild card spots.

Mattingly was the Dodgers' hitting coach under former manager Joe Torre before taking over as manager in 2011.

Mattingly went into Friday with a 156-149 record over two seasons.

He earned high marks for how he navigated a bankrupt franchise to a respectable 82-79 record as a rookie manager in 2011. He remains popular among players and had his team in first place as recently as Aug. 19.

However, the Dodgers entered Friday with a 6-12 record since acquiring Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett as part of a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox.

The guaranteed portion of Colletti's contract is set to expire at the end of this season, but Chairman Mark Walter recently said the team was looking to sign him to a long-term extension.

Jansen set to return

Reliever Kenley Jansen is set to return for the Dodgers' series opener in Washington on Tuesday.

"I'm ready," he said. "I'm not afraid."

Jansen, who has been sidelined for 21/2 weeks, was told on Friday he could stop taking a blood-thinning medication he was using to treat a heart condition. Jansen wasn't allowed to play while taking the medication because it prevents clotting and he could have bled to death if struck by a baseball. The medicine will take two days to clear his system.

Jansen pitched to hitters on Friday. He has thrown off a mound almost every other day since he was sidelined with an irregular heartbeat late last month.

He will undergo surgery in the off-season to treat his condition.

Mattingly said he doesn't intend to immediately reinstall Jansen as the Dodgers' closer.

"I'll probably try to get him comfortable one time and go from there," Mattingly said.

Lilly scheduled for surgery

Ted Lilly has abandoned hope of pitching for the Dodgers in relief this month, as he is scheduled to undergo a season-ending shoulder operation on Sept. 22. He is expected to be healthy for the start of spring training.

Lilly last pitched May 23. The left-hander made several attempts to come back, pitching in minor league games as a rehabilitation assignment.

Lilly's surgery will be performed by team physician Neal ElAttrache.

"Ideally, it is a simple clean-up procedure," trainer Sue Falsone said. "Obviously the doc won't know exactly what he will or will not do until he gets inside the joint.

"We're not expecting any large repairs of any kind or anything sort of out of the ordinary."

Lilly was 5-0 with a 1.79 earned-run average through his first five starts. But on May 23 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he was charged with eight earned runs in 31/3 innings. He never made it back to the mound.

Lilly, 36, is under contract for another season. He will earn $13.5 million next year as part of his three-year, $33-million deal.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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