02/27/12 7:14 PM EST
Ethier's spot in lineup remains in flux
Lefty may bat cleanup behind Kemp depending on opponent
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"I want 'Dre and Matt back to back; they are two dangerous guys," said Mattingly. "But 'Dre could be fourth, fifth or sixth depending on who's pitching. There are times 'Dre doesn't hit lefties as well. We'll put him in the order to protect him and protect Matt. I could see him second, fourth, fifth or sixth. But we'll go into the season looking for him to play every day."
Ethier, heading into his free-agent season, hit just .220 against left-handers last season with 41 strikeouts in 141 at-bats. Ethier, who hit .321 against right-handers, batted third almost exclusively last season, ahead of Kemp.
Mattingly said when Ethier isn't batting behind Kemp, Juan Rivera most likely will be. Rivera joined the Dodgers after the All-Star break and drove in 46 runs, mostly batting behind Kemp.
The rest of the projected batting order has Dee Gordon batting first, Mark Ellis second, James Loney and Juan Uribe sixth or seventh and A.J. Ellis eighth.
Kershaw to toss two frames in camp game
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers abandoned plans to schedule a "B" game against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday for the benefit of Opening Day starter Clayton Kershaw and instead hope to give the lefty two innings in a camp game.
The outing will put Kershaw on schedule for a March 9 exhibition season debut. Kershaw is behind schedule because his opening bullpen session last week was pushed back two days due to mild back tightness.
"He feels better, but there's still a little twinge," manager Don Mattingly said of Kershaw, who had a 40-pitch bullpen session Sunday.
Chico proud to call Snider his mentor
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Monday was the one-year anniversary of the death of Dodgers Hall of Famer Duke Snider, which probably went unnoticed throughout the clubhouse except for non-roster pitcher Matt Chico.
At 28, Chico is too young to have seen Snider play, but lucky enough to call the Duke his mentor, having shared the hometown of Fallbrook, Calif.
"I knew him really well," Chico said. "He used to be at every one of our high school games. He would come to our charity events and we would talk about baseball. Or he would invite me to his house just to talk. When I got called up by Washington in 2007, he flew cross-country just to see me pitch."
Chico, who pitched for USC before signing with Arizona in 2003 as a third-round pick, got the news a year ago of Snider's death.
"I was in camp with the Nationals and I couldn't leave, and it killed me not to be at his funeral," he said.
Chico has a long haul to make the Dodgers as one of 11 non-roster pitchers in camp. But he has already accomplished one professional goal, to have worn the uniform with the same Dodgers script across the chest that Snider wore.
"He absolutely would have been proud. I wish he would have been able to see it," Chico said. "I'd say we had gotten real close. He was close with everyone on the team. He taught me what to expect, how to play the game, to respect the game. One thing he told me that I won't forget is to just minimize mistakes: 'Keep mistakes in check and you'll be fine.'"
Dodgers FanFest to be held Saturday
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A free FanFest will be held Saturday at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, the spring home of the Dodgers and White Sox.
Gates open at 8:30 a.m. MT and the event will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., with fans welcome to view in-stadium batting practice and autograph sessions by both teams.
Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry will have a Cactus League book signing, and a sports card and memorabilia show will be set up in the concourse, as well as activities provided for children. Concession stands and the clubhouse store will be open.
The Dodgers autograph session is scheduled for 11-11:30 a.m., with batting practice from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Instructor Maury Wills, first-base coach Davey Lopes and starting shortstop Dee Gordon visited Phoenix Raceway Monday for a cover photo shoot for the Spring Training edition of Dodgers Magazine, which will be available March 5. The magazine can be ordered at dodgers.com/magazine. In a tribute to three generations of Dodgers speedsters, the trio posed in pit row and with the track's pace car.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.