03/27/12 7:52 PM ET
Ethier showing results of winter running work
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Ethier went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple Tuesday, his 13th extra-base hit of the spring. He hasn't stolen any bases like Gordon, but does have a team-high three triples. He had only one the last two regular seasons combined.
"I spent a lot of time focusing on my running technique during my rehab," said Ethier, who worked at Athletic Performance in preparation for his free-agent year. "They broke down my body mechanics. Even once I was healthy, I had a bad gait. They asked if I was still hurting. I was cringing with every stride, expecting pain.
"I'm more efficient running now and can go faster, longer, and keep it up. It's always been difficult for me to get up to speed, and once I would run for a while, it was tough to keep it together. I think we've fixed a lot of it. I think it's been as important as all the lifting and working out."
Of course, smashing the ball has had even more to do with the extra bases. He has a .947 slugging percentage this spring and a .476 on-base percentage, for a 1.423 OPS.
Rivera continues hot spring at plate
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Juan Rivera studies film of every at-bat, a perfectionist never satisfied.
But with three more hits Tuesday, including a double and home run, Rivera is displaying more power this spring than he did after he joined the Dodgers last All-Star break, not that anybody complained about what he did once he arrived.
He has four home runs and 10 RBIs in 46 spring at-bats. Compare that to five home runs and 46 RBIs in 219 at-bats for the Dodgers last year. Project his spring numbers to last year's at-bats, he would have hit 19 home runs with 47 RBIs. His current average is .304 compared to .274.
Manager Don Mattingly doesn't get excited about spring numbers.
"He's getting ready for me," said Mattingly. "What he did last year was not a surprise for me. That's the guy I've seen for a long time. I always liked him. He's having a good camp, a little rough early."
Mattingly also praised the work of new second baseman Mark Ellis, who cut off two potential singles headed into right field and turned them into tougher-than-looked outs on Tuesday. Ellis is hitting .256.
"I just think of him as bread and butter," said Mattingly. "You don't notice him, he just makes the plays. Not a lot of flash. It's solid, and I'll take it all day long."
Lilly remains sidelined; Guerrier near return
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly missed another day's workouts with recurring neck stiffness, moving the team a day closer to juggling the rotation for the season-opening series in San Diego.
Lilly missed his scheduled start Tuesday, and manager Don Mattingly said the lefty continued to receive treatment, which included acupuncture.
"We've still got a day or so to make a decision," said Mattingly, who likely would move up fifth starter Chris Capuano and skip Lilly in the first series, since the Dodgers are off the fifth day of the season.
Reliever Matt Guerrier came out of a Minor League game without incident Tuesday and will appear in another one Wednesday. He could return to Spring Training game action Friday. Mattingly said the team is "counting on him being ready Opening Day" after he missed two weeks with a bad lower back.
Adam Kennedy was improved enough from a strained right groin to resume hitting Tuesday, but not running.
Starting third baseman Juan Uribe was a late scratch from the starting lineup Tuesday. Manager Don Mattingly said Uribe apparently was struck in the groin with a ball he bunted.
"I didn't see it happen, but I came over and he was lying down," said Mattingly, who expects Uribe back in action Wednesday.
Dodgers sign Wright; Hawksworth to 60-day DL
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers on Tuesday confirmed the signing of non-roster pitcher Jamey Wright and created space on the 40-man roster by moving right-handed reliever Blake Hawksworth to the 60-day disabled list.
Hawksworth is recovering slowly from two operations -- the initial one in January to clean out his right elbow and another three weeks later to address a staph infection.
With back-to-back surgeries, Hawksworth has been unable to begin a throwing program and will need roughly a six-week Spring Training once he can resume throwing.
Wright, making an Opening Day roster for the seventh consecutive season as a non-roster invitee, will earn a base salary of $900,000, plus a potential $500,000 in incentives starting at 40 appearances and maxing out at 65 appearances. He made 60 appearances for Seattle last year with a 3.16 ERA.
The Dodgers guaranteed Wright's contract having informed left-hander John Grabow, another non-roster invitee, that he would not make the club. He exercised an out clause Monday and was granted his release.
Manager Don Mattingly said Wright could serve as a swingman in the same way that Jeff Weaver did for the Dodgers in 2009-10, capable of pitching short relief, multiple innings and even spot starting.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.