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Adrian Gonzalez is latest Dodger to get a day of rest

The slugger is held out of the starting lineup Saturday but pinch-hits in the ninth. The Dodgers are expected to activate pitcher Stephen Fife from the disabled list to start Sunday.

August 03, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez didn't play in the team's 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez didn't play in the team's… (Harry How / Getty Images )

CHICAGO — Saturday was Adrian Gonzalez's turn to take a day off.

With the Dodgers piling up wins these days regardless of who's in their lineup, Manager Don Mattingly has been increasingly willing to give days off to his regulars to ensure they will be better-rested for the season's final stretch.

"Obviously, it makes it easier," Mattingly said of his team's record run.

Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford were out of the lineup Friday. Andre Ethier rested Thursday.

Mattingly also wants to give whatever extra rest he can to his pitchers, which is why the Dodgers are expected to reinstate Stephen Fife from the disabled list to start the series finale at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

Activating Fife would push back Zack Greinke's next start by a day, to Monday in the series opener in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Clayton Kershaw, who was in line to pitch Monday, will instead start Tuesday.

Mattingly wouldn't acknowledge Fife would start Sunday; a person familiar with the team's plans confirmed the anticipated move.

Speaking "hypothetically" about inserting Fife into the rotation, Mattingly said he doesn't intend to continue using a six-man rotation.

"That would be short term," Mattingly said. "There's no way we would use six guys. It would be to give everybody an extra day."

That means that Fife or Chris Capuano could soon be in new roles. Fife could be optioned to the minor leagues. Capuano, who started Saturday, could be moved to the bullpen.

As for Gonzalez, Mattingly said he initially wanted to rest him Sunday.

"But seeing him this morning, when I saw him in there, he was a little stiff," Mattingly said. "I figured we might as well do it today."

The decision ended Gonzalez's streak of 72 consecutive games started.

Gonzalez pinch-hit in the ninth inning and lined into a double play.

Kemp's plan

Still feeling pain in his sprained left ankle earlier in the week, Matt Kemp was ordered to wear a protective boot to accelerate his recovery. Kemp is expected to resume working out in the coming week in St. Louis, which is expected to give the Dodgers a better idea of when he might be able to return to the field.

General Manager Ned Colletti recently said he didn't expect Kemp back in the lineup until September.

Seager promoted

At 19, Corey Seager is now the youngest player in the California League. In fact, he's now the youngest player in any high-A league in baseball.

The Dodgers' first-round pick last year, Seager was promoted from low-A Great Lakes to high-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night. Seager, a shortstop, hit .309 with 12 home runs and 57 runs batted in in 74 games with Great Lakes.

No more ejections?

Ejected twice in the previous three days, Mattingly said Saturday he won't be thrown out of any more games this season.

"That's the plan," he said, laughing.

Mattingly has been ejected three times this season and 11 times in his three seasons as manager.

"The plan is to stay in the dugout," he said. "It seems like when I go out there, my chances aren't very good."

That part of the plan failed. Mattingly left the dugout in the third inning after a spectacular catch off the wall by Yasiel Puig in foul territory was ruled a foul ball.

"Well, I didn't get thrown out," Mattingly said.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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