08/27/11 4:27 PM ET
Lopes is reason for success on basepaths
By A.J. Cassavell / MLB.com
Matt Kemp's joining the 30 home run, 30 steals club Friday was just another excuse for Mattingly to do so.
"I don't think there's any doubt that Davey did a good job with our guys on the bases," Mattingly said when asked why Kemp's steals are already up 14 from last year with more than a month remaining in the season.
Mattingly noted that it isn't just Kemp who has been impacted by Lopes this year. The Dodgers as a team have stolen 98 bases and have been caught just 24 times. They rank fourth in the league in steals -- already with more than they had last season -- and second in stolen base percentage after finishing 14th in 2010.
The difference isn't more evident anywhere than it has been with Kemp. He has 33 stolen bases and has been caught just seven times. In 2010 he stole 19 bases and was caught 15 times.
"Davey sees things on the bases that I don't think anybody else sees," Mattingly said.
Mattingly didn't discredit Kemp, noting how much work Kemp has put in on the basepaths, but he noted how Lopes, who stole 418 bases in his 10 seasons with the Dodgers during the 70s and early 80s, has changed the team's entire mindset.
"Davey has done a really good job with the mentality of the way we want to play and the way we want to run the bases," Mattingly said. "It's not just stealing bases. It's turns, it's secondary leads and it's being aggressive."
Gordon set to start rehab in Class A
LOS ANGELES -- If all goes according to plan, Dee Gordon will head to Class A Rancho Cucamonga following Saturday's game for a rehab stint that is set to begin Sunday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the team's plan is to give Gordon, who has been out since Aug. 10 with a bruised shoulder, two rehab games before he rejoins the Dodgers. Gordon worked out before Saturday's game and Mattingly said he'll head to Rancho Cucamonga "as long as he comes out of today healthy."
Gordon initially injured his shoulder diving to tag a baserunner, but the real concern about the injury came when Gordon re-aggravated it on a swing, even after the Dodgers were conservative with his return.
Mattingly said he expects Gordon to play the field in the rehab outings, and said he'll be back at shortstop as soon as he returns, which could be as soon as Tuesday.
The Dodgers aren't likely to send down Justin Sellers, who has filled in nicely at shortstop since Gordon's injury. Sellers can also play second and third, and Mattingly said he wants to use Sellers in different positions.
That leaves Eugenio Velez, who is 0-for-27 this season, as the most likely Dodger to be demoted, but it shouldn't matter much as rosters expand Thursday.
A.J. Cassavell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.