04/29/12 7:58 PM ET
Mattingly takes long view with closer Guerra
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"My biggest concern with Javy last night -- no [swagger]," Mattingly said after Guerra allowed two hits, a walk and a run in two-thirds of an inning. "The lack of a bounce in his step, the confidence, the commitment that 'I'm going to get you out and I know it.' I think that's what scared me last night, and we talked about it today."
Nonetheless, Mattingly said he would not swap the roles of Guerra and setup man Kenley Jansen, even if fans and media perceive Jansen's overpowering stuff more suited to closing.
"I don't know what the assumption is for the fans and for you, but I've got to make a decision right now to try to win games and do what's best for the club," Mattingly said. "When Kenley gave up a couple home runs [it was], 'He did the right thing [making Guerra the closer].' Javy has a couple bad days, [it's], 'Oh, make a change.'
"We're 21 games in. What happens if you make a change and it doesn't work? Drop [Mike MacDougal] in there? [Josh] Lindblom? It's a tryout camp at that point. I'm not panicking on any level with anybody. Dee [Gordon] is struggling. Do I hit the panic button? Am I worried? Yeah, but I'm not throwing the plans out the window. I understand the clamoring, what people say I should do. I don't think it's the right thing."
Guerra opened the season with five saves and a win in his first six games. But in his last six games, he's lost three times, blown two save opportunities, and allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. That included Wednesday night, when he took a Brian McCann line drive off the jaw and kept pitching, only to lose the game.
"I can't say [the loss of swagger] had anything to do with being hit," said Mattingly. "He was hit in the face, and if I had known, I should have pulled him out. But 10 days ago, he was rolling with a bunch of saves and you're asking if we're using him too much. I've got to keep thinking long term. This is temporary. We can't worry about the clamoring."
Coffey will return to bullpen Monday
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Todd Coffey is expected to be activated from the disabled list Monday, with Nathan Eovaldi having already been optioned back to Double-A Chattanooga following Sunday's game.
Coffey was eligible to be activated on Sunday, but manager Don Mattingly wanted Eovaldi available Sunday to serve as a long reliever with Chris Capuano starting for the Dodgers. In four starts this year entering Sunday, Capuano had pitched beyond the sixth inning only in his most recent start.
Coffey was disabled with what was announced as right knee inflammation, and had an ERA of 36.00 at the time he was shelved.
With the loss of Matt Guerrier to the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, Mattingly has shuffled roles and moved Josh Lindblom from middle innings to late innings. Jamey Wright, ordinarily the long reliever, pitched the 10th inning Saturday night and picked up his first win as a Dodger on Matt Kemp's walk-off home run.
Ronald Belisario, on a rehab assignment while completing a 25-game suspension for violating MLB's drug policy, allowed three runs in two innings Saturday night at Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He is expected to pitch at Triple-A Albuquerque this week and is eligible to be activated for Friday's game in Chicago.
Hairston available to pinch-hit; Rivera close
LOS ANGELES -- The left hand of Dodgers infielder Jerry Hairston was sore Sunday, but he was available for pinch-hitting the day after being hit by a 97-mph Stephen Strasburg fastball.
Precautionary X-rays Saturday were negative on the hand, which was not wrapped.
Manager Don Mattingly said Juan Rivera continues to improve from a sore left hamstring.
"We're good with Juan," Mattingly said. "I hope by the end of the day, we can use him at first base. He's gotten to that point. We feel like we're over the hump, but I don't want to panic and go to him a day early and go backward."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.