10/5/2013 8:20 P.M. ET
Ethier to stick to pinch-hitting in Division Series
By Ken Gurnick and Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he's not planning any changes to his lineup for the remainder of the National League Division Series and doesn't expect Andre Ethier to be available in the outfield.
Mattingly said Saturday "it would be a great surprise" if Ethier plays in the outfield against the Braves. Ethier has been limited to a role as a pinch-hitter in the NLDS because of a left ankle injury similar to shin splints. He came off the bench in the eighth inning of a 6-1 win in Game 1 and grounded out. During a 4-3 loss in Game 2, Ethier walked with two outs in the ninth and was removed for a pinch-runner.
"He's swung the bat well off the bench for us, and he's kind of been doing what we intended him to be able to do this series," Mattingly said. "If we get any more than that, I think it would be just a nice surprise."
Skip Schumaker has filled in for Ethier in center field, and rookie Yasiel Puig has replaced Ethier in the middle of the lineup behind cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez. Mattingly said he feels "pretty good" about his starting lineup heading into Game 3 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
"I don't feel like there are a whole lot of changes that we could make," the manager said. "We still like Yasiel back in the middle, being able to be dangerous in the middle of our order. It lengthens us out a little bit and balances us. So we're pretty much going to be rolling with that."
Kershaw ready, but Nolasco still slated to start
LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw threw a shortened "touch-and-feel" bullpen session Saturday, leaving him as an option to pitch Game 4 of the National League Division Series for the Dodgers on short rest Monday.
Manager Don Mattingly said he's still planning to start Ricky Nolasco in Game 4, but left some wiggle room.
"Right now we're scheduled to go with Ricky, and that's the way we're going to go," said Mattingly.
Would that change based on how Game 3 goes? If a Dodgers loss in Game 3 made Game 4 an elimination game, would Mattingly start the likely Cy Young winner?
"Obviously, again, you're going to go through every scenario," he said. "But really we're looking at Ricky as Game 4."
Kershaw has never pitched on three days' rest. He threw 124 pitches over seven innings Friday night. Because of the Tuesday day off, a Game 5 would set up Zack Greinke on regular rest. Kershaw would be pitching a Game 5 on one extra day of rest.
Nolasco allowed 17 runs in 12 innings over his last three starts. His last start was Sept. 25, so he will go 12 days between starts, with only one inning of relief Sept. 29 in between.