Pre-game Thoughts With Don Mattingly

The gracious Don Mattingly is always willing to sit down and discuss questions with the media before the game, and this afternoon was no different. During the session we sat down and discussed some of the various issues and burning questions surrounding our favorite last place team….

The Dodgers made a move today by calling up catcher Tim Federowicz and optioning infielder Justin Sellers back to Albuquerque. I was very pleased to hear this because it means the management is finally doing something to improve the roster. We have all been extremely frustrated with management’s inability to do anything, or make any kind of roster move. It’s not just the losing that frosts our cookies, but the inactivity.

Mattingly confirmed the move was to strengthen the bench and give him more pinch-hitting options late in the game. It makes sense. It would be even better if Ramon Hernandez could manage to get more than one hit in a Dodger uniform, but hey one small step at a time I guess.

Mattingly had this to say about the move….

“We have plenty of infielders. This gives us a better hitting bench. The third guy allows us to use him as a pinch-hitter. Ramon can play first base, and this gives us another thumper off the bench.”

Someone asked mattingly who would be the second catcher behind A.J., and Mattingly quipped,

“The guys who’s playing after A.J.”

Don Mattingly-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ahhhh, I see, very clever Donnie.

(uh-oh I just had horrible visions of Dioner Navarro pinch-hitting back in 2011. Noooooooo!!!! Get out of my head nightmares!)

On Crawford…..

Mattingly also let us know, that apparently Carl Crawford’s tight hamstring is bothering him again. He wasn’t sure when it acted up again, but Crawford seems fine, and Mattingly wanted to get him an extra day before their scheduled day off tomorrow. Elian Herrera is playing left field, and Dee Gordon batting lead-off tonight for the Dodgers.

On the closer situation….

The question was asked if Mattingly was thinking about a change at the closer position, with Brandon League’s recent struggles.

Mattingly said….”I’ve given it some thought. We’re still thinking about it. We’ll see.”

Given League’s 5.40 ERA, and career low 4.7 whiff per nine rate, it’s something I hope Mattingly starts thinking about some more.

On the returns of second baseman Mark Ellis, and Left hander Scott Elbert, both are making progress and appear to be ready to return soon. Mattingly said Ellis is getting close to a rehab game possibly sometime next week, while Elbert is due to begin his rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night. Mark Ellis is due to come off the disabled list on Sunday. Ellis has been battling a sore quad, while Elbert has been rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow since the winter.

Topics: A.J. Ellis, Brandon League, Carl Crawford, Don Mattingly, Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers, Ramon Hernandez, Tim Federowicz

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  • Michael Graser

    When Ellis comes back, I’d like to see Punto remain in the mix.