5/10/2014 8:49 P.M. ET
Tough call: Mattingly starts Crawford over Ethier
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Manager Don Mattingly said, on most days, picking three starters from his four name outfielders is relatively easy.
On Saturday, not so much.
Mattingly started left fielder Carl Crawford, who had a .278 career average against Giants starter Matt Cain, instead of Andre Ethier, who had a .413 average against the Giants righty.
Ethier was stunned after hearing secondhand that he wasn't playing, and he walked across the clubhouse to see the lineup card with his own eyes.
"I feel Carl is swinging the bat good," explained Mattingly. "You kind of look at the last couple years, it's not quite as good with Andre. More than anything, it's about how good Carl has been swinging. I'll try to ride that and see how it goes."
Neither Crawford nor Ethier started Friday night against lefty Madison Bumgarner. During Saturday's 6-2 win over the Giants, Crawford went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, during which he's 12-for-24 with a homer and three RBIs, raising his average from .185 to .257. Ethier is 10-for-31 during that stretch, raising his average from .194 to .245 after entering Saturday's game as a pinch-hitter and going 0-for-1.
Of course, Ethier has no choice but to consider himself the fourth outfielder if he can't crack the lineup when the Dodgers are facing a pitcher he owns.
"With certain guys, it's easier against lefties, but today was pretty hard," said Mattingly. "Carl is swinging good. Andre's history is good. Which way do you go? Today is not an easy one."
Mattingly conceded he has some concern about a player like Ethier when his playing time is erratic. But he said this gives Ethier a chance to continue working on mechanics.
"In a sense, this isn't all bad," Mattingly said.
Uribe working, hoping to stay off disabled list
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe staved off the disabled list for another day on Saturday, his improving strained right hamstring muscle not keeping him from hitting or playing long toss.
Manager Don Mattingly said Uribe tried running in the trainer's room and tunnel, but a decision on whether he will be disabled won't come until Sunday.
"He did OK," said Mattingly. "The key will be tomorrow. We'll see if it gets sore when he gets on the field. Stan [Conte, trainer] is a little more confident. We feel it's minor; we don't want to turn it into major."
Hyun-Jin Ryu (left shoulder blade inflammation), meanwhile, was able to play catch with more velocity, and Mattingly said his stint on the disabled list should not be long-lasting. But Ryu will not be able to return on Tuesday, when he's eligible.
Catcher A.J. Ellis (left knee surgery) will begin a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday, and he could be activated next week. Ellis took an additional 15 at-bats in an extended spring game on Saturday.
Mattingly calls for cooler heads to prevail
LOS ANGELES -- It had no impact on the outcome of the Dodgers' 3-1 loss, but the Friday night dustup between Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was still on the minds of the media and manager Don Mattingly on Saturday.
Mattingly was still troubled by the "double standard" he sees in the game after Bumgarner yelled at Puig for showing up the pitcher with his customary theatrics after homering to center field.
Mattingly cited the recent incident between Milwaukee and Pittsburgh that was triggered by the Brewers' version of Puig, Carlos Gomez.
"Guys play with emotion, and that can get on your nerves," said Mattingly. "Gomez plays with a lot of fire, and it rubs people the wrong way. Every team has guys that bug you. It's just the way it is. Puig is a guy on our team, he draws as much attention as anybody. But it's a little silly. You can still be respectful of your opponent and carry yourself with class.
"I do think we have to loosen up a bit or there will be more and more times that guys take offense. I'm not talking about the Giants. It's all around baseball."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.