5/21/2013 7:34 P.M. ET
Mattingly unwilling to name permanent closer
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Before Tuesday night's game, Don Mattingly was asked who his closer was.
"I don't know," the Dodgers manager said. "We'll see."
So, there you have it. The bullpen-wide slump that cost the Dodgers a sweep in Atlanta has the manager as uncertain about the late innings as the fans.
"I know who I want to use. But I don't know if I want to anoint anybody," said Mattingly, who seems to be leaning toward Kenley Jansen over Brandon League in high-stress situations based on recent use. "I'd really like to see the bullpen get its confidence back and some semblance of order and get the guys in the roles we designed.
"I know where I want it to go, it just hasn't gone there. They set the roles the way they are pitching. Now it's hard to say, 'That guy deserves that inning.'"
At the end of last year, League closed, Jansen had the eighth inning and Ronald Belisario the seventh inning. But League has a 5.51 ERA, Jansen has three losses and has allowed four homers and Belisario has allowed eight of 12 inherited runners to score.
"Last year it was one of our strengths, but now it hasn't went as well," said Mattingly. "But it's like the lineup with Matt, Adrian and Andre. You're going to keep putting them out there and they've got to get better. The only way they can gain confidence is by getting outs."
Assistant pitching coach Ken Howell, the bullpen coach until this year, reappeared Tuesday in the bullpen to assist his replacement, Chuck Crim, and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to get the relievers back on track.
"He had been scheduled with the rehab guys and it's nice to have Kenny around," said Mattingly. "He's been at this level a long time."
Lasorda, Hough to rep Dodgers at Draft
MILWAUKEE -- Hall of Famer Tom Lasorda and current senior advisor Charlie Hough will represent the Dodgers at MLB's 2013 Draft next month.
It will be a comeback of sorts for the 85-year-old Lasorda, who was a late scratch last year when he suffered a mild heart attack at a pre-Draft function and was ordered by Commissioner Bud Selig to go to the hospital. He had a stent inserted into a clogged artery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
"The doctors confirmed I do bleed Dodger Blue," Lasorda joked afterward.
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at 1 p.m.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Lasorda, special advisor to chairman Mark Walter, has represented the Dodgers at the Draft every year but one since 2002. He will be accompanied by Hough, one of Lasorda's all-time favorite players and former All-Star knuckleballer who now serves the club as senior advisor for player development.
The Dodgers will draft 18th in the first round for the second consecutive year.
'Superstar' win a welcome sight for Mattingly
MILWAUKEE -- A.J. Ellis called Monday night a "superstar" win, Clayton Kershaw's three-hitter backed up by homers from Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.
Manager Don Mattingly called those home runs "nice to see for sure."
Also, it was pretty rare for both sluggers in the same game. The previous time it happened was over a year ago -- April 14, 2012. It was Ethier's fourth homer, Kemp's second, both snapping long personal droughts.
"I look at it as, 'Hey maybe this is a start to get it rolling,'" said Mattingly. "It would sure be nice to have those guys more consistent."
But before assuming that all is well, Mattingly issued his own asterisk when he noted Miller Park's reputation as a hitter's haven.
"As a hitter, you have a different mentality when you come to a place like this," he said. "Our place, you've got to get it good. Here, you get it at all and it's going to go. It's a good feeling for a hitter. Here, Cincy, Philly, Houston. As hitters, you don't have to crush it."
That said, Mattingly agrees with general manager Ned Colletti that the players need to produce, and the big names need to produce more.
"That's why they get the contracts," Mattingly said. "That's what we're counting on. Call it extra pressure, that's just the way it is."
Hanley among Dodgers progressing toward return
MILWAUKEE -- Manager Don Mattingly had generally positive news on most of the rehabbing Dodgers on Tuesday.
Hanley Ramirez tested his hamstring running in the outfield, and Mattingly said the shortstop continues to make progress, although he is still probably two weeks away from playing.
Josh Beckett was able to throw on flat ground without discomfort from a strained groin muscle, something he couldn't do in Atlanta over the weekend. He is expected to throw off a mound before he's allowed to run.
Scott Elbert could be back with the club in a week. He will pitch three times in four days this week in the Minor Leagues, but his fastball velocity has increased in recent appearances to 90-92 mph, according to Mattingly.
Mattingly gave second baseman Mark Ellis a scheduled rest Tuesday night (Skip Schumaker started) and said he plans to rest catcher A.J. Ellis for Wednesday's getaway day game, with Ramon Hernandez catching in his place.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.